Never Stop Asking for a Story:my take on the promotional trail

Writing and or illustrating it is the fun part of making a book. Marketing it is less enchanting even if one is a fantasy author. There are no magical solutions to arriving in the top ten on the best seller list. Many excellent writers are never read. If a writer is using a small or indie press, the plus side of that is the author has much more back and forth dialogue and control of things such as artwork and design. On the other hand being picked up by an agent and then a big house appears to most folks as the true pinnacle of success.

QUoting YA fantasy author with Scholastic Diana Zimmerman author of “Kandide,”
ever year 300,000 good books fall by the wayside into obscurity due to lack of exposure.” On Amazon.com are 3, 000.000 books.How to stay visible becomes the ultimate question, long enough to reach a table at one of the big book fairs to then be noticed and picked up by a bigger house.

There are countless hours without pay that an author labors away on social networking, blogging, emailing groups, make short films to post on youtube, advertising, finding links to link with, networking with fellow writers and artists, and ever in search of more public reading opportunities to read from your works, sign books and greet fans.
If you ve ever gotten a bargain book, or gone into Barnes and Noble to the bargain tables, how quickly does a book fall from the best seller list to the obscurity of the bargain table. And let’s take Barnes and Noble as a whole separate topic. In order to have a reading or an art exhibit at a Barnes and Noble you must have a book on their shelves. They are very particular about which books they choose. Once on the bargain table, what size royalties do you imagine the author is receiving? Even James PAtterson has bargain table books. Why do you think authors like him or Dean Koontz are so prolific? Because you have to keep making new product, fresh product to stay current.
At this point I have to ask “Why then, would anyone want to become a writer?”
Why not cheat, as it were, in these days of massive self publishing of the vanity route that so dismayed John-Boy Walton back in the day? When I was in school writing my first poems, I was taught never to fall for a vanity publisher. MAkes perfect sense for an older person who wants to leave his memoirs to his family.
So it remains the formula of query letter, sample chapters sent to an agent of your genre and waiting. Lots of rejections.
I decided since my mother is frail and elderly and I wanted to go with a small publisher for Book 1 of my series of “The Complete Tales from the Edge of the Woods.” That way, was I lucky enough to find a small publisher who would pick my book up, she’ d be able to participate. It has only been a week or so since the book debuted, but I continually sell out of copies and more invitations for readings appear in my in-box and reviews post on Amazon.com. My mother is in a rehab facility due to a bad fall. Her copy lies constantly on her night stand. Any and everyone who has entered her room hears that her daughter wrote and published this book. I ve sold quite a few there.
One of my mottos or credos is to help other writers. Writers help each other. I am finding, like karma, when I do reach out to someone and it is successful for them, often it comes back to me successfully furthering my path as well.
It is fabulous to read to a standing room only crowd. It is marvelous to win prizes for excellence in writing. It is amazing to walk into someone’s house and see a copy of your book lying on their bed. It is wondrous when someone shyly asks you to sign the book to someone special and to say this or that.
We write because we can ‘t help it. I certainly can’t stop. Its what I do. It is a small percent magic and the vastly larger percent sweat, swearing, and determination. One of my poetry publishers, has a title of his own work “Never Stop Asking for Poems.”
I say never stop asking for someone to tell you a story.

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4 Responses to “Never Stop Asking for a Story:my take on the promotional trail”

  1. clare willson Says:

    Very well expressed Rachael! A hard slog, but the rewards are as magical as the book!

  2. clover58 Says:

    Reblogged this on Clover's pages.

  3. Hazel Says:

    Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was
    just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

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