Well, we finally did it. Over today's March Madness games, we took a list of area libraries, 80 copies of a cover letter, copies of PDF's of the PR statement about John's book, and copies of a flyer, addressed envelopes, stamped them, folded the copies inside and sealed the envelope. About 2 hours of work between 2 of us, but soon about 74 area libraries will receive information on the book and a petition to add the book to their libraries and possible contact John about speaking engagements. We'll be watching Amazon numbers to see if there is an increase in sales and seeing how else this latest effort may pan out.
So! The library mailings are on again! John's book received a boost in sales after being listed as bestseller on his publishing company's website for the 2nd month in a row.
This weekend, on the strength of this new information, we are going to stuff envelopes for libraries, asking them to purchase the book for their collections. This is something we meant to do weeks ago, but which got derailed after other commitments prevented us, and I also had a crisis of faith in the whole self-publishing/traditional publishing industries.
So, the journey continues. We'll see what effects the mailings do. Then, on to more query letters, contests, conferences, etc. :)
The Local Author talk at the Book Cellar went well, though the group was a bit mixed. John presented with 2 authors, and one wrote on Buddhism, which meant that many questions during the Q & A had to do with Buddhism questions, rather than writing questions, though he did garner a lot of interest in the action-oriented passages of his book and their adaptability for film. I wonder if this is a common dilemma for writers on panels when they are not perfectly grouped with other authors (topically).
On a secondary note, we have been successful in beginning to get his book reviewed through some online reviewers for POD or self-published books. For those looking respectable online reviewers of self-published books, here are some that I found:
Tonight I'm very excited because John has a reading in Chicago at the Book Cellar for Local Authors. We'll see how the turnout is! Has anyone else done a book reading at a local store? How was the experience?
Dealing with frustration lately with your writing, the state of publishing, or the hope of getting your writing published? Check out this great blog by literary agent Nathan Bradsford. It's encouraging and helpful- you're not alone!
So, the latest thing I'm interested in learning about writing is the question of selling foreign rights for self-published books. Has anyone gone about doing it before or have any advice/ agent names to contribute? Post a comment!
I read an interesting study today that got at one reason why people may blog. Cited in a fabulous nonfiction book called Anticancer: a new way of lifeby David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, a study by Dr. Keith Petrie and colleagues from the University of Auckland in New Zealand showed that that "the simple fact of writing down the most difficult events of one's life over four consecutive days increases the capacity of the immune system to make antibodies in reaction to a hepatitis vaccine" (Servan-Schreiber 159).
Of course, the wasn't about hepatitis and neither is this entry- but it is about the idea that writing about one's stresses or life events can increase the efficiency of the immune system. Getting stresses out can help. I hadn't written in a diary for decades before I began this blog, and I had never blogged. But this new journey into the world of publishing was stressful for me, and I began to think that blogging might help relieve some of that stress. I am sure this is one reason and benefit for a number of bloggers out there- particularly JA Konrath's Venting blog! :) (see this link in My Blogs List)
Today we got another rejection letter, but I will say that this one stood out from the rest. It was from an agent who had loved what she saw, but her agency was divided on the manuscript and needed unanimous approval to take on a new client. Nonetheless, she took the time to explain it and point out what she thought were two of the novel's positive points- the likable protagonist and the smooth prose. I'm trying to focus on that for encouragement for future possibilities. :)
Today has been a great "writing" day. John spoke with a publicist who recognized his affable nature. Hopefully, something positive will come of it, but either way at least he got to have a pleasant conversation with a 3rd party about his book and background.
I would also encourage viewers to check out Brian Crawford's other postings on The Leaf Blower, which is his blog. He has an interesting writing background, and I know I will enjoy following his journey as a writer.
Today I'm home from work. John is writing his sequel. This morning he wrote back to a young writer who had written to inquire about venturing forth into the world of writing after college. I wrote back to a literary publicist I had contacted. I also reviewed an estimate that Book Masters had sent me and continued to mull over the costs and benefits of using Book Masters over other self-publishing houses. Later I received another polite rejection letter from an agent.
Doing this work without seeing any immediate payoff, always thinking about costs, and wondering if an agent will ever consider his work can be a massive headache. I feel the muscles in my face taut with tension. But I keep telling myself to be patient. There isn't a deadline for success looming over us. I've always known that success (I should say 'Big Success' since we already have had quite a bit of success) in writing is a long, long process, but it's easy to forget when you're putting so much work into it on a daily basis. I'm glad that John has me to work on the marketing and querying, etc. for the book, while he writes his books, because I can see how having to handle all of it on one's own would be a killer for the creative work of writing- the actual work that a writer wants to be doing. Kudos to all of you writers who are doing all of it or almost all of it on your own.
So, tonight the S.O. (we'll call him John) and I were supposed to stuff envelopes to send to libraries. The envelopes were going to contain a recent press release about how his book had been a top seller for his publisher, AuthorHouse, give a bit of a background on him, and ask them to buy the book for their library. However, we both had busy days, did a lot of other work, and now it looks like that mailing isn't going to happen. We're putting it off until tomorrow. Hopefully, it will happen tomorrow- this is the difficulty when you're doing all the marketing, selling, and writing on your own- doing it in the middle of your real life, especially when there is no pay.
In the meantime, I found out that my entry of John's book into the New York Book Festival was received, and I was notified of other contests taking place for self-published books. See the links below if you, too, are interested in them.