We now have it nearly formatted properly, and have yet another proof copy in my hands. I’m petting the soft cover that has the picture I took. I have a dear friend that knows a lot about formatting so I took it to her to read.
Her first words were, “So what’s your marketing plan?”
“Yeah, like go to the stores in town that sell books and tell them you’re a local author and have this book to sell.”
“You mean like actually talk to people?”
“Human type? Not squirrels or bears?”
She nodded again.
“I write because that is my best form of communication. You know, like in The Big Band Theory, Raj’s girlfriend? That’s me.”
She laughed. “No, go in to the store manager and talk to him.”
“What do I say? What do I wear? When do I write? I’m not a salesman… er woman.”
“You will be. All authors have to be in sales these days.”
She’s right; publishing is changing so fast right now that no one knows what to do. Forty years ago, authors typed a perfect copy of their story on a typewriter, and then sent it to a publisher and they said publish or no.
Ten years ago, many publishers said that an author needed an agent, someone who had read the story first and weeded out all the terrible manuscripts. Agents became gateways to publishing and held a lot of power. At that time, self-publishing was a dirty word.
The computer changed all that. Writing perfect manuscripts became a lot less difficult, or so people thought. You can write anything on a computer and it fixes your mistakes. Suddenly everyone had a story to tell.
Now, with the advent of digital formats, and the availability of such, authors can write anything and publish. Publishers are working to stay in business, agents are changing how they do business, digital publishers are having a field day, and writers are not sure what to do.
No matter what a writer does, he/she has to sell his work. That means selling to the public with book signings, newspaper articles, and public appearances. There is no place for the shy or recluse as a new writer.
So now I have to get my one or two sentence sales pitch ready, memorize it and have it ready to deliver. Then I have trade my blue jeans and flannel shirt for some real woman clothes, and go out and beat the pavement.
Maybe I’ll get one of my children that are more gregarious to be the face of my authorship. Would it work? They could sign their way around the country selling my book and meeting my public, and I could stay home and write. I'll pick my cutest young daughter. You’ll never know what I really look like.