Thursday, 28 February 2013

I, the Publisher (or - How long is a piece of string?) - an inconclusive post.

Geoffrey finally got to grips with

If you think writing a book is quite time consuming, consider this question.


And the answer is … *drum roll* … (answers on a postcard please.)

You might as well ask the question - How long is a piece of string? Because there is no answer. It depends. It depends on how long you want it to be.

If you are new to publishing your own books, you will probably already have factored in some time for:

1. Editing - crossing the ‘I’s and dotting the ‘T’s as it were. Enough said.
2. Cover design - making sure your book gets the cover is deserves.
3. Formatting - every platform you publish on seems to have different formatting requirements.  Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, et al, are one thing; yer actual real books, like, paperbacks, are another.

But all these activities are finite. When they’re done they’re done. Time to make a cup of tea, put your feet up and relax. 

With the easy bit out of the way, it’s time to turn your attention to answering the following questions.

1. Who is going to buy your book?
2. How will they know you've written it?
3. Why would they choose you over Fred Bloggs?

The answers to all three questions can be found in that piece of string called Publicity & Marketing. And know this: time spent on P&M is less quantifiable. P&M can be likened to housework, painting the fourth bridge, working towards world peace. YOU WILL NEVER GET IT DONE. There will always be something more you can do. And once you've done it, you need to do it all over again.

Whether it’s time spent...
  • Visiting (schools, prisons, mental homes, libraries, bookshops, literary conventions etc)
  • Blogging (your blog or someone else’s),
  • Doing interviews (local papers, national papers, radio, TV),
  • Tweeting
  • Facebooking
  • Getting read on goodreads
  • Organising book parties
  • Book signings
  • Setting up a website
  • Updating social media
  • Getting reviews
  • Running competitions
... Or a whole lot of other stuff I haven’t even thought about yet; you need a very long piece of string.

I am but a new born in the world of publishing. I've done some of these things and I plan to do others. But I’m going to admit now, being a writer is one heck of a lot more straightforward than being a publisher.)  If you've got any sure fire ways of reaching your 10-14 year old audience, please feel free to share your ideas! 

BRING ME SUNSHINE - Short listed for the Mslexia Children's Prize 2012, now available in paperback via my own website, Amazon UK, Amazon US, The Book Depository and others.