The Wise Novelist

Writing Is The Easy Part

When it comes to being a published writer the hardest thing to get your head around is the fact that you must always be marketing the books. Indeed, I started blogging solely to help get the word out about The Wise Ass. The others books followed and I kept blogging.

My younger brother, John, who could sell snow to the Inuit, is a master at this game. He loves playing it. He was a great resource when I first started this path.

John taught me something that our Death of a Salesman father had taught him.

No one is going to sell your shit with more passion than you will.

He’s right, of course.

For me, I would much rather spend this time writing something new. But you cannot expect an Indie Publisher to carry all the luggage. You cannot rest on your laurels. You must get out there and beat the bushes every day for that next potential reader.

You need to win over the fence sitters. Luckily, I’ve never been shy.

I’ve been around the entertainment business long enough to surmise that major publishers, like major record companies or film companies, don’t do anything for free.

So, they may turn over their new authors to their huge marketing and PR departments, who set up the NYT and New Yorker interviews and ads, and schedule the wine and cheese readings, and NPR interviews, but every penny invested in those perks is recovered from the sales figures. The authors may only need to show up, or write, but they pay for that convenience at a premium.

And while its nice to imagine those seven figure advances, with many books, that’s the only money a writer will ever see. You may never receive a royalty since that advance and all the money put into marketing and PR must be recovered from the sales of those books. Recoupment is tentative.

I would rather participate in royalties right out of the gate and, with the right book and self-support, make sure it keeps coming.

I also prefer the more guerrilla band tactics of an independant publisher. Every person has their job but is expected to sub in for the others as needed. They try new things and adapt to market variables quickly. They move resources around and put it where it is needed at the moment to make the greatest Return On Investment.

Common sense dictates that the more successful the book, the more publishing resources feed into it.

Relatively modest overhead and this resource flexibility allows the indie publisher to take the risk on new writers. And I want other writers to have that magical opportunity to grab the golden ring, and not have to wait until the are 63 to get their break.

It’s no suprise that the indie publishers expect their authors to pitch in.

So, here I am.

I’ve learned over these past few years the value of finding your niche. Mine seems to be dark humour.

I focus on that particular Amazon list as my barometer of success.

Today was interesting. BRW recently packaged the Kindle version of The Claire Trilogy as a box set.

I knew that if it started to gain traction it would cannibalize the sales of the individual books.

But to my surprise, TWA, AAA, KMAG and FJM were still in the top 100 of the Dark Humour genre this morning, along with the Box Set version of TCT. All in.

And that is just perfect, because if readers are buying TCT as a set at a discount, I’m confident that the story – which reads back-to-back-to-back – may cause them to invest the money they have saved on the box set into trying FJM. And that is a tremendous marketing win for me.

And I am also confident that if the readers are invested in the motley mystical crew they have enjoyed in TCT, they are going to equally enjoy the new friends that they’ll meet in FJM. I certainly love them all.

And yes, Claire continues as a central character in FJM. This saga has been hers from the getgo.

With any luck, you’ll come away from it all, knowing what makes Jimmy tick and fully understanding the man that could comfortably work for the mob and end up leading the crew of mystical misfits. You’ll get a closer look at Jimmy’s family. Family, however you define it, is everything to Jimmy. Finally, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of the relationship between Claire and Jimmy.

There is also references to the story line that will continue in the sequel, Where The Ley Lines Meet, which I hope to pen this summer. Keep your eyes open.

So, I’ll continue to carry my share of the marketing work, because, as my little brother said, no one is going to sell my shit with more passion than I will.

Okay, now I need to get back to reality.

But first, a kitty cuddle, the rounds and the dreadmill.

Luckily it’s hump day.

So you fine, five readers get out there and take the hill.

But most of all, make today a great one.

3 Responses

  1. You are very good at what you do for yourself and others. My current read is, Passport to Terror by Cooper-Burnett 🙂

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