Having mixed with book people – writers, editors, agents, publishers, literary consultants and commentators – for three years before I published my first book, INCEPTIO, I knew it would be a slog to make it known to the reading public.
Amongst others, Catherine Ryan Howard’s excellent blog gave me wisdom, knowledge and tough love about self-publishing. I would point anybody considering the self-publishing/indie route to read her blogpost about promotion before even considering it.
Thus, I set about creating my social platforms – blog, Facebook, Twitter. Today, we have the huge privilege of being able to connect to the world to find not only top books, but also people we wouldn’t otherwise know. And yes, it has made INCEPTIO known to people. And yes, to garner some delightful book reviews.
But you know what? I fell in love with social media for its own sake. I have met warm, witty, insightful and generous people on every continent. They’ve led me to others, to places to I’d never have visited and experiences I would never have had. I’ve joined and contributed to groups, ezones and forums. And many of these virtual friends and acquaintances have bought my ebook. 😉
But I can’t deny the other twin – talking about your book and handing your beautiful paperback to live human beings, whether at a book launch where fifty-odd people have gathered, or a smaller group in book clubs, one-to-one at a village fête or book signing or even over lunch.
Sometimes independent authors have their books stocked in local bookshops, but often they need to be a little imaginative to get visibility, hence my participation in the Books on the Underground scheme. Now that was fun!
And after a while you can start giving back, telling others about your journey or what you have learned either through research or just hard work. I was delighted to explain about alternate history writing in the July edition of Writing Magazine (preview at left) and I’ll be contributing as a panel member at the Nine Worlds conference in August. And INCEPTIO will come with me…
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