I've Published My Book... Why am I Not a Bestseller, Already?
"I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career, that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” ~ Harper LeeI won't lie, I honestly thought when I finished, published, and made my novel available for sale on Amazon; I would immediately become a bestselling author. Okay, maybe not immediately, but I didn't think the before and after publishing feeling would be the same. I worked for four years on my first novel and it's really freaking amazing! But how in the hell are people supposed to find my book, read my book, and tell all of their friends about my book if it's only one of two-million new romance novels released in a month? I didn’t just write, edit, and publish my book; no, I research and followed the advice of all the "Before you self-publish, do these 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 things to build your audience" blogs. What did these guru blogs have to say about building my author platform and creating a buzz about my forthcoming book? Not a lot, really. I chose the three most popular pieces of advice to build my author platform before publishing my Southern Gothic romance novel. All of the advice seemed obvious to me, but hey! What do I know? If you haven’t published, yet… let me save you from searching and reading one million blogs. The Write Life Social media: Pick two social channels That’s right: only two. Set up a profile on each and post once a day. For most writers, I recommend choosing Facebook and Twitter, but if you’re into other channels or options, give them a shot. If you’re writing something that lends itself to images, join Pinterest. If your work lends itself to video, do YouTube. Experiment to find a social media channel that works for you and your writing. The Writing Cooperative BLOG!! I cannot stress this enough. Agents who receive your query will Google you. If you maintain a blog — on any topic — they will read a few posts Writer's Digest Network at Industry Events: Try hosting a book signing or putting your title on display at book fairs and other events. By giving yourself the opportunity to get your book circulating and to interact directly with new readers, you can start to gather a network of fans. In an effort to comfort and ease the pain of knowing my indie-romance-novel didn't debut at #1 on every bestselling list; I did what any great writer would do... downloaded five of the dirtiest romance novels on my Kindle and stayed in bed for a couple days. I knew I couldn't stay there; however, so I got up and got back to work. Social media posting, blogging, and scheduling networking opportunities. Even after I continued to bow down to the author platform gods and goddesses, I was still kinda pissed about my book's underwhelming release. So, I decided to reach out to writers who have managed to reach the unicorn-level of bestselling author in the oversaturated market of romance novels and ask advice and well; to bitch and moan about the injustice of it all. I didn’t expecting any of the authors to whom I directed my frustrated tweet to actually respond, but almost immediately; I received a 5-part-tweet from New York best-selling, Steampunk Romance author, Meljean Brook. I have to share the thread because she was so kind and generous with her response.
We end up getting not our foot in the door, but our toe. And not even the whole toe, but the toenail. Which again, sucks. ~Meljean Brook
Truer words have never been tweeted. Meljean gave honest, practical and sound advice for a budding writer. She didn't have to take time away from her busy or relaxing or doing-nothing-but-sitting-on-her-ass-summer day to respond to my twant (twitter rant), but I'm so humbled and happy she did.This is the advice I'll be following because it makes sense and it obviously works.