The Writer’s Life: Not All Peaches and Cream
by Phyllis Zimbler Miller
I suspect there are many non-authors who truly believe that a writer’s life consists of leisurely days spent gazing out the window and then typing a few lines into his/her computer.
And when enough of these leisurely days have been spent, there’s a completed manuscript that miraculously appears in print a few months later.
Oh, were it so!
The truth is that, whether you are traditionally published or self-published, there’s a lot of very hard work involved in getting that manuscript published and bought by readers – and I’m only talking about the hard work after the manuscript is written, revised, copyedited and proofed.
While trying to get an agent and publisher is a whole other quest in itself, the hardest part may be getting out the word about your book to people who might actually buy that book.
Today book reading has to compete with more and more easily available entertainments. Now when people can watch their favorite TV shows or movies online, how does a book author capture people’s attentions long enough to motivate them to buy her/his book?
Virtual book tours such as those by Dorothy Thompson at PumpUpYourBookPromotion.com are one way – and this is my second tour with Dorothy. In June of 2008 I took my novel Mrs. Lieutenant (www.MrsLieutenant.com) on tour with Dorothy. It was such a positive experience that I’m back now with my ebook What You Should Know About the Launch of an Online Information Product.
A virtual book tour needs to be supported by the author’s active participation in cyberspace, including social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. People usually need to see something they’re interested in several times before they actually click on the buy button.
This means as an author you have to have patience, stamina for the long haul, and continually interact with potential readers. More than a year after my novel Mrs. Lieutenant came out, I’ve just made a brief video explaining why Mrs. Lieutenant is an excellent choice for book club discussions. (You can see the video at http://www.mrslieutenant.com/book-discussion-questions/) I’m always open to new ways of promoting my writing.
We book authors are writers, aren’t we? We’re lucky to have a talent that we can use to help us connect with potential readers on the Internet. And even though I’m a writer, I personally like Twitter with its 140-character limit the best of the social media sites. Twitter forces everyone to write concisely – and that’s a good thing when you’re carving out time to promote your writing while at the same time writing your writing.
Author Phyllis Zimbler Miller’s company MillerMosaicLLC.com has just launched the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program to help people promote their brand, book or business. You can learn about the program at http://www.WeTeachWebMarketing.com. She’s also a National Internet Business Examiner at http://www.InternetBizBlogger.com and active on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ZimblerMiller . Her new ebook What You Should Know About the Launch of an Online Information Product grew out of her Examiner.com articles about the launch of the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program.