As many authors have indicated, writing the book is almost the easy part. Then comes the "business" part: getting it promoted and into readers' hands. After all, isn't that the point? We do want our work to be read. As a realtor once commented, "Are you listing to sell, or just listing?"
So an author might ask, " Did I write this for myself, or do I want readers?" It's a valid question. Many find pleasure in writing for themselves. That's an appropriate choice for them. Most, I would guess, want their work to find readers, or readers to find their work. That's becoming more and more difficult, given the state of the publishing industry today. One agent at a recent Writers' Conference indicated she probably receives a few thousand query letters from authors per year, and from those she will choose two to five books to promote to publishers. .Given those odds, many authors decide to self-publish, a choice which is gaining more and more acceptance and recognition.
With this choice comes the necessity of self-promotion, an activity most writers find difficult, if not abhorrent. Even those who have been fortunate enough to have found mainstream publishers, however, must do most of their promotions themselves. For the most part, gone are the days of busy book tours arranged by a publisher. These days, even those authors must actively seek speaking engagements and interviews in order to sell their books.
So, it took some courage, and a lot of deep breaths, to walk into two local stores and talk up my novel, Haunted Journey. In the second case, I had e-mailed the week before to pave the way but hadn't yet received a reply. I was very fortunate that both stores, Coles in Huntsville, ON, and Veranda Collection in Bracebridge, ON., agreed to shelve a few copies and see how sales go. I have already delivered a second small batch to Coles!
I'm also fortunate that it's the Christmas shopping season, and especially that my novel is of local interest because of its setting, or neither store would have considered it. .However, these two successes have given me the impetus needed to approach other businesses. It's helpful to be able to indicate that they are already on sale in these two stores.
I am also being requested to speak to some clubs, as well as libraries, and this is wonderful, too. I know I will not sell thousands of copies, this way, but I should cover all initial costs involved in producing and publishing my book, and that's very satisfying. Most importantly, the book is being read, and enjoyed, by hundreds of people, and that, along with the positive feedback I'm receiving, make me feel blessed and happy.