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the reality of fiction

so, okay, now that i’ve written and self-published a book, i can hardly sleep, because i’m all abuzz with everything that comes after. i’ve been planning on this self-publishing process for three and a half years, now, so i really should have been prepared for this. ‘this’, in this case, referring to the well-known fact that there appears to be at least as much work after writing a book, to get it out there, sold, etc., as there is in writing it. i’ll admit, this terrifies and discourages me, when i let it. which is hard to avoid, when i’m spending so much time lately on blogs and such trying to get info on how to best approach the self-published book promotion process, and keep running across article after article of first time and self-published reality.

now, to be fair, this was always going to be true, and i knew it intellectually; i just hadn’t internalized it, before, since i was so involved on just getting to this point. i’ve mentioned before, i think, the anti-climactic feeling of seeing my book in print, and my name on amazon, etc., knowing that just because i wrote it, doesn’t mean anyone will read it. but really, who wants to read about an author complaining that no-one has read his book? no-one.

so enough of that. i suppose i just wanted to get this out of my system. i’ve got a published book, i think it’s pretty damn good, and i’m going to do what i can to see if other people agree. so let’s start there:

today’s plan of attack (so far):

  1. kirkus discoveries review – i’ve printed out the application form and will send them two copies of my book and $400 to give me an impartial review. i’m putting a fair amount of expectation upon this particular step, as this is the first genuine ‘other’ to read the book, and would be my first ‘official’ review. we’ll see. anyway, it’s a concrete task which i can directly address and then move on and pretend not to wait on pins and needles for.
  2. cold calling, in person – contact my local bookstores and ask them to read a copy, see if they’d be willing to stock a few. this may be the hardest thing for me, not being much of a networker or self-promoter, even in my day job. never been a skill set. too bad, though, eh? just going to have to do it. i know of three independent stores, plus a couple big boxes at the mall. that’s my plan. today. (yipe!)
  3. online reviews – research some sites and submit for inclusion there. i’ve identified half a dozen already, so now i just need to follow through and send the queries.
  4. literary agent – write a query letter. this one was an unexpected discovery this morning. i’m not sure how realistic it is, but i’ll be trying, anyway. who knows, right?

i don’t know how realistic this all is, but the weekends are my only real time, and i can’t be dragging this out. my mental stability demands action. i can’t get all this way and not give the next part the same effort. that said, nothing’s going to happen overnight, but i’ll be damned if i don’t try.

wish me luck.

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