Friday, January 07, 2022

Writing: Publication Is Only Part Of The Process

As authors, we exert lots of effort getting our words down on paper, sending them to agents and editors, hoping eventually to have them published. But (and I hate to tell you this), the process isn't over at that point. Matter of fact, it may have just started. Now comes the part where you announce the publication to the world. And for some of us, that's harder than the actual writing.

When my first novel came out, I planned a huge party at a local bookstore. I even ordered a cake. When I showed up, I was a bit dismayed by the number of chairs that had been put out, although I was glad for them to be filled. The reading went well, as did the sales, but I was still disappointed at the turn-out. That's when a bookstore employee said that they had a publication party recently for a former Secretary of State which drew an even smaller crowd. In attending a similar event for a well-known author on a "book tour," I saw a similar circumstance...the crowd wasn't what I expected.

I've written books published by well-known publishers as well as some that were self-published, and I've come to the conclusion that your readers are your readers, and it doesn't take a brass band and a host of people cheering to introduce your books. But then again, that's just my opinion. What do you think?




Priscilla Bettis said...

I suspect the author meet-n-greet has largely gone the way of the hometown brick-n-mortar bookstore. When Amazon hosts online book launches with live author interactions, then maybe meet-n-greets will be a thing again.

Still, I've attended and enjoyed author presentations at different groups (church group, writing group, stuff like that), but that's not the same as a book launch.

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, I have to agree--how many "book tours" do we see advertised nowadays? I've been to a presentation at a church by a widely advertised author (very popular, and not necessarily "Christian") which was sparsely attended but very enjoyable. Actually, she wound up endorsing one of my books.)

Patricia Bradley said...

I agree with you both. In-person book signings are probably going the way of the dinosaur. They aren't a good ROI, anyway. :-)

I truly enjoy them and have signed at small books stores in my hometown where one lady bought ten copies of my book to give as Christmas presents. That was a good one!

But I've signed at Books a Million and B&N and sold maybe ten books the whole time I was there. But the upside was talking to people, introducing myself to people who hadn't read my book, but after we talked, took a chance on them.

One thing I've done is to sell my books at our local Art and Craft market, called the Green Market. It's held once a month from April to October and when I've posted on FB that I'd be there, I usually sell out of my books. Nothing like a hometown crowd.

I'm also not sure how much good a FB launch party does, either. Anyway that's my 2¢ worth.:-)

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, it's sort of a shock to see the change in the writing "business" over just the past decade or more. I'm not sure anything is helpful when launching a book--maybe we should just put it out there are see what happens.