THE RANDOM GENERATOR HAS SPOKEN. THE WINNER OF AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE BOYFRIEND OF THE MONTH CLUB IS: JEANNENE WALKER. PLEASE EMAIL ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org with your address so I can put your copy in the mail. Congratulations!
My Future in Publishing
by Maria Geraci
Today, my third baby goes out into the world. My third novel, that is. You’d think by now I’d be a pro. Or at least a semi-pro. And although I’m a bit more savvy about publishing than I was eighteen months ago, in a lot of ways I still feel like an amateur.
A few months ago I attended the first day of the Novelists, Inc, conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a day of forum workshops led by some of the biggest names in the publishing industry- agents, editors, attorneys, publicists, New York Times best selling authors. The topic was the future of publishing. I was surprised (or maybe I shouldn’t have been) to discover that a lot of those people are as clueless as I am. Okay, maybe not as clueless, but the bottom line was that nobody really knows what’s going on in publishing today. The advent of e-publishing is changing what we refer to as “the book” in much the same way as the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press did almost 600 years ago. Book stores are going out of business, print runs are declining, self-publishing is on the rise, and Google and Amazon are plotting to take over the world. If it’s confusing seasoned pros, how’s a newbie like myself going to survive in this rapidly evolving world of publishing?
I’ll never forget the moment when one author in the audience raised her hand to ask this question, “What can an author do to help promote her books if she has a relatively low print run, like say, 20,000?”
There was a pause. You know that pause. When everyone in the panel turned and looked at each other with the expression that said, “who’s going to answer that one?”
And then one brave soul (I wish I could remember who said it) looked the audience straight in the eyes and said, “Absolutely nothing.”
No one gasped. No one shook their heads in disbelief. Instead it was met with a lot of knowing smirks and nods. Because the truth is, in a lot of ways, that answer is correct. There’s a lot in publishing that as an author, is completely out of our control. Like print runs. And co-ops. And bad covers.
But there’s one thing that is completely within our control. And that’s writing the best book that we can. We heard that advice a lot from the panel. And while there was still some smirking in the audience (I mean, who doesn’t set out to write the best book they can?) the panel was right on about that. A good book plus lots of positive word of mouth is still the recipe for a successful novel.
And the new word of mouth is, dare I say it? Social networking. It’s the promotion mantra of the new millennium. And while a part of me is sick to death of hearing about it, there’s the other part of me that thinks social networking, while sometimes overrated, is good. Print runs may be down, but people are still reading. They’re just using a different medium (the internet). And that same medium offers authors like myself (those of us who don’t have big print runs) a chance to expand our fan base with electronic word of mouth.
So how’s my future in publishing looking these days? Well, I wrote the best book I could, and I’m promoting it the best way I know how. The rest is up to the cosmos. The one thing I do know is that I’ll keep writing books and somehow they’ll get published (even if I have to do the self-publishing thing) because my future relies solely on me. And that, at least, is something that I can control.
That all said, I’ll happy, proud and just down right tickled to announce that my third novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club is out in bookstores everywhere today! It’s a romantic comedy about a woman who turns her dysfunctional book club into a boyfriend club where members critique the men they’ve dated, comparing them to classic literary heroes and villains.
At thirty, Grace O’Bryan has dated every loser that Daytona Beach has to offer. After the ultimate date-from-hell, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands and turns her dwindling book club into a boyfriend of the month Club, where women can come together to discuss the eligible men in their community. Where are the real live twenty-first century versions of literary heroes such as Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy?
Could it be successful and handsome Brandon Farrell, who is willing to overlook his disastrous first date with Grace and offers financial help for her parents’ failing Florida gift shop? Or maybe sexy dentist Joe Rosenblum, who’s great with a smile but not so great at commitment? Unfortunately, just like books, men cannot always be judged by their covers…
"Romance readers will revel in the Austen-perfect happy ending and the warm friendships among members of the club." Publishers Weekly
Leave a comment and I’ll randomly select one person to win an autographed copy! US and Canada only, please. I’ll announce the winner on top of this post Wednesday morning. Good luck!