Back in the Saddle
Hi! I’m sorry for the 10-day hiatus in posts. My expectations for the early days of recovery were a little out of line with reality. I wish you could have seen the amount of work I took with me to the hospital. Pretty hysterical upon retrospect. The mini would have been sufficient since that little thing really did keep me connected.
This blog is all about the publishing Journey launched through my post on November 4, 2009, though, so I want to get back to that mission rather than chronicling the details of my surgery and reconstruction. However, if anyone out there is facing a similar health situation and would like to talk, ask questions, or share stories and support with me, please let me know. We can have those conversations separately.
Also, I’m keeping a journal of the experience, starting with the date of the diagnosis (April 1, 2010), and I’ll publish that journal on my www.FiledBy.com and www.Scribd.com sites once the process is complete (before the end of the year).
Update–Publishing Status for Separation of Faith
The novel is now in the design phase at the publisher. This is where the cover will come to life and the manuscript will become a book, and this is where I’m happy that I’ve chosen this particular avenue in the alternative publishing arena.
Full-blown self-publishers take on the responsibility of this design phase themselves, and I admire those who take that approach. But I’ve chosen www.iUniverse.com (a “supported self-publishing” company), where professionals who are skilled in the techical aspects of design and production take over these elements. Of course, there’s a trade-off. Full self-publishers keep more of the book’s eventual proceeds, but they still bear all of the expenses, marketing and promotional responsibilities, etc., in addition to figuring out how to produce, print, warehouse, and distribute a quality book that can compete on the same playing field with traditional publishing releases. And that is no easy task.
If you’re at the point where you’re exploring alternataive versus traditional publishing, I invite you to visit the iUniverse Web site (www.iUniverse.com). At a minimum, that one site will give you an in-depth overview of what’s involved with the publishing process, which might prove useful as you decide how you want to proceed with your book.
The mission of this blog is to prove the following: If I produce a high quality, well-written, meticulously (and professionally) edited novel, and then if I sell the heck of that novel in the first six months after release, I’ll attract the attention of someone in the traditional publishing business years faster than if I go the traditional route, starting with the query process. (You can read about the inspiration behind the mission, as well as many incredibly fascinating publishing statistics, etc., in my blog launch posting on November 4, 2009.)
Each step of this publishing Journey will be tracked through this blog. If my experiment works, we’ll all know why and how. And if things go the other way, we’ll be able to figure that out too–together.
Marketing/Promotion Plan–Separation of Faith
This will be where my life will become planted for the foreseeable future. Because Separation of Faith has already earned the Editor’s Choice designation (all the steps to achieve that honor have been chronicled in earlier posts), I’m now eligible for something called the Rising Star Program. Acceptance into this program means that Separation of Faith will be presented by a commissioned sales force to national, regional, and local booksellers.
But acceptance into the program requires my outlining every detail of my marketing plan, beginning with pre-release activities such as approaching editors, authors, reporters, media hosts, bloggers, celebrities, etc. for endorsement quotes and other testimonials. And the work I’ve already done on establishing a social media presence will be an important element as well. The Rising Star Application needs to be completed by May 27 (they gave me an extension due to my surgery), and there’s a ton of work involved. Some of the application’s questions involve detail about the promotional events I’ll be scheduling right after release–and in order to answer those questions, I’ll need more definitive information from iUniverse about when the book will be released. Just saying “June 2010” won’t be enough anymore.
As I complete the application, I will post the details of the Marketing Plan in this blog for all of you to share, and your input and comments will be of great value.
This process might prove useful to those of you who have finished writing your book and are ready to pursue the publishing process, whether that might be via traditional or alternative routes. Keep in mind that no matter how we publish our books these days, the marketing and promotional efforts all fall on us–the authors. Traditional publishing houses no longer have marketing and promotional budgets for us, unless we’re celebrities or already have a bestselling book. That’s a hard bite to swallow, but a reality we need to accept. So hopefully my Journey will help you too, as we see what happens between the release of Separation of Faith and the end of the year. Some of my efforts will produce book sales, and others will not. And we’ll figure out why for each.
More Legitimacy Added to My Journey’s Plan
In case you haven’t already run across this article on other social media sites, I encourage you to read “Author Unbound–How the Digital Age is Making Self-Publishing Respectable,” published in the New York Times Magazine on May 2, 2010 ( http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/magazine/02FOB-medium-t.html).
That Old “Platform” Thing Again
Having a distinct and well articulated “platform” has become mandatory for any writer who is trying to get published. But as I’ve mentioned in several posts, this is an area where I’ve struggled.
If you’re writing non-fiction, there’s an easier connection to what you’re writing about and the qualifications/platform that attach credibility to you for your particular subject matter. But if you’re writing novels, coming up with a platform is more challenging.
Nonetheless, my platform has finally come into focus. My life has always been about pursuing dreams and accomplishing the impossible (even though I’ve missed the mark on a number of occasions). And then, after first becoming a cancer survivor in 1987, I began reinventing myself from the corporate marketing career woman I’d become into the writer/author/freelance editor I am now, the latter being my passion since I was a young girl. My public speaking of late (see earlier post on my first paid gig) has been on the subject of “Reinventing Yourself at Any Age.”
Combining all of this, my platform has emerged into “The Power and Possibilities behind Personal Reinvention.” My life is a testimony to this subject, and I am, indeed, an expert. Plus, I seem to have some measure of writing talent that has now produced two novels, which are direct products of my own reinvention. And within those novels is a common thread/theme of survival, the pursuit of dreams, and the importance of harnessing the passion in each of us.
I’m just beginning to come up with all verbiage that needs to accompany the platform. But getting this far is a huge relief!
Have a Great Weekend!
I promise to post again early next week with some details on my marketing/promotional plans for Separation of Faith–just as soon as I think of them … 🙂