Promoting? But I want to write!
At the beginning of 2012, I wrote a post about ‘Building an Author Platform’. With ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ newly out, the whole marketing/promoting/author platform stuff is at the forefront of my mind.
Even if you’ve cast only a cursory glance over my posts in recent months, you’ll know I’ve been stuck on chapter thirteen of my current novel. In June, I fell over and tore ligaments in my foot. This was followed by a very busy time, and together, these things resulted in a total absence of new words on the novel. Forget Sartre’s ‘hell is other people’, hell is being stuck forever on chapter thirteen!
Now the launch of PP’s Son is over, and hurrah, I want to write again. I’m desperate to get going on my novel, and at last chapter thirteen is finished. The virgin territory of chapter fourteen beckons!
But – and it’s a big but – how is anybody (apart from my nearest and dearest) going to know about PP’s Son unless I tell them? Obviously the publisher, Cinnamon Press will tell people, but small-fry authors, such as me, have to most of the promotion for their books even if they’re with one of the big publishers. I’ve got a long list of things I need to do (and keep doing) to get my book out there. But if I’m doing promotion/marketing stuff, I’m not writing, which takes me back to the post I wrote in January 2012.
I’ll quote just a few of the things I wrote:
- Sometimes it seems the only thing that matters these days is MARKETING.
- You have to network, plug, sell, tell, promote … on and on … you have to be out there shouting from the rooftops: Look at me! I’m here! If you’re a writer that means ‘building an author platform’.
- Writing, by its very nature, tends to be a solitary business, especially if you are a fiction writer. You create worlds and people, you give birth to them on the computer and hope that they live on the page. These worlds and characters often seem more real to you than the actual world you inhabit.
- But then the book is finished. You say goodbye to these people you have lived with so closely for so long, but you love them – and you want other people to love them. But how will they love them if they don’t know them? And that’s the rub! You have to leave your solitary state and tell people about your book. You have to build an author platform!
I wrote the blog following a talk organised by my local Society of Authors about the whole marketing subject. The talk was very good, highlighting promoting your book on Amazon, websites, promotional material, blogging, networking on facebook and twitter, videos on YouTube, virtual book tours – the list of possibilities was endless.
But the comment I heard in the car park afterwards still makes me laugh. One elderly attendee to another: ‘Do you know, I just can’t be arsed!’ And sometimes I know how she feels.
But perhaps, you, my dear blog friends might be able to help me. If you’ve read ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ and enjoyed it, can you tell your friends – word of mouth is still the best recommendation. Perhaps you’d consider doing an Amazon review, or buying a copy for someone as a Christmas present, or recommending it to your book group. Writers are nothing without readers. It would be wonderful if you could help. I might even manage to get chapter fourteen finished then!