It is just less than a month until ‘The Storyteller’ is published. Four weeks from today I will be relaxing with friends post-launch. (If you haven’t had an invitation and you’re in London and you want one, then let me know. The more the merrier: Daunt, 31st May, 6.30pm.)
There’s still a chance of some reviews in major publications; we sent the book in; it’s on the piles on their desks. I’m still oddly hopeful and excited that this will happen. ‘Oddly’ because the probability is low. Once the new books by major authors, and the major books from big publishing houses have been reviewed, there remains little space for the debut literary novelist at an independent press.
In this context small personal activities matter, and my head is swimming with things I should do.
I should be pitching articles to national newspapers which will come out around publication day. Also to specialist journal, literary blogs and mental health blogs. I should be getting out more invitations, and following up with people who haven’t yet replied. I should be upping my own blog, FB and Twitter presences. (I may manage to do that.) I should be having my hair done, preparing an Oscar-style speech, choosing the perfect outfit, developing my ‘author myth’, learning to stand on my head, booking a one-way ticket to Timbuktu. (Some of those things, anyway.)
The problem is that there are books about this stuff. And blogs. And podcasts. There’s a crowd of ‘authors’ who make a good living telling other authors how to market their books. Their ideas are mostly sound. I cannot possibly act on them all.
I can do a bit of planning toward the launch date. After that I’ll have to be flexible in my response. My heart would love it to be an instant bestseller, recognised as the literary debut of the year. My head knows the chances of that are infinitesimally small.
I will do what I can.
Several of you have asked what you can do. If you’re that way inclined, here are some suggestions:
- Come to the launch and hear me read some of the book (the book is, after all, what it’s about). Have a nice drink in a beautiful location and meet some great people. Buy a copy. Get it signed.
- If you can’t make the launch, then buy from Amazon, on or just after 2nd June. The timing, if you can remember it, is important. Amazon sales ranks matter.
- Read it.
- If you like it, then write a short review on Amazon. (Integrity requires me to say that if you dislike it you may still review it. Though I’d prefer you not to.)
- Talk about it. Post on Facebook about it. Photograph the cover. (It’s a lovely cover.) Mention you’re going to the launch, mention you’re reading the novel, and that you’ve read it and loved it. Word of mouth is the main publicity mode.
- Finally, actively recommend it to a friend. Think who you’d know who would like it and let them know. Even better, buy them a copy. Point them towards my blog now if you think they’d like it. Then they too can be in wave 1.
If you all do all of that then the revolution will begin.
What we’re hoping for is a flurry of activity in the week after 2nd June, such that people start to notice it is there and it takes on some momentum of its own.
In the meantime I will do what I can and feel comfortable with, and know that that’s enough.
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