In this blog post one of our long-time authors talks about how she has dealt with her own emotions and personality in regards to publishing and selling her book at book signings and other events.
Marthy Johnson has two books with us. Write & Wrong, A Writer’s Desk Reference, now in its 6th edition. Her first novel, Break Point Down: Game Over, the story of a tennis pro who must use everything he’s learned in the game, in order to become a man.
The idea of publication froze me with fear. Finally I understood that no one was the better for my not sharing myself. It was selfish and self-indulgent. If you get hurt a few times—deal with it. You’re not the first person who’s felt rejection, ridicule, or indifference, and it’s not a world-class tragedy. You shake it off, use it if you can, throw it out if you can’t.
Today’s there’s no safe hiding behind a pen name while the publisher takes care of the book forevermore. Your entrepreneurial innocence will be torn into shreds. Nothing prepared me for the anguish of going out and finding a way to launch this newborn book, facing demons in the form of potential readers, family members, critics, people who look at the book and never open it, or worse, open it and put it back.
For me, marketing is difficult and frustrating. It doesn’t come naturally to everybody. To some, it doesn’t come at all. It has to be chased and lassoed and tamed and civilized.
Evan said I needed a power statement for my book. I worked and worked on it. I can tell you it should be provocative, but short, informative but veiled enough to arouse curiosity. Don’t tell them how your book ends.
And tablecloths! How many times has Evan told me about tablecloths. When I forgot mine at a Costco signing, Evan borrowed a fluffy little throw rug for my table. Another time my granddaughter brought me one of hers; a horrible pea green color, but it dressed up the table.
Just one of many things I’m learning as I learn to sell my novel. That’s the way it works in the 21st century—writers do a lot of the marketing.—Marthy Johnson, in Becoming a Published Author.
The Hobbit’s title character and protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, said it best, “Not every adventure is a pony ride in the May sunshine.” There’s hard work involved, and part of that is learning to sell your book. Not everyone is born with this skill. So we do some helping out. Even if we have to bring an extra tablecloth to book signings, in case Marthy’s forgotten hers.
Read more stories from our authors in Becoming a Published Author, the Agony and Ecstasy of Writing a Book, available through our Web site or on Amazon.
Keep in touch,
Evan Swensen, Publisher
Publishing the works of authors worldwide!
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