Saturday, November 7, 2009

"As Long As You're Dreaming . . ."

While you're dreaming of getting published and holding that beautiful book with your name printed on the front cover, think about what all that means. I think some people believe all they have to do is write the book and then sit behind a table once in a while and sign a few autographs. They couldn't be more wrong.

As the release date for my book, The Keeper of the Crystor, gets closer, I've been giving a lot of thought to the marketing plan and what kind of image I want to portray to my readers. After attending a book launch party hosted by my publisher this weekend, I realize that there is a lot to selling a book. Not only do you have to be available for those book signings, but you also need to be willing to speak in public, make presentations to schools or universities (depending on your genre) and even teach your craft at writer's conferences.

There's also a lot of traveling involved. Unless you have someone who can afford to fly along with you, this could be a very lonely job. You think sitting behind a computer all day is lonely, try three weeks going from one city to another, living in dumpy hotel rooms and flying with a plane full of strangers. Sounding more glamorous by the moment, isn't it.

My point is this--plan for it. While you're waiting to hear back from that agent or editor, think things through. What will my platform be? Can I really get up in front of people and sell myself and my book? Is there someone who can tag along to make the trip easier and more exciting? What can I do now to make my book sell better? Set up a blog or website? Facebook or Twitter? How can I sell my book before it is even accepted for publication?

Thinking these things through and getting started now will put you ahead of the game. When that agent comes to you and asks, what do you have to offer, you'll be ready. When you give that pitch at the next writer's conference and the editor pops up with a wild question about marketing, you'll stand out in the crowd as being prepared and confident.

So, tell me. What will you do? Do you have a unique twist to your marketing plan? Is there something about you that is different enough to stand out in the crowd? And last but not least, what will you tell people about yourself?


  1. Are you kidding? This is the part I'm looking forward to the most! I love going to the school on career day and telling children what it is like to be a writer (lightly published though I be). I can't wait until I can take an actual copy of an actual book with my name on it and show it to them. Maybe some day I'll be sitting on a plane next to a complete stranger and be able to say, "Hey, I'm going to go do a book signing in Chicago today. Where are you off too?" And forget the dumpy hotels. I probably know someone who lives in every major city in the country that I can stay with, and thanks to Facebook, I can get in touch with them pretty easy.
    The only setback I can see is that I'll probably have to start wearing make-up. Ick. Male authors don't have to wear make-up. Maybe I'll just refuse.

  2. I'm sure when I finally get to that point, reality will hit. But at this point it all sounds wonderful to me. My biggest goal in writing children's fiction is to travel to different schools and talk to children about using thier imaginations, reading, and writing. I sometimes wish I could skip the writing part and get right to the presenting. Though I do realize that I wouldn't want to have Stephenie Meyer success, that's just crazy! Just moderate success, or heck just an obscure book on a shelf in an obscure library at this point would be great! LOL!

  3. You know, I've concocted a marketing plan already and have friends out in different parts of the country I could manage staying with them. Presentation? I need to work on that, really. My thoughts scatter like dandelion seeds in a wind when I think about it--but i have no doubt that, being the Lord's will, I will succeed in any area I feel lacking!

  4. Ooh! this is my favorite part! Selling! This is what I succeed in--Presentation, speaking, reading, engaging and talking to others--doing school workshops and writers conferences... I can teach anything. I love this part. It's the writing the book and editing and all that, that doesn't come naturally for me. But I'm learning and my books are getting so much better because of it.

    And congrats christine! I'm so excited for you!!!!

  5. Give me the presentations! It's the travel that's a problem.

    I dropped out of the running (much to my literary agent's chagrin) while living in NYC because of my 3 little kids--2 under 2 at the time. Some dreams are better saved for a less demanding stage in life, eh?



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