January 4, 2015
A new year and most of us are filled with hopes and dreams for the future. I’m no different and among my hopes and dreams is the advent of another of my books. My latest, Past Imperfect, is due for release on January 30th. Even after all these years of writing and experiencing the ups and downs of a literary life; I still can’t help but get excited at the prospect. I feel like an anachronism in today’s digital market place though, and the literary storm engulfing the world. Whereas a new release for writers like me was offered at a more sedentary pace, but one that promised a process that built on the excitement; it’s more like “so what you getting all worked up about?” Nowadays writers disgorge novels at an enormous pace to fill an ever growing digital shelf of mostly, unreadable books; and they lose the unforgettable expectation as publishing day approaches.
A lot of readers have confessed to having an enormous collection of eBooks in their digital libraries, and have admitted they will probably never read them. In the early days of Kindle tablets, I downloaded about sixty, free eBooks (not all at once) before I realised I was downloading novels that would never have seen the light of day in the traditional market. But as a traditionally published writer, does this make me any different from the Amazon writers today? Maybe because writing is my hobby I can claim to be different. After all, there are a great deal of writers out there who rely on their work as a career, and those who hope to make a livable income from it. I can only hope to achieve success based on the strength of my writing and an established readership. But there’s the rub: how can I establish a readership when I am fighting against the 3,000,000 books that Amazon currently has on its database? I need to muscle my way into this nightmare by promotion and marketing, but in the right direction and in the right places. Where do I go for advice? There’s plenty of it on the net. I could spend thousands on “guaranteed promotions” and sell a couple of books. And whose fault would that be? It would be nobody’s fault. So now I need to find a new angle: a new, different approach to my own, old fashioned methods. I read yesterday of how successful one author had been by promoting in places like Sweden (no Amazon there yet), Germany, Japan, India among other places. I contacted a national newspaper in Nairobi in an effort to promote my novel, Hell’s Gate. I advertised in a Juneau newspaper about my Alaska novel, North Slope. I got nothing from either approach. But despite my results, I still feel an anticipation building in me as I get closer to my next novel’s release date. If I was a racehorse, I wouldn’t put any money on me to come first. But what the hell: it isn’t unusual for an outsider to win. Wish me luck!