Thursday, August 06, 2015

Summer, in a Nutshell

Book Promotion

It can be time-consuming and costly. But book promotion is also exhilarating, and summer 2015 has been all of the above.

My 2007 Honda Pilot and I bonded.

I drove over 1,500 miles, sold two cases of books out of my trunk, sold many others at bookstore events, and met countless new friends. I did library talks eight hours north, in Aroostook County, Maine, signed at a street festival, and appeared on the Cold River Radio Show, a live radio variety show, filmed and recorded in front of 200 or so patrons.

@ Turner Memorial Library in Presque Isle, ME
When I first started out, a writer told me, "No one can promote a book better than its author." Publicists probably disagree. And I know this doesn't apply to every writer. (I once went to see one of my favorite poets read and was horrified when he leaned on his elbow and mumbled into his palm for an hour.) But if you genuinely enjoy meeting people and discussing writing and your own work (and I know many writers do not like doing this), it can enable readers to put a face to your book and series.

There were many highlights. Some were professional (cracking the top 75 on Amazon's Kindle list), and others were personal (visiting Aroostook County always feels like going home, and although I live in western Massachusetts now, many of my closest friends still reside there).

If you're interested in learning about the anti-book tour, check out J.A. Konrath's post on his blog. Konrath promotes his work better than most of us. Much better!

Social Media

One thing I accomplished this summer, was a separation of my personal social media sites from my professional ones. This was important to do for many reasons. Among them, I want to do a better job using Facebook and Twitter to interact with readers, and that's tough to do when grandparents (rightfully) request photos of their granddaughters on my Facebook page.


And, of course, I've been writing a lot this summer. I finished Destiny's Pawns (2016), and, as mentioned previously, I'm experimenting with a screenplay. Never thought I'd enjoy writing one, but I'm loving the constraints of the form.

The challenges and demands of brevity might keep me coming back. I recently described it to a friend like this, "You're trying to summarize a character in 15 words. If I can find a metaphor to do it, I can save 20 words."

The first thing I ever published was a poem, and this form is taking me back to those roots. I'd recommend trying to write a screenplay to any fiction writer. Here's the industry-standard software. (Warning: The computer software is NOT cheap, but the tablet app is.)

That's my summer. Now onto the fall!

1 comment:

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

John, I'm impressed with how productive you've been this summer. Somehow I've gotten from late May to early August, and I'm still working my to-do list. Maybe I should have taken to the road on a book tour :)