A lot has changed since I was last here, mainly in the publishing world. The ultimate goals used to be 1.) find an agent and 2.) get published. Not that I'd turn down either an agent or a publishing deal at this point, but I'd give them a lot more thought than I would have in 2009. Why? The rise of ebooks and indie publishing.
I've spent the last few months devouring all kinds of research on how to properly take one's fiction directly to readers. It's not only possible, it can be highly rewarding--not in terms of money, although that would be nice, but just getting your book (or a digital version of it) in readers' hands. I've had my share of beta readers (friends/family) and my writer's group, but we're talking strangers--people who choose to read your book with no personal knowledge of you. I wanted to do it right, and doing it right takes a while:
- Comb through the book yet again, knowing it will be making its public debut
- Edit and format it to within an inch of its life
- Design a professional cover
- Make sure it looks exactly how you want it to in each format you plan to offer
- Register a domain
- Launch a website
- Establish a Twitter identity and attract followers
- Set the price for your paperback and digital content
- Launch titles
...but you're still not done. Now you'll need to:
Promote them aggressively on a daily basis.
I had a good buddy help me extensively with the covers and I must say, I think they really capture the look and feel I was going for. And they can hold their own with any professional cover out there--and they blow the pants off a lot of amateur covers. No offense.
I built the site myself from a template, but I'd like to think it comes off as a custom job. It's all keyword-optimized, so hopefully, over time (and through new content via this blog), its rankings will improve.
Both Ring of Fire and Battle Axe went live this week, as paperbacks and ebooks. No sales yet, but I'm still building relationships and seeking a base of reviews before I start more aggressive promotion. I hope to do a free Kindle promotion with Ring of Fire soon that should get it a little more attention, and I'll report on the results here.
I guess this posts marks the shift in the focus of this blog. It will still be about my writing process, as I plan to write many more books in the years to come (and am 2/3 of the way through my next one, the middle grade adventure I've referred to here before), but now it's decidedly not about "trying to get published." As far as I'm concerned, I am published. Now I just have to get read.
Note: if you'd like a free copy of either book in exchange for a review, just let me know. I've got tons of them sitting around on my hard drive.