The writer lives in solitude until the day their work comes to life through publishing, then the real work begins to market and promote the book. This is where I am living these days, promoting my latest release Nature’s Angels. It’s a fun lyrical story that follows a grandfather and his grandson along their journey through nature. If only this process could be fun and lyrical too!
As much as writers struggle through their own writing process, this step of the publishing journey is the most challenging for me. Maybe it is easy for some people who are born with the shameless promotion gene but for those of us who spend our days with our heads in books and notepads it’s a little harder to really put yourself out there. I’d rather write about it than actually get out there and do it.
This month’s posts have focused on the writing process, so it is only fitting to end this series with the final stage, selling that beautiful work of art. After all we want to see some return for all of our hard work, even though that isn’t our motivation to write. So far I’ve probably given away more books than sales but that’s ok because that is part of the process too, there is a benefit in getting the book out there for reviews, word of mouth marketing, and for me any child that gets to read this book is a reward to me and is the reason I write, for someone to read and enjoy what I have to share.
I would imagine that whether you are just starting out as a writer or a seasoned published author the anxiety has to be the same in asking will there be an audience? This is no different than any stage performer on opening night who wonders if there will be a full house or at least half full? Most performers thrive off the energy of the audience and if there isn’t anyone out there then what’s the point, it’s simply a rehearsal. We all want to be received and our work appreciated in some way and in the writing world that would be through our readers. So whether a million people read my book or just a handful, I find satisfaction in knowing that it has reached a few, that it no longer sits in my unfinished project folder and is just beginning to take on a life of its own and I get to be a part of that journey.
Our culture measures success and sometimes talent by volume, how many record or book sales, how many likes and followers. Which sounds so high school to me, like we are in one big popularity contest? Most artists just want to be able to do their art and live comfortably so they can continue to do their art. We balance between the art of writing and the desire for profit but the real reason we keep at it is because we have to.
So even though the written work on Nature’s Angels is finished, I’ll continue breathing life into it by marketing through social media, making contacts, stepping out of my comfort zone and onto the shameless promotion stage hoping there will be an audience. Looking at this process as promoting the book rather than promoting me makes this a lot easier and is a small price I have to pay to get to do what I love, to write on the page…again.
Please share with me your publishing and promotion stories letting me know that there is an audience out there somewhere beyond this post…