When I submitted one of my manuscripts to a publisher once, I had to fill out a survey to send with it. One of the questions asked if I had the time and means needed to promote my book. Would I be willing to take time off from work to do so? My answer was succinct and direct. I wrote; I am fully committed to do whatever it takes to market my book.
Later, when submitting another manuscript, I ammended my answer and said, I am fully committed to the success of this manuscript. I believe in its ability to touch hearts and I am always working to build a platform that will ensure it’s prosperity.
The first book was rejected, but not because of my unwillingness to promote it. I hadn’t written a good book.
I’m a much better writer now, but I worry that publishers look at my online presence and frown because I don’t do more. I have a friend who goes into Facebook profiles and harvests the friends of friends. I discovered it one day when I noticed my cousin on the list. My friend has built an online following that almost guarantees book sales. Posting cute and funny stuff helps too. Becoming popular with writers and readers before your book comes out will reflect your determination to sell your book, and publishers love it.
Don’t misunderstand, I have an online presence and I network at every function, but many of my peers do much more. So I ask myself, how committed am I? Will my preoccupation with daily trials and living, prevent the publication of my manuscript?
Doing whatever it takes could mean quitting my job to write full time without building a successful writing career first. In our culture, a man with a family just doesn’t do that, but finding a happy medium means getting bogged down in the day to day.
My answer to the survey is sound. I do believe in the success of my manuscript and I’m willing to do anything to ensure its fulfillment. As for right now though, I’m a frustrated marketing engineer, uncomfortably wrestling with the success of others, hoping I will be able to copy portions of it.
My advice to you, and me is, do what you can. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t the blog queen/king. Establish a presence online but don’t make a pest of yourself. It is possible to post too much on Facebook, and most people don’t care about your dog’s fifth pedicure. the first one is fine.
Go to book launches and meet people. Make friends in bookstores and at conferences. Be a good supporter of others and they will remember you when it comes time to buy your book.
Above all, don’t forget to write. Polish your craft and submit your best work. Then, when your book is on it’s way, start promoting it. Sell it with all the gusto you have. Be careful you don’t make a pest of your self. There’s nothing worse than a salesman who sticks his foot in the door.
Good luck in your writing---see you next week.
One more, quick note before I go. When I look back on this past week of blogs I just want to say wow. Having everyone post, hasn’t happened for a while. It’s great to have good writers on the staff.
The LDS Writer’s Blogck will soon have an anniversary. It will be six years since it started. Perhaps we can sponsor several contests during that time, and give back some of the love we’ve received over the years.
On a personal note, I look back on those years of posting, with pride, for a few reasons. One is the diversity of subjects I’ve addressed. Although there have been a couple of late posts I’ve never missed a week, and I’m very proud of that too. One thing that stands out is my signature. I end every post with Good Luck with your writing---see you next week.
I got a kick out of TJ’s signature and I noticed Gaynell posted something similar to mine yesterday. I just want you, the reader, to know I really do wish you good luck. I count your success as a reason to keep posting. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your patience.
Good luck with your writing---see you next week.