My guest hijacker in this post is Bridget Straub who can usually be found at her blog bridgetstraub: Author, Artist, Mom. Bridget's latest book, On A Hot August Afternoon, is a scintillating story of life, love, and rock and roll--just the thing for some summertime reading. Paired with the author's first novel, Searching for My Wand, one could make this a "Bridget Straub summer of reading". To start things off, here's a bit of authorly musing from Bridget.
Life is a maze
Life is a maze
I have been stressing over this guest post, as well as others I need to hurry up and complete. With the release of my second novel, “On a Hot August Afternoon”, I feel the pressure of the “make it or break it” mentality. When I released my first novel, “Searching for My Wand”, I thought I had everything in place. I had a Facebook page, I was on Twitter and I put a trailer up on YouTube. The reviews began to roll in and they were all 5 star! What more could I hope for, right?
Sales! I could hope for sales, and I’m going to be honest with you, I have not become an overnight success. I had visions of hundreds of sales a day. I knew it wouldn’t be instant, but like a snowball rolling down a mountainside, I imagined that it would build. Instead there was a flutter, and then it fizzled out completely.
I did more research and discovered this is far more the norm than any real success. I also read that until you have a larger library to build on, first books rarely find an audience. Although disappointing, this information was also promising, because if there is one thing I have it’s a vast supply of work to draw from. In the span of one highly productive year, I completed three or four novels and a musical, so there is no shortage of material. “Searching” was released in December of last year, and now I have “On a Hot August Afternoon” out in both paperback and eBook form.
Theoretically, I should now be able to move on to choosing which novel I wish to edit next, except for the marketing of the first two books that needs to be done. One of the reasons I went with Kindle Select for the eBook version of this book (the first was published through BookBaby) was because of their KDP program, where you can put your book up for free for a day or two, as a way of boosting sales. Unfortunately, I have since been told repeatedly by a variety of authors that this tactic no longer works. That like anything that gets used too much, it has lost its appeal. Now the word on the street is that short of a large marketing campaign fueled by a lot of money, the only thing that sells books is word of mouth. As you can guess, this puts a lot of pressure on these guest posts that are one of the few things I can do to get my name out and begin to push that snowball down the mountain.
As I’m writing this I am listening to Pandora and they are playing a song by Lenka in which there is the lyric, “I’m just a little bit caught in the middle, life is a maze…” That sums up my feeling about this whole process beautifully. I’m just trying to figure it out and to enjoy the show as I go along.
Thank you, Bridget, for opening up like this and for being a part of my Hijack This Blog! summer program. You've got a lot of us cheering for your success.
I'm sure Bridget's not alone in her situation. Let's hear from some of you who have been published. Has your experience been similar? Did your first books meet the expectations that you had for them? Any words of encouragement or advice for Bridget and other burgeoning writers?
And how about you who have not yet been published: Does this sound discouraging to you? What kind of plan do you have in place for when you finally do achieve your publishing goals?