As most of you know, my debut novel, Jack will be coming out from Musa Publishing in September.
Of course, I would like roughly a gazillion copies to sell in the first month, so I can rocket to the top of novelist glory in record time. To that end, I have been reading all about book marketing.
Trouble is, I find it hard to believe that many of the things “They” say you should do to “promote” your book would actually amount to many sales. Book sales seem to me to be almost a matter of sheer luck. Being a best-selling writer strikes me as about as likely as winning the lottery. Like the lottery, you only hear news stories about the ones who make it, and not the (roughly gazillion) ones who flop.
So, what’s a debut novelist to do? Well…I asked myself, “why do YOU buy a book, Shannon?” To which I responded, “Well, Shannon, I buy a book because I’ve already read a book by the person who wrote it and I liked that previous book.”
That’s almost the only reason I ever buy a new novel. Very occasionally I take a plunge on a new writer, or I follow a recommendation from a friend. But I do not tend to buy a book because I like a person’s blog, her tweets, am her Facebook friend or saw an awesome “trailer” for her novel.
I blog, I tweet, I am on Facebook and I plan to make a book trailer. Because…why the heck not? But when it comes to the factor that leads me to buy a book, I’m at a loss. This will be my first book, so no one is going to be buying it based on having read and liked my others, right?
I hemmed and hawed about this conundrum for a while and finally decided, oh what the heck, give ‘em a book. You see, I wrote two books before selling my third one. So I picked the better of those two and am publishing it scene-by-scene via a new project I’m calling the “Story Sea.”
I am also hiring Astrid Lydia Johannsen to make fabulous avatars for some of the characters in the story, one at a time, as donations (yes! you can donate!) to the site trickle in.
Putting this up is a gamble of course. You might hate it and then NEVER buy one of my books in the future. But maybe you’ll love it and buy them all! Or you know, something in between. But at any rate, here it is, risk-free (to you):
Eden Smith was not a boy. But anyone who happened past Harvard Square would not have known this to see her standing there in a boy’s suit, squinting at her watch and running a nervous hand through her neat, short hair. Since coming East, Eden had found that no one expected to see a girl in boys’ clothes, so no one really saw her when she wore them. What they saw was just another Harvard student roaming Cambridge. MORE