Thursday, January 5, 2012

Confessions of a Yearling Writer

The first year of publishing and promoting my debut novel - Zug Island - has been an interesting learning experience. Lesson number one was that writing the book was only the beginning.

Preparing it for publication was the second layer of development. This involved an editor's trained eyes for deep editing, continuity, and format development. Decisions about the cut size of the pages, front and back cover designs, font style and size, and the price point needed to be made.

Once the copyright had been obtained and my novel was issued an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), my publisher, Wheatmark.com, had it listed in the Ingram trade catalog and on Amazon. I also had a Kindle format produced.

My publicist, Paula Margulies, informed me that now I needed to develop an electronic platform in support of the book. This involved creating and purchasing a domain name, building a website for the novel, choosing a web-host with webmaster services to update the site, setting up facebook and twitter accounts to begin social networking, and creating a blog to establish myself as a brand.

The part of all this that I was the most reluctant about was the blog. I feared the time involved in writing it wouldn't be worth the effort. I was right - it takes time; I was wrong - it is worth the effort! In addition, it helps me establish a writing habit.

In the seven months Fornology has been running, I've written 59 posts that have received over 3,000 hits - many of them global. From a commercial publishing standpoint, that may be modest, but as an independent author starting from ground zero, I'm very pleased.

I've been able to promote my first novel - Zug Island - and solicit information for my next project - The Water Tower. I've been able to "chunk out" ideas in some of my posts which I will adapt for later use, and I've been able to create verbal snap shots of some of my experiences promoting my work.

Maybe the best thing I've discovered about blogging is that it is helping establish me as a credible writer by providing a showcase for my writing that is easily accessible to the public, the media, and booking agents. Blogging is opening doors for me that I didn't know existed.