When I first started out as an author, I used to have to walk barefoot, uphill in the snow BOTH WAYS just to get to a bookstore. Nowadays, the book publishing world has morphed into something ______________ (fill in your own word: exciting, chaotic, dynamic, egalitarian, unrecognizable, opportunity-laced, and so on.)
I still haven’t really gotten my hands around it all in a way. And that kinda stinks for me because as I type this I have a new book coming out on July 5, 2011. This is the date that NERD GIRLS, the first in a planned five book series from me, will launch and the truth is, I really don’t know what the heck I am doing.
But it certainly feels like I am doing a heck of a lot. But, to paraphrase Hemmingway, one shouldn’t confuse activity for actual productivity, and therein lies my rub right now.
To be an author in this day and age means you MUST do more than simply write a good book that people are going to want to read. Those days, at least to me, feel as if they are gone. Of course, this first element is still 100% vital but whereas it used to be an end point, it is now really just a beginning.
First an author has to write a good book that people want to read and then an author has to get out the word about the fact that they have written what they believe is a good book that people will want to read. And by no means is this the same job.
Or does it tap into the same skill set.
Or is there any real playbook an author can follow to ensure a “successful book launch” for a new title.
I don’t imagine certain authors have quite the same dilemma as I do, though. Stephen King, James Patterson, V.C. Andrews, J.K. Rowling, and so on might have different insights than I because they are operating in a different stratosphere in many ways than I am. But for 99.7% of the authors who will publish a book in 2011, the landscape has changed.
And so, for the rest of this week, I will explore how.