The book is written and printed. Not available yet but for a few highly selected friends. The reviews are nice so far, but again, these are friends and the family. A big marketing campaign is coming. The next few months will be interesting.
How did it come to that?
When I started writing, I hadn’t had an idea how far it will go. Not a smidgen. Just stories to tell, willingness to learn and an open road in front of me. The obstacles kept coming and were solved one by one. The willingness to push forward was there and here we are. Writing was enthralling by itself, revisions were educating and waiting for a reaction from the first readers was suspenseful. And then it was this feeling of being able to create something on my own, something new and something which makes sense to other people. Well, at least to the closest friends.
But writing is just a half of the work. Sending your book out to the world to see without a birth announcement is to leave it in darkness. Someone has to put a spotlight on it. So the author is responsible for introducing it to the society. Just like a father escorting his first daughter to the debutante ball, he is responsible for letting the world know she is available.
Here comes marketing, which by itself is a bad word. Association with a traveling salesman is too obvious to ignore. Most of the authors abhor the notion of advertising, hoping that a good work will sell itself. They are here to write, and marketing is beneath them. But usually, it doesn’t work this way. Even the best works are initially not fully appreciated, and the history of art is littered with many examples of masterpieces not received well right after creation. On the other side, we can replace the notion of pushy salesmanship with an idea of ethical introduction of the book to the people who don’t have a clue that the given work even exists. The author, particularly the beginner, has to give them knowledge of the topic and a chance to make a conscious decision to want to experience that.
There are many ways to do it, and it requires a complete new set of skills. Writing is creativity, marketing is a business. You know that your daughter is the prettiest and the smartest girl in the world, but you still have to convince other people it’s not because you are her father.
And I am doing that just now.