Jumping through Hoops

July 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm

The modern writer has plenty of hoops to jump through if they want their novel to be successful. Writing it is the easy part. After that there’s editing, both by yourself and by someone else (preferably a professional editor). Then, once your book has been accepted for publication, there’s all the preparations, rewrites, adjustments, etc.

Then there’s promotions. Even if your book is being published traditionally (i.e. by a publisher who pays the costs upfront and pays you royalties on sales) it’s a good idea to be actively promoting. These days, that includes activity on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and writing blogs (like this one!), doing you best to get your name out there by visiting schools, book clubs and writing groups, bookstores … and just about anything you can think of!

It can be exhausting, especially for someone like me who likes the writing part, but not particularly the self promotion. But is there another way to do it? Not really. It’s something you have to do if you want people to find out about your book. If anyone knows of a different way to go about it, please let me know. I’d love to hear it!

If you’re lucky enough to get famous, then you probably won’t need to bother with all that stuff anymore, because your books will sell without all that. The recent discovery of a book by JK Rowling is a classic example. She wrote a book under the pseudonym Roger Galbraith. It sold about 1500 copies (which is good for an unknown). Then someone let slip that Roger Galbraith was JK Rowling in disguise and the book sold 500,000 copies practically overnight.

This kind of story is frustrating for someone like me, who struggles at the bottom of the pond jumping through all the hoops to try and attract a bit of attention. The urge to give up can be overwhelming some days, but I have to write. I can’t not do it. And if I’ve written something and I think it’s good, maybe someone else will like it too. So I’ll keep trying to get my stuff out there, come hell or high water!


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