It’s about that time again. I have how many unpublished completed novels? Too many would be the answer. So I think it’s about time to dust off one of my sleeping manuscripts and bring it alive. I don’t send anything to traditional publishers anymore. I can’t stand the waiting game or the rejection. I don’t like not having control either. If a traditional publisher wants to do a reprint of one of my published novels, then oh, happy day. Until then it’s still oh, happy day because I’m in the driver’s seat.
I’ve tried all sorts of marketing ideas and they begin to sort themselves out after a while, which ones work and which ones don’t. I used to be overwhelmed, but that’s changed. Now I feel like it’s fun to watch my sales increase because I’ve actually found something that makes a difference. It’s a real hit and miss game, and it’s expensive, but when you learn how to play, it becomes a bit of an addiction. I’ve been marketing two published books which sometimes means that one is bound to get more attention than the other. Now I’ve worked out a plan that I hope will increase sales on my second book. This is a very expensive process but I’ve started a new job that I think I like better than any of the other “day” jobs I’ve had. And it isn’t just about money anymore, its about not taking bull from bulldogs. The people at the present company I work for are actually nice. I haven’t worked in the past for very nice people so this is a pleasant relief and clears my mind for all the things in life that make me happy, like dining out, reading, country walks and making up stories about the zillion fragments inside my head that are, in one way or another, about me and people who affect me, most positively.
So my next published novel is about a seventy year old woman who’s been manipulated all her life by a myriad of lies, lies that are finally revealed. My seventy year old heroine then has an epiphany and the isolation of her life is altered forever. It’s very exciting to publish a book but in all honesty it’s going to be equally exciting to see people reading my published book during rush hour on a subway in Manhattan, or anywhere for that matter. Perhaps I can drop my bookmarks as I go, like little kernels, enticing without being obnoxious. I suppose obnoxious would be walking around with a megaphone reading chapters and offering 15% off. Hey, worth a try!
I haven’t gone the book signing route yet but I’m prepared to do so. Oh, I did set up a little table in a corner at the local Barnes and Noble on Broadway but they escorted me out before I could even get my pens out of my purse or my coveted copies of Dancing Backward in Paradise on the table. You know, I wish we still had neighborhood bookstores in Manhattan. You remember the places, they always made you feel you were in a special crowd of literature lovers, instead of browsers, who really don’t read…they just like the coffee…or the pretty actresses in the play section.
This is the year I’m going to throw my cards on the table. I’m going to market like it matters more than getting through shopping at Fairway without being wounded, and I’m going to publish yet another book because the feedback on my last two books has given me a clear indication that I can write a good story.
Vera Jane Cook
Award Winning Must Read Women’s Fiction. Dancing Backward In Paradise was published in November 2006 and received rave reviews from Armchair Interviews and Midwest Book reviews, as well as an Eric Hoffer and Indie Excellence award in the Literary fiction category for notable new fiction in 2007. Hearts Upon a Fragile Bough, Ms. Cook’s second novel, was published this year and will be followed by its sequel, At the End of a Whisper, in 2011. To learn more about her books you can visit her web site at www.verajanecook.com
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