Blogs by Barbara Forte Abate
My Life For Sale
7/7/2011 4:18:51 PM
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MY LIFE FOR SALE
I can't say I knew what to expect with any certainly since I've never had a book published before now. Still, I did read, research, take notes, make lists, and plan plans. I didn't fall into anything blindly, but even so, there were, and continue to be, plenty of surprises.
At the risk of sounding whiny, there are far, too, many days when I feel like a FOR SALE sign has been nailed like a bullseye smack in the center of my life.
Oh, but it all starts out so innocently. Months before a book's release we're hard at work, reading, learning, studying, and dissecting all things pertaining to writing, publishing, and marketing. We shop through the multitude of online groups and organizations, consider which memberships it's worthwhile for us to maintain, blogs to write/visit/comment on, tweets to investigate, FB connections to pursue and nurture. All those things we've been advised to do if we ever hope to keep our little boats afloat on a decidedly turbulent sea. Frankly, there's no way around it -- love it, hate it -- you still have to jump into the deep end. And even if you can't execute a perfect breast stroke, at the very least you've got to learn to tread water.
Riots of Color
In many ways, marketing has always reminded me of fireworks. Extravagant explosions of color and light, the occasional loud boom that threatens to split the world in half. You're hoping your audience will not only be drawn by the distraction, but left oohing and ahhing, thoroughly awed and impressed.
On Sale Now
Honestly, I get it. I understand there's something of an uncertain nature and appetite inherent to the marketing beast. Which is to say that I don't always know what it wants or even how to properly feed it. That it requires a varied diet to allow for any hope of notable growth is the only thing I get for sure. And while it's true that your book must speak for itself once it lands in a reader's hands -- the flip side of the coin is embossed with an image of your life. Uh, huh, your life -- or at least the bare-naked portion that's been posed in the front window and clearly marked for sale.
The Business of being Social
Once upon a time buying a book was mostly about the book. Not that we didn't care two beans about the author, it was more a case of not having access to anything beyond whatever was printed About the Author on the back cover of the book. It was certainly a vastly different and much more private place in the BSM period (Before Social Media). Left field of where we are now, when we're so busy writing about writing that we don't have time to write.
Truly the landscape has changed enormously in these times when the options of Social Media outnumber the stars. I've had plenty to learn and discover in the year since my own novel The Secret of Lies was released. But I've come to the conclusion that I have in fact unearthed everything I need to know. Yes, really -- everything.
No Gimics, No Illusions, No Sale
Had I only learned overnight what I came to comprehend over a span of months, I would have saved myself plenty of angst, irritability, and even some $$$. But given my penchant for delayed-learning, hard-hardheadedness, and peachy-keen optimism, I admit I took the long route to reach the station. .
Sincerity at all Times in all Instances.
And so, here it is in no particular order:
1.) Don't say it if you don't mean it,
2.) Spare yourself and others, comments, thoughts, or impressions that aren't genuine.
3.) Avoid joining every group from here to eternity just because you think it's a great plan to accumulate real estate. That's only a great plan in regard to REAL real estate.
4.) Become a member of only those groups that personally appeal and nurture your writerly soul, and not because it looks like a good place to park your name and plant your book.
5.) Don't fake, flatter, pretend, or lie.
6.) Share when you're able. Leave gifts of encouragement and wisdom when the opportunity arises.
7.) If what you're putting out there is the genuine article you will avoid looking, sounding, and smelling, like a sleazy salesman toting a trunk packed with snake oil.
8, 9, and 10 ... okay, so maybe I haven't actually learned everything, but, still, I'm confident that I'm off to a pretty good start.
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More Blogs by Barbara Forte Abate
A VISIT TO:THE NEW YORK SCREENWRITING LIFE - Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Writer in Training - Tuesday, August 02, 2011
My Life For Sale - Thursday, July 07, 2011
Comrades of The Pen - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Reject Rejection - Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Watching Yourself a Little Too Closely - Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Great Agent Quest - Guest Post - Monday, April 25, 2011
Pile Up on Information Highway - Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A Novel Road Trip - Thursday, April 07, 2011
Queen for a Day - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The Question of Social Media - Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Joy of Reading - Saturday, February 12, 2011
If You Love a Writer - Thursday, February 10, 2011
Spring Fever - Wednesday, February 09, 2011
In the Not So Distant Future - Saturday, January 08, 2011
Hopeful Perseverence - Thursday, October 28, 2010