Sunday, August 19, 2012

Paperback is Out and It's Promotion Time

The paperback of Redemption on the River is now available through Amazon.  I must admit that it is remarkably satisfying to hold the physical book in your hand and riffle the pages.  Also, it's a bit surrealistic to leaf through it and see the words that you are so intimately familiar with looking up at you from the black and white.

Now it's time to get exposure for the book.  (Why does that always conjure up a mental image of a barefoot, bare-legged man in an old raincoat?)  Another word for it is promotion, which also has a somewhat negative connotation to me—it brings to mind street corner hawkers of strip shows in Las Vegas.

Our initial sales push to friends & family has about run gone well, but one only has so many of those.  (And, THANK YOU, friends and family!).  From now on the book has to make its own way out there in the wild.  I've been submitting it to as many book review sites and blogs as I can manage, and I'll continue to do so.  I'll also submit it for contests, spread the word around the workplace, and hand out Redemption on the River business cards/bookmarks.

Reviews and mentions by folks who have read the book are still the best ways to help out.  These breakdown into two broad categories:  Point of sale and general exposure.

Point of sale reviews are at places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBookstore, etc.  These are very valuable, of course, once people get to that page, because favorable reviews will help them to decide to push the "Buy" button.  But, as important as they are, point of sale reviews don't do much good unless people are finding the book's page in the first place.

That's where general exposure (promotion) comes in—people have to find out about the book before they ever can decide to go check it out on Amazon.  Reviews on Goodreads, Shelfari, etc,  mentions/plugs on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, emails to friends/family, and good old-fashioned word of mouth recommendations of a good book to read are the things that will get exposure for Redemption on the River.

Sorry if I've gotten a little evangelical on you.  I've written what I believe is a good book, and I would like to see it reach a wider audience.  If you agree, I'd sure appreciate assistance.  If you have any ideas regarding ways to spread the word I'd love to hear them.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Paperback is Very, Very Close

     And I mean that literally.  Redemption on the River's first two proofs from Createspace are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.  If there is no problem with them (knock on wood) I should be able to activate the listing on Amazon to offer the physical, hold-it-in-your-hands-and-turn-the-pages, book for sale that night.

     It's another milestone.  When I started the entire write-a-novel project I told myself, and anyone who cared to listen, that if the result wasn't good enough to seek publication then I wouldn't do so.  Furthermore, if I did seek publication and didn't achieve it, then I wasn't going to be one of those authors who paid a vanity press to print 500 copies, then inflicted 23 of them on friends and family, and the balance sat in boxes in the attic for the rest of time.

    Things have changed drastically in the publishing industry since I wrote the first words of RotR down.  First—ahem —I did decide that the novel was worth publishing.  Second, I realized that I had a snowball's chance in a very hot place of being traditionally published, which might be the subject of another post on another day.  Third, very often, and certainly in my case, independently publishing one's book via digital files and Print On Demand (POD) services is much the better business decision.

     There have been many milestones in the course of this project—completing the first draft, printing a draft (the 4th) for the first time, getting the feedback of the first beta readers (they were honest, just as I asked, ouch), etc, and another significant milestone is 24 hours away—holding the physical book in my hands.

    I never really expected that to happen, and it didn't have to happen to accomplish my goal, but I'm pretty sure it's going to feel good.