So my book is out...Now what?
Contributor
Written by
Wanda Fischer
November 2017
Publishing
Contributor
Written by
Wanda Fischer
November 2017
Publishing

It's like giving birth to an elephant. 

My book about three young men who left home to embark on a journey in minor-league baseball is finally out, available in some indpendent book stores (I'm working on more), on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and via my website. I've done one bookstore appearance, during which I read from the book and signed copies for people who stopped by. I did one long radio interview on public radio. (It doesn't hurt that I've done a folk music show on that station since 1985.)

My background is in marketing/public relations/media relations. I retired three years ago from a nearly 40-year career in those fields. 

But promoting oneself is an entirely, well, different ballgame. 

I've used normal social media outlets--Facebook, Twitter, and now I'm venturing into Instagram. I've applied to reviews. I weaseled quotes from some baseball-oriented people. I've set up more bookstore appearances and signings. 

But what's enough?

Let's go back a little. 

I thought I had a publishing contract, but a week prior to my appointment to sign the final contract, it fell through. I had a completely professionally edited manuscript, a title, a cover that was exactly what I had envisioned, acknowledgements, even a dedication. Then, nothing. Nowhere to go with it. People "in the know" had advised me not to self-publish: "No one wll notice your work," they said. "You have to find a publisher and an agent," they said.  (Ah, yes, the ubiquitous "they.")

What was I supposed to do when every avenue I'd gone down had turned into a dead end? 

While listening to the radio station at which I work, I heard an underwriting message from a self-publishing firm. I called them, and, within two weeks, the book was out. They looked everything over and accepted the manuscript, the cover, the title, and, perhaps most important of all, they accepted working with me. 

I had experience in working with printers, but they had a printer all ready to go. I didn't need to sent the manuscript out for bids; they'd already done that. 

But marketing? Developing a strategic plan for something I'd done, rather than for something for someone or some organization providing me with a paycheck? That's not been easy. 

I've been finding ways to think imaginatively. For example, this novel could be in the young adult genre, so one of my friends who teaches high school is developing a study guide for high school teachers so that perhaps I can market this as a book to be used in schools. I've contacted Minor League Baseball and asked them for a review. I've sent promo copies to baseball people I know and some I've never met. I've even sent information to my high school class ('66), since my hometown plays a major role in this novel. 

Every day, I'm coming up with new ideas. Who knows what whacky approach I'll find tomorrow?

Shameless self-promotion? You bet. I cannot afford to hire anyone to do it for me. Right now, I'm my own post office, fulfilling orders, my own PR/media relations person, my own self-image person. You name it, when it comes to this novel, and I'm it. 

Every day I ask mysef how I ever had time to work. Guess that's the mark of a good retirement. 

Let's be friends

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