It’s hard to believe A Better Next is reaching it’s one year birthday on May 28th! It seems like just yesterday– but yesterday seems like the distant past. You know, it was published before the pandemic. In just this situation, I envision how we’ll be marking time this way, before and after March of 2020. And everyone will understand….Somewhat like “where were you when JFK was assassinated?” or “what were you were doing when the plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11?” In hindsight, neither the assassination or 9/11 turned out to be the existential threat we are dealing with today—a global threat to mankind. Time will tell how many lessons we learn together, and if we work toward solutions….in the meantime we muddle through one step at a time.
I’m grateful that during most of this year following publication of my debut novel the paradigm for launching books was still intact. It was thrilling to find a readership interested in my themes of women’s empowerment, female friendships, the difficulty of balancing career and family and the havoc to family life caused by duplicity and betrayal.
This anniversary affords me the opportunity to reflect back on my journey to publication. It started with writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, not undertaken with any serious intent. But as I wrote more, I became interested in sharing my writing. And did, in writing groups, with beta readers, and writing coaches until I was ready to find a publisher. I learned many lessons along the way from fellow writers. It didn’t take me long to realize that I would be an author who would be running a small business.
When I got serious about getting my book published, I made three big decisions:
a—I chose a hybrid publisher—part indie, with shared risk and reward
b—I chose to publish e-book, paperback and audio-book editions
c—I developed a social media presence
She Writes Press, a hybrid publisher, took a chance on my book and over a year’s time worked with me on everything from copy-edit to lay-out, cover design and developing the all important author platform and meta data needed to characterize my book for the market. It was totally different from the creative work of writing. Rather than going it alone and publishing myself, I appreciated the rigor of their standard process and the roadmap to follow. And, as a newbie, the She Writes Press community of writers helped keep me grounded.
My research told me that audio is the fastest growing segment of the market, and e-books are increasingly popular. But, many readers want to hold a book in their hands. So, I chose to get the work out on all formats. I wonder, should I do that again for novel #2?
It’s hard to connect to readers without an author platform of some sort. By the time the book was published my website had been up for a year, and I was writing and posting a blog once every month. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest accounts and a Facebook Author page were up and running. I post regularly, but not constantly…with the objective of consistent activity.
Now that social distancing has changed the world we live in and the business of publishing is undergoing its own transformation, I plan to switch in-person events to virtual events, as possible. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, as I’m getting closer to readiness on novel number two, I’d love some input from you. How do you prefer reading these days. Send me a message? E-book, paperback or audiobook?
Thanks for the support this first year! Please stay safe and READ ON !