You wrote a book! …now what?!

Every 12 seconds, a new book is published (and 80% of statistics are made up on the spot). To be slightly outdated, but more accurate, in 2012 Bowker reported that there were 3,500 books published every day in the USA alone, and this figure doesn’t even include e-books. (I don’t math, so feel free to calculate the per-second volume in your own time!) Simply put: There is a ton of competition in the book marketplace. How can a new writer stand out with all this noise?

 

Is she your audience?

Is she your audience?

1) Define your audience. And no, your audience isn’t everyone from age zero-65, male & female. Get Stats Canada up in here and define your audience avatar: age, occupation, likes, dislikes, income, reading habits, preferred reading format (blogs, e-books, zines, print books). If you haven’t nailed your audience down this specifically, then your book will be, at best, a teardrop in the ocean. Everyone does NOT want to read your book – but someone does, so figure out who that someone is and go after them with a targeted approach: your marketing plan.

2) Get all Benjamin Franklin up in here! Old men (and women!) are always saying wise things like, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Your marketing plan should include pre-publication, launch, and post-publication activities. (If you just said, “Pffft! Marketing plan?! I don’t need no stinkin’ marketing plan!”, please take a moment to envision yourself taking all the money you spent on the creation of your book, putting it in a pile, and lighting it on fire.) Continue reading

It’s not me, it’s you: Shepherdian logic

A few years ago, Internet was snarking at novelist Lynn Shepherd as her featured Huffington Post blog titled, “If JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It” masw the rounds. I wrote this in reaction.

The gist of her argument is this:

“…this is my plea to JK Rowling. Remember what it was like when The Cuckoo’s Calling had only sold a few boxes and think about those of us who are stuck there, because we can’t wave a wand and turn our books into overnight bestsellers merely by saying the magic word… But it’s time to give other writers, and other writing, room to breathe.”

Everyone loves a good underdog story, right? Imagine how much better they’d be if there were no top dogs! The pool of underdogs would shrink as each competitor succeeded and then left the arena – everyone would be given the chance to win! Gold medals and awards for everyone because LIFE IS PERFECT & FAIR, & PERFECTLY FAIR!

*sigh*

I gnash my teeth as I imagine how dull, and freakin’ AWFUL the literary landscape would be if prolific writers like Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and William Shakespeare put away their typewriters (and quills) after one successful book to make room for works like this.

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