Sunday, October 25, 2009

After The Writing Comes The Work

Colorado-based author Pat Bertram has just released a new
book called DAUGHTER AM I & will be a guest on my humble blog this week (27th).

So far I've read a substantial portion of this, her 3rd book, and it's really good. Really good. Not just sayin' that either so go buy it. Hurry up. Stop reading this post & go get it!

I've been following Pat's promo effort. Wow. This is the first time I've gotten up close & personal enough to pay attention to what goes into a book launch. Geez - it involves almost as much work as writing the book (the fun part).

I was in Chicago when my 1st book came out & sick for about 5 weeks soon after gettng home. It was out there for 3 months - no promotion. No chance of creating buzz that way. Even now, I rarely mention BAD LATITUDE. My book signings have been arranged by Deb &, as shy as she is, that's pretty incredible.

So I've been thinking (that's always dangerous) - How far do I want to go with this writing stuff? Book number 2, RECKLESS ENDEAVOR, is nearing the finish line, & a third is in the works. Promotion? Blog tours? Interviews? Getting Reviews? How the heck do I go about setting all of that up? Can I even fit this & the writing in with life, travel & my day job? (Anyone following this blog knows how crazy my life / schedule is.) Guess I'd better decide soon so I can get busy. Make that busier.

Good Luck Pat - I think you've written a hit. BTW - Check out her blog. It's very entertaining & informative. Lots of great stuff over there.


Mark LaFlamme said...

You always think authors are being pithy when they say writing is the easy part, marketing is the real bitch. Do it for yourself and you find it's utterly, brutally true. One week into groveling before news outlets, reviewers, radio hosts and bookstores, you long for those long, lonely nights when all you had to do was construct entire worlds out of nothing on a blank page.

JaxPop said...

I hear ya Mark. You were part-way through the promotion of your book 'Dirt: An American Campaign' when we met up so I missed the start of that. Agree - Much cooler to build the scary make-believe worlds, create the conversations & develop the characters that grab you by the throat & won't let go 'til you get to 'The End'. Still freaked by the ending of 'Dirt'. Dude driving around New England with his wife's corpse during dear old dad's Presidential campaign - so much for ho-hum stuff. Hope book #5 is kickin' butt.... or is it #6? Hurry up & finish it - we can commiserate while we 'promote'.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I am honored that you invited me to be a guest on your blog. I'll be sending you the post later. I am also honored that you think my book is so good. Oddly enough, it's the only one I ever had doubts about.

The one thing I did that I am pleased about now, was as soon as I finished one book, I started writing another. At the same time, I queried agents and editors. I knew from my research how difficult and time consuming the marketing would be (though I still underestimated it) and I wanted a second book under my belt to save myself from "second book syndrome." (An author pours everthing into that first book, then rushes to get out the second book to fulfill a contract, and it's seldom as good as the first.)

It took me so long to find a publisher, that I wrote four novels before Second Wind accepted them. My fourth one will come out in April, so I need to work on number five and cut back on marketing, or else that's the end.

Sorry for rambling. The point is, Mark is right. As difficult as writing is for me, writing is the easy part.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff in both the original post and the comments. I'm working on the second draft of my first novel, and the idea of marketing (which is kind of down the road, since no one in the publishing field even knows I exist yet)is a very scary one. If I may ask, who is that lets you know what you need to do in the way of marketing? Is that your agent? Are you supposed to dig up the steps yourself? Do you ask published authors really nicely if they'll share their secrets with you? Any thoughts would be highly appreciated. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Promotion is the hardest part, especially when you try to balance writing, marketing, a job, family, and day to day life. I'm a victim of the same issues. Married, four children, a full time job and a part time job. Promoting myself and my books always falls to the end of the list of things to do. Sometimes, I even have to stop everything else and just write because I'm compelled to do so. I shut my door, keep out all distractions, and just write. I only stop to sleep and go to work. Thankfully, my family understands those quirks.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I admitted to someone just yesterday that my biggest stumbling block to publication of my novels is my own lack of confidence. Instead of pitching and promoting I find myself hiding in my private world of writing and rewriting. Blogging has been my initial step towards overcoming this.

No matter how one publishes today, marketing is still chiefly up to the author and I dread it. Pat sets a wonderful example of why it's all worth it -- bringing excellent stories to readers who are excited to read them. You know how well received Bad Latitude has been by those who've read it, so that should serve as impetus to increase your efforts for even more exposure for it and successive books. Who knows, with enough success maybe you can semi-retire from the rat race to have more time for writing! ;)

Anonymous said...

For those of you who are a bit wary of promotion, or if you simply want a few new ideas, I have collected an amazing array of how-to articles about book marketing by various authors on my indexed book marketing floozy blog. Unfortunately, for most us, there is no one to tell us what to do, so these authors were generous enough to share their experiences.

JaxPop said...

Pat - I'm stoked that you're guest blogging. Like you, I started another book before the 1st was out. Writing seems much easier than promotion. In any case, I think you've got a winner on your hands. I'll print out your guest blog post & frame it to prove down the road that, at one time, I rubbed blog elbows with a very famous writer - prior to her purchase of the Manhatten penthouse or winter home in Monaco.

Sage - I am absolutely useless when it comes to writerly advice. Anything I would tell you would probably set you back 5 years. Don't take that as a snobby dismissal - really. I'm the square peg in the round hole. Now there's a confident sounding sales pitch that'll send the masses flocking to buy my books. Ha! Thanks for visiting.

Claire - 4 kids, writing, promo AND 2 jobs? Sheesh! I have a really intense career but that doesn't compare with your deal. I'll never whine again. Nice to meetchya. Good luck with your books &, uhm... all your other ... career/mom/wife/promoter things.

Carol - I'm just a storyteller. There's nothing literary about my work. It's probably not even that entertaining. Started this gig while writing a short story for my grandson & it just mushroomed. BAD LATITUDE's sales have been a total shock. Dumb luck, I'm sure. Living in a historic tourist town helps. BL is carried in lots of local stores & school kids from all over visit the town in large groups. Sales take off from there, through word of mouth & some teacher recommendations (I'm told). It's strange that you mention lack of confidence on your part & how you worry about marketing. You seem very confident with your blog posts & comments AND you've had several published articles out there for the world to read. Your posts are always very insightful. I think you would do extremely well. Take your shot!
As for my possible retirement - Hah! "The Powers That Be" seem determined to have me in 3 places at once. Besides, if the government takes any more from me in taxes (as has been promised), I'll be working well into my 90s.

Anonymous said...

Wow, when I look at all of the work-a-day obstacles that some of the posters here are encountering, I feel like I have no reason to complain about mine. You've all been very generous with your experiences, and I'm blown away by Pat's Book Marketing Floozy blog. What a terrific resource! Thank you so much, Pat. And good luck to all of you with your scheduling and time management. If you guys can fit writing into your lives, anyone can!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I totally get where you're coming from, Dave. You have no idea what's involved until you're in the middle of it. Doesn't matter how much someone else tries to explain. Bravo to Pat for all her hard work. I'm blown away with how dedicated she is to her craft. And why not? She worked too darn hard to give up now. Tho I doubt "give up" is even in her vocabulary.

I ordered my copy of DAI but it's still not here.

Tracey Witt said...

JAXPOP we have a network designed to try to make the marketing of your books a less terrifying and more approachable matter. It's called Write Like You Mean It. The address is We're adding new content all the time. One of the big things we're going to be talking about after NaNoWriMo is free publicity for writers. Blog tours are one excellent method, but there are many more.

Carol J. Garvin said...

Dave, thanks for your encouragement. I'm an introvert from way back. Writing, whether as articles or blog posts, is easy to do in solitude. Granted, I did have to approach editors for magazine publication but most of that was via e-mail. It's the in-person stuff that turns my innards into Jello! I overcame it to run my own business and I know I'll eventually get there with the writing, too. I just keep procrastinating. I'll go check out Pat's marketingfloozy site right now.

JaxPop said...

Sage - Glad you enjoyed your visit. Check out Tracey's site too. Posted in the comments.

Joylene - The whole book promotion enchilada is much like learning to swim after diving from the stern of a cruise ship. Hard work for sure - you, Pat, Mark & Keith seem very diligent. I'm going to jump in with both feet before RECKLESS comes out.

Tracey - Very cool site - I'm going to check into it more. Maybe I'll add a link.

Carol - The in person stuff is no big deal. I get Deb to do it! I guess when you get down to it - if you can get attention, if your work appeals to an audience - it will do fine. Takes a lot of work. Maybe the effort is as much dictated by the writer's goals. You'll do fine - kick it up & notch & jump in. You've got lots of friends in 'dis bidness'.

HEY Y'ALL - Tomorrow Pat Bertram will return as a guest blogger. Her topic will be Hooking The Reader. Gotta check it out. DE

Anonymous said...

How strange to return and see that people have been talking about me. At least you are all saying such wonderful things! I hope I can live up to your idea of me.

Sagedarien, I'm glad you checked out Book Marketing Floozy. I am so impressed with the generosity of all the authors who contributed their expertise.

Speaking of which -- if anyone has an article about book promotion, please send it to me to post! I hope the Floozy blog will be a resource for all of us.

Joylene, I am sorry to hear you do not have your copy of DAI yet. You might still be the first to hold it in your hands. I don't think they shipped any until today.

Dave, I joined Tracey's network. And it must work! She followed me here.

Carol, one great thing about the internet -- no personal stuff. Or at least not face-to-face stuff. Though it does help. I've talked about writing, my books, publishing, so often on the internet, that I'm not hesitant to talk offline.

Dave, I am thrilled to be back on your blog tomorrow as a guest. Because of this discussion, I'll feel right at home. Thank you!

JaxPop said...

Pat - Enjoyed this go 'round & look forward to the guest gig. Hopefully we'll crank up some cool discussions. I'm going to tap into Tracey site & see how that works out. Gotta do my own prep work.