I had some exciting news this month. A quote given to me by the lovely Michelle Moran prompted the higher echelons at my publishers to take a look at the forthcoming second book of my trilogy, Dark Moon of Avalon, and decide to give it more publicity build up than had previously been budgeted for. The trilogy as a whole is going to be repackaged, redesigned, given new, more commercially appealing covers—and the release of Dark Moon has been moved from May to October to give the marketing department time to work. Dark Moon of Avalon has been one of my favorite books to write. And I’m of course delighted, thrilled, honored, and incredibly grateful, both for myself and for my characters that their story is exciting people besides myself. And yet this is also a reminder—a good one, I think—of just what in this business I can and can’t control.
There are reams and reams of advice for newly-published authors on how to promote their books: blog tours, hiring a publicist, websites, book trailers, newsletters, etc. And as a newly-published author myself, I read all of it, or tried to, and followed much of the advice. I’m not at all discounting the importance of the author’s responsibility to be involved with the business angle and the marketing of their book. For the release of my first book, Twilight of Avalon, I got my whole family involved: my husband designed and maintains my website, my video-production-trained mom made book trailers to be posted on youtube, my dad helped with jacket copy. (Thanks, everyone!). And I’m sure we’ll all work just as hard when Dark Moon of Avalon comes out in October.
But the broader questions, like where the book will be placed on the Barnes&Noble shelves, how many copies bookstores will order—and then of course the reviews the book gets, too—all those things are completely beyond my influence.
Or are they? [Read more…]