Saturday, March 04, 2006

A fringed shawl

It's bitter cold out today so I'm sitting at my desk with a moss colored fringed shawl around my shoulders. For fun, I even put on a green and gold glass bead bracelet to match. I feel all dressed up. Do you sometimes dress up? I usually slop around the house in jeans and a big sweater. (I have on jeans and a sweater - I just added the shawl for the cold and the bracelet for the fun.)
But that's not the reason I started to blog. I was working on edits this morning, finished, and then sent off the manuscript hoping it will do. Then I blog-hopped for a bit, and stopped in at a professional's blog to see her take on promotion. She was raving about a writer who has a new way of promoting her book through a large blog space reserved (mainly) for musical groups and kids. Since the author had written a teen story, this was a great promotional idea. So I went over and admired the site. The band/music theme worked pretty well for a book. But this is what bothered me:

Being an author used to mean writing, sending the book to an editor and collecting royalties or getting a flat fee.

Being an author usually means holding down another job - very few authors can support themeselves writing (I think the percentage here in France, anyway, is 1% - not very inspiring is it?)

Being an author now means having to promote your own work.

It's a fact of writing life. Authors are encouraged by their publishers to have their websites, their blogs, their plogs, their writer's space, their 'freinds', their chat grops, their mailing lists, their newsletters, their contests, their chats, and their own original ideas about promoting their book. Not to mention traveling to conventions, book signings, postcards, business cards, bookmarks, cover flats, and special stickers with 'autographed copy' written on them. (If I've left anything out please let me know - I'm trying for a complete list here)

So this professional's blog got me depressed for a while as I struggled to come up with a new, exciting, fun way to promote my book that had nothing to do with going to jail, (those who read my blog will know what that means, lol) or spending money I don't have, or taking too huge a chunk of time out of my day. I like to write. I don't know how to promote. It's depressing to see this bubbly new idea that will probably work well but that will take up a lot of time. (This person has no kids or family life, I just noticed. Just write and promote. Some have all the luck.) So before depression settles even more firmly around my shoulders like a fringed shawl, I will stop thinking about promotion...and start something I am good at - writing my next novel.


Lyn Cash said...

Just finished catching up on posts I'd missed while away. I would think you wouldn't have to worry about promotion for those who have read you already - lol - and your blog...if the every day stuff is captivating, in other words, the published material will be as well. I always enjoy reading you.


Patrice Michelle said...

All the promo stuff is an eye-opening aspect of being published I really didn't have a clue about when I first got published. Now I know...LOL!

International-Man-Of-Mystery said...

Have you heard about the guy who created the baby dragon in a jar? (Or seen the dragon, for that matter? It looks INCREDIBLE.) You can find pictures by typing in "dragon in a jar" on Yahoo. Anyway, the guy did it just to get a book deal--and it worked!

This is from Neil Gaiman's site:

"An author who was so desperate to get his book published that he staged a hoax involving a baby dragon has won a lucrative publishing contract. After numerous rejections Allistair Mitchell concocted a tale that a dragon had been found in a garage last year. He said: 'I created the hoax in order to attract potential readers.' Mr Mitchell, based in Oxford, has now signed an book deal with Waterstone's for his book Unearthly History, a thriller featuring a dragon."

I give props for creativity.

Wynn Bexton said...

That's about it these days. Blow your own horn, as nobody else is going to do it for you. But I'm sure you are very good at it and your already published works speak for themselves.

Sam said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I love the dragon story, Wayne. Am quite fascinated with it. Can't imagine hoaxing people though - I have trouble fibbing about the number of cookies I took from the jar, lol.

Ann Jacobs said...

Nope, having to promote your books doesn't stop when you've got tons of books out already... I wish I had an alter ego who could spend 8 hours a day promoting while I spend an equal or greater time writing. Yeah, I try to make writing a full-time job, but sometimes it seems as if it's more like two or three.

Cheyenne McCray said...

The important thing is to write, Sam. Can't catch anyone's attention without a good book, so you're doing the right things. Promo is a pain in the butt, isn't it? Jeez.

Madeline Hill said...

HI SAM..I have been swamped with wokr with the DH for a month--haven't had a chamce to finish Renegade Aquarius.. I WILL though!! So far-so good!!

Yes, I love to get dressed up.. I especially love my jewelery ..your shawl sounds cozy..and pretty!

Jona said...

I know what you mean about dressing up, strange how something so small can make you feel totally different :o)

One way I look for books to read, is to visit the sites of those writers I like, as the forums sometimes have an alternative reading section (alternative to the writer whose site it is). It's a good way of discovering new reads from people with similar tastes.

Glad you're feeling better :o)