I recently went on holiday for a week (yes, again for any regular readers of my blog). It was a very chilled trip to the Greek island of Cephalonia, I recommend it. So I had plenty of time to think amongst reading, eating, boat trips, watching the world go by and the odd cocktail or two. And for me that means about my writing and inevitably publishing because:
Here I am again. I have a book almost ready to launch and I know I’m prevaricating. I have sent it to eight or nine agents back in February and so far I have had a “thanks but no thanks” from two of them (and I’m not holding my breath for the rest). I guess like most self-published authors the lure of a publishing deal is still the dream no matter how much I tell myself that I am good enough to make it as an indie author. And I know that agents receive hundreds of manuscripts a year and at best they take on one or two new authors. So my chances are slim.
As an indie author I have also of course read of those who have succeeded in self-publishing, such as Hugh Howey, Michael M Hicks to name just two in my normal genre of science fiction. I have also read of those who have had publishing deals and then walked away from them for reasons such as editorial control and that they were still expected to do much of the marketing themselves, so what was the point? However, at least in those cases you have built some sort of audience for your work.
Sometimes I think maybe I’m just a little lazy, that I don’t want to make the effort to market my books for myself. There is some truth in that i.e. I would rather spend my time writing that next book (and of course surely the one that will secure me that publishing deal) rather than in marketing my work. There again part of the problem is that even after several attempts I’m not sure what to do. In the past I have spent some money (not a huge amount I admit) on basically twitter campaigns, however, these have not even paid for themselves.
And yes, I have read blogs and books on marketing as an indie-author. I’ve considered Facebook ads, Google schemes and others. As always there are conflicting views. Some people swear by them and others tell tales of whoa as to how they’re just a waste of money. I know I need a plan, but to have a plan you have to have some knowledge of what you’re going to do. I know there are many agencies out there offering to do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you, for a price of course. Most seem to “guarantee” success, although I suspect they’re the ones making the money.
So here I am ready to dip my toe in the water again. But maybe that’s also part of the problem, all I’m doing is dipping my toe. I try something for a short while and when I don’t get much traction I stop, worried about wasting of both money and effort. I start with the attitude that it’s not going to work, which then becomes self-fulfilling. I rather suspect that one of the keys to success is persistence which is something I admit I’ve lacked Perhaps I need to give myself a good talking to. Maybe nine out of ten things I try won’t work, but one will. The trouble is I’ve usually given up around two or three. And after all I should be used to rejection, I’m an author!
Well here we go. I’ve a few things to complete for the book, such as getting a cover and finalising cover blurb etc. (important things to get right). In the mean time I’ll go back to those books and blogs and try to distil a plan that I think will work for me and that I can afford. So it’s time to clean the white board and start again with an open mind. I will of course continue the writing, because the bottom line is I enjoy it and those that do read my books enjoy them. And I know that the more books I publish the more likely I am to succeed.
Wish me luck.
As Always comments are welcome