Tuesday, 03 July 2012
Growing up, I used to have fantasies that I would be sitting in Barnes & Noble, and adoring fans would line up for my autograph. Naturally, in my fantasy, I always had an assistant to hand me the books. If I ran out, she was the one digging through the boxes for more, not me! I was thinking about that this morning. Yes, I have two mystery novels published. Do I have adoring fans? Er . . . I have no idea. Maybe a few. I know that quite a few people liked my book, but it certainly wasn't enough to alert the New York Times to my presence. Things have turned out well, certainly, but not as well as I thought they would.
Fantasies never come with hitches. They always work out perfectly. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a fantasy, would it?
In real life, at my first book signing, I was nowhere near as calm and collected as I was in my fantasy. In my fantasy, I smiled widely and confidently. In real life, I shook, trembled, and sweat uncontrollably. (Okay, I'll brag: I may have been incredibly nervous, but I still had thirty-five visitors, and sold two hundred dollars worth of books.)
Hold onto your fantasies. But don't expect things to work out exactly as you imagined. I have encountered people in the past who have this magical view of the publishing industry. These people seem to think that a publisher is going to "pick up" your book and all of a sudden you'll be "big time." I've met people who think that getting into a "big" publisher will guarantee them success. If only they knew how wrong they were. You might be better off with a bigger publisher, but these days, most publishers are leaving the majority of the marketing up to the author.
Don't get discouraged when you pen your first novel and it gets rejected. Don't give up when a publisher signs you, and you only sell a hundred copies. It happens. Most of the time, you need hard work and money. Most of all, you need hard work. I've been brainstorming all day on how I can make Check Out Time more available to a wider audience. In a way, it's a frightening prospect. I imagine it's like sending your kid to school for the first time. You try to make sure they have nice clothes, and that they have all their supplies, but no matter how hard you try, they might take a tumble at recess, and all of a sudden everyone's noticing the stains on their jeans.
The trick is getting the product to the consumers and getting people to notice you. Of course, no matter what you do, not everyone is going to like your final product. Someone's going to notice the stains on little Billy's knees, and mention what a crappy parent you must be.
It's okay. I keep trying to tell myself that everything will be just fine. But it's not easy sending your child out into the world. You worry about them. You worry that people won't like them. But no matter what, keep trying. Don't give up. Because if you don't try, you're not only guaranteeing that you won't fail-- you're also guaranteeing that you won't succeed.
Keep writing. Would any authors out there like to share any marketing tips? Leave a comment!
Photos were taken at Juno Beach, Florida, and are copyright to Rosa Sophia. Do not copy or distribute.