Dear John (or Jane) Q. Public,
No hard feelings, okay?
I mean, sure, I expected a run on Amanda’s Eyes the minute the book hit Amazon. It is, after all, a pip, not to mention a labor of love, blood, sweat, and tears. On top of all that, Tatiana Vila designed a killer cover. Kil-ler.
I even dared to imagine a subdued “Huzzah!” in honor of my indie debut. (Think: modest buzz.)
Hey, I’m a novelist, remember? Fantasies are my business.
But I can do reality. Seriously, I can. Watch, I’ll prove it.
Amanda’s Eyes hit Amazon the way a raindrop hits the ocean—soundlessly. And like a raindrop, the novel was quickly swallowed up, despite the fact that I had trumpeted its publication to almost 400 Facebook friends, a handful of Twitter followers, and a gaggle of unsuspecting coworkers. Vast audience like that, and the title just drops out of sight? Hard to believe, right?
Can you say, Reality check?
But, you know, experience being the best teacher—not the nicest, but definitely the best—I learned a thing or two. Like, I’m in this for the long haul. Like, I need to keep plugging away at the marketing. Get reviews. Get mentions. Get tweeted. Do guest spots on blogs. Stuff like that. (We introverted authors just love that kind of exposure, don’t we?)
Putting the novel out there was akin to laying the foundation. Now I’ve gotta build a business on top of it, brick by brick. If I do it right, maybe the next novel will make at least a small splash.
- How to market myself and write at the same time, so there will be a next novel.
- Finding cost-effective (read: free) ways to market myself.
- Building my Twitter and Facebook followings. (Happily, this process is well underway. My Twitter followers have increased three-fold in the past two weeks. By magic, apparently.)
- Getting those reviews, even if it means giving the book away. Reviews drive sales. Period. But they’re not as easy to get as you might think. Good reviewers with blogs and big followings have wait lists as long as your arm.
What it all boils down to is, nothing will happen quickly. Well, not unless John Grisham or J.K. Rowling or President Obama or Oprah decides to read Amanda’s Eyes. You know, if one of them wrote me a rave review, I would be made in the shade, baby.
So, Mr. and Ms. Public, message received. Expectations adjusted appropriately.
Now go buy the darned book.