This week I was given the opportunity to speak with two experienced and gifted women who told me some hard facts. Given that most books take at least six months to write, add in editorial revisions, and some lag time, generally a writer commits at least eighteen months of time to a book effort. And well before the book sees the light of a bookstore shelf or gets purchased at an online book seller, the author is working hard (very hard) to get people interested in the text. Meanwhile, the publisher is working hard as well to market and present the book in the most attractive and favorable light to the reading public.
It would be a logical conclusion to assume that once the book is “out” the majority of the author’s work is complete, but everyone in the publishing industry knows better. So writers keep writing, keep talking, keep sharing their stories…just plain keep on. I expected this…I signed up for it and I’m not complaining. However, when an expert in marketing told me that we (the publisher and me) have one month to prove to the bookselling community that our book is worth their shelfspace (and maybe even a second glance), it was pretty sobering.
In my mind, I started thinking about the past eighteen months…all those hours, and days, and weeks, and months of outlining, referencing, quoting, editing, checking and rechecking…I thought, “What’s wrong with this picture?” How could all that effort be reduced to four short weeks of evaluation? Then, I realized it doesn’t matter how I feel about it, I just need to spend the next month (and the forseeable future) doing all I can to tell people about something I believe will help them.
Which is why I started social networking in the first place (to connect with people) and why when asked by my agent, Les Stobbe, I wrote an article Marketing With What You’ve Got describing what I’ve done and am doing to connect with readers. Thanks Les, for nudging me to make a list of how anyone can use the social utilities to tell the world about their work.