Now, dear reader, I have wandered into something of a nightmare.
I have been reading, really an inordinate amount, about marketing.
My word, there’s a lot to it. I have nothing even resembling a newsletter, but apparently, I need one of them. I don’t have a website. I should definitely have one of those. I should be doing free giveaways. I feel like I should be walking the streets, carrying a bell and calling out “Unclean!”
On the positive side, I now have a firmer grasp on how to sell my book. In addition to all this advertising whatnot, I have also sourced a cover artist, an editor (more on her later), someone to do my headshots because those are vitally important, apparently, and I was within inches of having someone to write my blurb for me, except she’s had some bad experiences with people not paying her promptly, or indeed at all, and she’s given it up. Plus, I am almost certain I have found some ARC readers in the form of two nearby Book Clubs, some of whom I have drunk and sympathised with.
The editor, very conveniently, lives in the same village as me. I had mistaken her for a proofreader but, such is the joy of social media – I did a little Facebook stalking and discovered that she does developmental editing as well.
That’s another thing: there are several different types of editing, each with a different price and time scale, so it is vitally important to know which sort of editing you’ll want. If you just need someone to go over your script for spelling errors and grammatical migraines, that’s a very different animal to somebody who will go over the script and tidy it up.
And even though it’s a work of fiction, pieced together from various dreams and nightmares, I feel the need to inform my not-yet-editor that I haven’t actually committed a murder. I’m sure she understands what fiction is, but still, I don’t want her to think less of me, not when she lives so close by.
Where it gets a little bit tricky – I’m on my third run at Chapter One. I may be getting ahead of myself, but from the sounds of it, I should already have several thousand Twitter followers, an author page on Facebook, and an Instagram account, as well as the website, newsletter and giveaways already mentioned.
I read somewhere that to get an e-book out of the million-odd ranking and into the hundred-thousand, you only need to sell two of three copies, but it’s rare, remarkably rare, for a self-published author to make more than £500 per year from book sales.
I don’t want to think about a return to the shop, but just getting the book out of me feels like a fight to the death. Selling it might be more than I can bear.
On the plus side, I have developed a very real sense of drama.