What do you call a race without a finish line?
That’s not really a riddle. Or if it is, I don’t pretend to know the answer.
I’ve been thinking a lot about book marketing lately…because I’ve been doing a lot of book marketing lately. I keep coming back to that cliché about how (fill in the blank) is a marathon, not a sprint. As much as I want to quickly plow through my list of marketing tactics so that I can wrap up this project and begin planning my next novel, progress is unavoidably slow.
And pushing myself harder will only cause me to burn out faster.
Maybe the whole marathon metaphor is flawed in this case because publishing The Renegade Chronicles felt a lot like crossing a finish line. Leading up to that achievement was a series of tasks that required sustained pacing and a “keep your eye on the prize” mentality.
But even with Rebels and Fools, Heroes and Liars, and Martyrs and Monsters displayed on my bookshelf, trophy-like, a new endurance test lies before me—the next leg of the never-ending race.
In the spirit of celebrating small successes along the way, I submit the following 10 marketing and sales milestones:
1. Last month, I got a bit of press thanks to Action Publications.
2. Over the past couple of weeks, I sent requests to roughly 80 book bloggers. Three of them have expressed interest in reading and reviewing Rebels and Fools.
3. I’m on deck to be included in a “Newly Released” list on one website and the subject of an author spotlight on another site.
4. My professional Facebook page recently reached 100 likes.
5. The Fond du Lac Public Library now carries all three volumes of The Renegade Chronicles.
6. I’ve sold 75 “units” over the past six weeks. This includes paperbacks, individual e-book downloads, as well as the three-in-one digital collection.
7. Three of those e-book sales were from readers in Denmark.
8. Last week, I received some very positive feedback from someone who doesn’t typically read fantasy: “I wasn’t sure if I would (like it). This isn’t my normal genre. I struggled just a little in the beginning trying to keep track of who all the characters were, but after that I was hooked. … I love the number of strong female characters, the bit of romance, all the adventure and plot twists. … I’ll be sure to post a great review when I finish.”
9. I will be the featured speaker at a Fond du Lac Area Writers’ meeting in June.
10. On June 17, I will be the featured artist at Cujak’s Wine and Coffee Bar during the Tour the Town Art Walk in Fond du Lac. (I’ll provide more information closer to the event.)
On second thought, writing, publishing, and book marketing are not so different from actual marathon running. The finish line is simply a measure of progress, not a true end—because there’s always the next race and another opportunity to improve.
Thanks for reading my blog and for your ongoing encouragement. I’m convinced “word of mouth” is the most effective form of marketing, so if you know anyone who likes fantasy adventure, please tell them about The Renegade Chronicles!
Read it, David.
Interesting. You are one helluva go-getter.
Your structure, “One Million Words,” could become a known publishing entity. You could feature other authors under that imprint.
And become a publishing magnet. (g)
Authors like Thomas P. Ramirez. I hear he has a dandy memoir that might be worth publishing.
Thanks, Tom. I have, in fact, considered the possibility that One Million Words may one day publish works written by authors other than myself. There are a lot of pros and cons to expanding the imprint, but for the moment, I’m focused on publishing and promoting my own novels — and writing the next one!
But as I’ve said before, I’m more than happy to help you publish your memoirs!
Way to go, David! That is so exciting! I’m the same as #8 – never really thought of grabbing a fantasy book when I’m in the mood to read. I’m willing to give it a shot, though, and who knows, maybe I’ll like it too!
I realize fantasy isn’t for everyone, and I’d never proclaim that The Renegade Chronicles appeals to every reader out there. Having said that, I always try to put story before genre, whether I’m writing fantasy, science fiction, or something else. At the end of the day (or end of the page, as it were), the characters have to ring true, and the plot has to be interesting.
In other words, even if you don’t care about medieval weaponry and magic, my goal is to make you care about the people fighting for what they believe in.
If you do give The Renegade Chronicles a chance, please do let me know what you think!
One good thing has come from Tom’s rummage sales excursions. He found you and Stephanie. Read the Milestones above. I believe you have two or three careers going well. Congrats. at usual.