Staying the course

I’m in the midst of (distractedly) grading the final research papers for my four English composition classes, so this will have to be a short post.

My paperbaPaperbackck went live on Amazon this week, which was interesting because, as I pretty much expected, the only people to buy it immediately were my parents. Which is just funny, really.

A few friends and family have requested multiple copies, so there’s that. (Yay, friends and family.)

I haven’t been able to do much marketing to support the release, what with the four classes and the unpredictability of the process, but that’s okay. At a friend’s suggestion I’m trying to throw together a little book launch party, but that’s not looking too healthy, either. This is a crazy time of year to squeeze one more thing in.

And sales even of the Kindle version have been slow. But I need to remember what the agents knew much better than I did: even a good debut novel is a challenge to sell in this market without some sort of compelling platform for the author. And I need to remember: That’s why I’m doing it this way. I can afford to fail and just keep writing and getting stuff out there until I gain some traction. In the meantime, I’m in print. And I’m learning.

So far I’ve actually been pretty fortunate, with more sales than the majority of first-timers, and some very nice positive reviews.

So, I really need to get back to what ought to be my primary focus — getting more books out there. Not that I’ll stop marketing, because that’s just too hard for me to do. It’s part of my professional background after all, so I find it embarrassing to just let it go. (On the other hand, my clients have always had much bigger budgets for marketing than I do.)

So the real focus here has to be getting more material out there.

And now I need to go back to grading (where I just discovered that one of my students and I — since I’d approved her source — were fooled by a fake scholarly journal. There’s another hazard of the brave new world of online publishing!)

For now, I wish you happy reading, and good luck with storms, semesters, holiday prep, and all the rest.