June 16, 2012

Surprises, Challenges, and Marketing

Catching up with some more Author Blog Challenge prompts.

The prompt process has been therapeutic for me as Mom and I are working on the follow up to Depression Cookies.

I have learned so much about publishing, marketing, author platforms, editing, book covers, story strengths, etc. I can't wait to put all this newfound knowledge to use in our second book (and the young adult book I'm working on).

Day 13 Prompt: What has been the most challenging part of your book process: writing, building the book, printing, distributing, marketing, etc.? What do you wish you'd known before you began?
Marketing, because it’s been such a learning curve and I don’t consider myself a salesperson. Early on in my mommy career, I tried my hand at selling Pampered Chef. I enjoyed the products, but I quickly realized sales was not my future. Fast forward ten years, and I was faced with selling my book. I knew nothing about social media, building an author platform, or any other marketing trick. I threw myself into the world of marketing, but I wish I had done it all at least six months BEFORE the book came out instead of waiting until publication.

I also wish I had known how easily I could access a writing community. It never ceases to amaze me how open and encouraging writers can be.

DAY 14 What has been the biggest surprise about writing/publishing your book? What has been the most enjoyable or most memorable aspect?
Meeting so many other wonderful writers and feeling like I am part of their circle. I was a closet writer before publishing, and now I have so many resources for my next book. I have also really enjoyed reader reactions. I’m still amazed by readers who take the time to contact us and tell us how much they loved the book. It’ll never get old.

Day 16 Did you publish your book as a traditionally printed book, an eBook, or both? How did you come to your decision? Which company(ies) did you use for printing and distribution? How did you select them?

Our book is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and soon on Smashwords. Originally, we were picked up by a small publisher. Unfortunately, the owner passed away suddenly before our book could be published. We were ready to go, and chose to publish with Xlibris. Thankfully, we had already been professionally edited and had a lot of great advice, because that company was little to no help (other than the actual publishing). I would not go with them again, especially knowing all I know now.

We now have our books printed through a wonderful company, Market Source, in Atlanta. And soon we’ll be on Smashwords.

DAY 17 Describe the market for your book – to the tiniest detail (e.g., childless divorced women past age 50 who want to remarry). Why that demographic? How do you connect with them to market to them?

Mothers and daughters, but specifically moms who have daughters. Since our story is a mother-daughter tale written by a mother and daughter, it makes the most sense. But really any woman, since they’ve been a daughter, whether they are a mother or not. We hope the book will open up a dialogue between women about the way we deal with relationships, how we process loving our bodies, how we deal with each other, and why we need other women.

We really love the idea of mothers and their preteen and up daughters reading it together and discussing how we can walk the same path and still view it so differently. Again, it's the idea of opening up a dialogue. As the mom of three girls, the oldest of which is 12, I know how important it is to have open and honest relationships with our children.

If you ask agents, and we did, this isn't the most ideal market to be in. We don't have vampires (or other paranormal elements), we miss the 20s crowd (they don't want to remember being teenagers or quite consider themselves "women"), and it's not a Danielle Steel-esque romance. But we wouldn't change a thing.

What has surprised you about the writing/blogging community?

4 comments:

Annette Gendler said...

Loved hearing about your publishing experience. It's so unpredictable, isn't it?

Unknown said...

Annette, It is! But I think it's a necessary journey. I wish I had known more to start, but I probably wouldn't have learned as much if I didn't jump in the way I did.

Jo Michaels said...

If you ask agents, and we did, this isn't the most ideal market to be in. We don't have vampires (or other paranormal elements), we miss the 20s crowd (they don't want to remember being teenagers or quite consider themselves "women"), and it's not a Danielle Steel-esque romance. But we wouldn't change a thing.

I feel your pain. No perfectly definable market sucks. WRITE ON!

Unknown said...

Jo, I wouldn't change a thing either. We'll find our readers. I truly believe that!