Anyone who knows me has been recently victimized at some point by one of my sustained – and exceedingly annoying – woohoos.
There’s been a flurry of them lately, each punctuating a little step forward in the publishing of my book The Clearing. It’s a significant accomplishment for me, and the various stages of the evolution of the deal (my agent telling me something promising was in the pipe… my agent calling and saying we had an honest-to-goodness offer… signing the actual contract… beginning work with my new editor at the publisher) are all categorically woohoo-worthy.
But once all the regular woohoos are all out, the reality that books don’t sell themselves begins to set in. And dang, it happens fast. One minute you’re thrilled that someone wants to read the thing, and the next you’re starting to worry that once it’s published, no one else will… And so you start thinking about the nuts and bolts of getting the word out.
Books, like everything these days, exist in a horribly competitive environment, and getting published just isn’t enough anymore. The experts tell you you have to build things like Blogs (yup, that’s why this is here!), and engage in Facebook and Twitter campaigns, all of which feel somewhat less, hmm, honourable than the actual act of writing your book. All of a sudden you have to connect with people and get them interested in what you’ve written. It feels a little disingenuous; they don’t know me. They don’t give a rats arse about what I wrote. And why should they? Cosying up to folks (albeit electronically) and creeping insidiously into their social networks just feels, well, creepy.
But the advice I’m receiving? Get over it. Your book might be good (or it might be complete drivel), but if no one save the publisher and their drinking mates read it, you’ll never know for sure. So this blog is part of my grand experiment in platform development – and both of the people who have read it will be very, very excited.