Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday: Proof and Doubleproof

My goals for last week were rather simple, and I did make progress.The proof for Standing Stones finally came in Friday.

For anyone who's self-published, there is that moment of joy! I love the cover. It looks great. But when I opened the book, the print was too small. The margins were uneven top, bottom, right, and left. The gutter wasn't wide enough for a 400-page book. The new matte finish on the cover that CreateSpace is promoting feels unclean. And all that's before the final proofreading!

So progress on ROW80 goals for this last week:

  1. WRITE a short story, a poem, and one blog entry (minimum). Done. Breakthrough (finally) on writing by working on micro-scenes for Rivers of Stone by just writing using the online 750words.com blank sheet. Other writing: Began article on stash-busting for quilters.
  2. READ 10 ROW80 posts and 3 books. Met the goal of 10 ROW80 posts. Finished James McBride's The Good Lord Bird -- and posted a review in GoodReads. Reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones as slowly as possible, more like a daily meditation. 
  3. RECRUIT beta readers for Years of Stone, set in 19th Century Australia. No progress.
  4. REVIEW at least 2 indie books, update GoodReads. Did review McBride. Next up: Reading The Seal Queen by Sandra Saidak, a GoodReads author.
  5. COMPLETE proof of Standing Stones. Finished 3 of 5 sections. Hope to finish before the next check in.
My daughter and I went to coffee for I wanted to show her 'the book'. She loved the cover too and was full of ideas (and changes) that I could make that would make my book a bestseller. "Mom," she said. "You have to get out there. You need blurbs from famous people. You need to delay publishing until you get all the pieces in place." Well, that was a bit of a cold shower.

Marketing is that one aspect of a writing career that I truly dread. 

Natalie Goldberg says to think about what we really want from our writing -- to dream deep. Once those dreams surface, we will have a clear sense of direction.

To write without embracing marketing seems incomplete. 

It took a long time for me to define myself as a writer. I do hope to find readers, though I have no aspirations of becoming a 'bestseller.'  But I can do a better job of marketing. So for the coming week, I shall be more specific (and more accountable?) for specific marketing steps to take. In addition to the goals above, I shall:
  1. Update Smashwords author interview.
  2. Set up pre-order on Smashwords.
  3. Write press release for newspapers.
  4. Contact two local bookstores.
  5. Request reviews on GoodReads.
What one essential step would you add to such a marketing to-do list?

May your writing week go well!

Check in on other ROW80 writers here!

Yield sign near Inverness, Scotland
It does have that meditative quality, yes?


7 comments:

  1. I feel you on the marketing aspect. It is tough to get eyeballs especially if you're not consistently working on it. I have not been very consistent myself and it shows in low sales. While I'm not aiming to be a bestseller (but it would be cool), I want people to read my stories. So marketing unfortunately is important.

    I'm sorry your proof didn't turn out the way you wanted it. Hopefully the next go around will be better!

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    1. Thank you, Erin, for stopping by. Actually, I'm thrilled with the proof, though I appreciate the commiseration. CreateSpace strongly suggests ordering that physical copy for it's easy to slide over errors online (or at least it is for me). And then I want to be very, very critical before that last proof is OK'd. Re the marketing, I appreciate every suggestion and will find my way. Your tip to be consistent is perhaps the most important! Thank you.

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  2. Proofs dissapointing yes but - so good to have the problems before the final print - think of it as part of the creating of the book - from screen to book shape is always different and this is a good way of seeing what its like - so a positive not a negative.

    as for marketing _ I am so bad at it:( I'm making more of an effort this year - have spent some time making sure my network sites are up to date (info, bio, pics etc) located groups and blogs which might help with promotion - am trying to work out now what/how/when/ where a promo would help - Tis a minefield and I feel for you. One thing I'm thinking of doing is finding short soundbites from book to use for twitter and facebook posts - have seen it done and if the soundbites are good I often have a look and see if the book interests me - doesn't mean I'm going to buy it of course but at least it got me looking - will see if it helps any

    all the best for this week goals:)

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    1. Always good to see you online, Alberta. Thanks for listening to my rant about my first real proof. Interesting new ideas about soundbites -- on twitter and facebook. I have set up an author page, but here we go, into a New Age digitally. I will watch out for your 'soundbites' . . . and add you on Twitter. Best to you.

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  3. Sigh, my first comment disappeared again, phooey. This is getting frustrating.

    Anyway, I told you not to expect any marketing wisdom from me because I'm not doing any marketing at the moment and the market is changing so fast it makes me dizzy.

    And I congratulated you on having the book in your hands. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ruth, for persevering with your comment -- and for making me laugh. I too am a little dizzy with this marketing, but perhaps making specific commitments each week will get me closer. You have more than one book out, so your books speak for themselves -- even the short collection.

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  4. Hmm, not sure whether to congradulate you on that proof or to commsierate, Beth. Sounds like there are good reasons for both....

    I can still offer congrats on the rest of your progress though. Yeah, you!

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