This is not one of my stronger skills. Not that I wouldn’t be glad to spend all afternoon telling you how incredibly great I am, but I usually don’t ask you for money to listen to me talk. But that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do for the last couple of months: To get people – friends, even – to spend their hard-earned rubles to buy my book. And then I’m asking them to sacrifice many hours of their time to reading the damn thing.
This definitely is not something I’m good at.
I wrote Gilman over the course of a couple of years, after having spent many more years before that thinking about it. Then I spent eight years or so thinking about publishing it. Last June, I published it as a Kindle ebook. Last month it went up as a real live paper-and-ink book. Last weekend I put it on Goodreads. Yesterday, it went up on Barnes and Noble as a Nook ebook. And, later today – just maybe – it will go up on Kobo. Eventually, I will probably stick it up on Smashwords, where it will become available for Sony and Apple and some other readers.
I tell you all this for two reasons: (1) This is a lot of work and (2) it’s a great excuse not to be writing on the new novel today – I’m just too darn busy.
No, that’s not really why I told you that. Yes, doing the conversions and editing and crap is hard work, although not nearly as hard as writing it in the first place. But none of that really compares to how difficult it is for me to market the book.
I really don’t like that part. To start a marketing campaign from scratch, the only real thing you can do is bug your friends and family until they get so sick and tired of hearing from you about it that they buy the book. And then you hope that they will tell enough of their friends about it and, between your friends and the friends of your friends, enough books get sold to make it visible enough on Amazon or B&N or Goodreads to attract people who you and your friends (and their friends) don’t know. That’s marketing, at least self-marketing.
So I’ve been email-bombing my friends and family. And I’m planning to do it again in the next few days.
Have I made any progress? Well, after I put the book up on Goodreads, five people – none of who I know – shelved the book as To Read – which means that at some point in the future they might buy a copy. Then, this morning, I got a rush reading a review on Amazon that may have been written by one of those people; the one’s I don’t know, that is.