On Self-Publishing: Getting My Novel to the Masses, Part 1

Tomorrow I will be meeting with my manuscript evaluator to go over any final tweaks or content revisions that need to take place before moving forward with a production schedule for my first novel.

Writing is a vulnerable art. It exposes you utterly and completely to your audience. Your mastery of the craft, your intelligence, your operating vocabulary, your beliefs – it’s all there. You can’t hide behind it.

I have many members of the blogging community who support my writing, and previous to that I have often received praise and positive feedback for my work. Still, there is the shitty committee that whispers “you’re a fraud with no talent” in my ears as fight for a good night’s sleep.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I turned my novel manuscript over to an impartial third party – my hired gun editor and publishing guru. This was a key step. Indie and self-publishing suffers from a lack of professional eyes on the material and if you want to have a successful book, it is paramount that you pay for service. DO NOT edit your own work. For blogging, yeah whatevs – put it out there. For the big show, get as much consultation that you can.

The emails that came back as she read the book were very encouraging, and I am ready to sit down and put the final polish and shine on this puppy. Fingers crossed, it will be a very empowering conversation.

But there are questions, and these questions will benefit any of you out there who are on the same path. Here are some things that I must address:

This is how to use Twitter.

Who is my target audience?
So here’s the thing…I didn’t write a nice genre piece. It’s a slippery thing that I’ve got. Who would enjoy it? Let’s see:

  • Gamers
  • Comic book readers
  • Humorous Sci-fi peeps
  • Literary, I’m-cooler-than-you kids (SLAM DUNK WITH THESE FOLKS)
  • People who like pop culture references
  • People sitting in waiting rooms for a long time
  • The disenfranchised
  • The 99%
  • Old Punk Rockers (the DIY crowd)

Ok, not exactly the YA crowd. Or the straight Sci-fi fantasy crowd. Or thriller, romance, mystery, etc.

Pretty much a Kurt Vonnegut and Phillip K. Dick have a baby book. It’s going to be tough to market. Apparently I like things to be difficult.

Competitive Titles:
Is it a good or bad thing that I can’t think of too many books that I will be competing with? At least nothing that was published recently? When I cruise the stacks, everything seems so neatly bundled up by category and type. Makes me wonder if I had any plan at all when I started writing this thing.

Marketing and Promotion:
Yes, I have Twitter, a blog, Facebook, Google +, and other building contacts. The amount of approaches and strategies that are available are overwhelming. As I have a history of doing incredible amounts of research and then making the wrong choice, I have no doubt I am going to screw this up. I need some serious help here. More than likely, the book will take a few years to build up momentum as I think that word of mouth is ultimately going to be my best bet. Good thing I’m patient.

I have some other things to consider such as the purpose for writing this book. That’s an easy one. I want to burn the palaces down. The goal for the book? To give everyone that is as frustrated as me a chance to laugh a bit. I think much of the world sucks, that people and human nature have ruined so much of it. As I am not a member of the Star Chamber, my only option is to satirize it to the ground.

So I’ll have the meeting tomorrow. Let you know how it goes.


26 thoughts on “On Self-Publishing: Getting My Novel to the Masses, Part 1”

  1. Dude, I cannot wait to read it. Honestly. Best of luck with the process, and thank you for taking your blog followers along on the journey with you. Really looking forward to it, and congrats on this huge step. My wife read the first 6 chapters of my book and I felt like I was getting undressed in front of her for the first time (without the promise of success)! To hand over an entire manuscript, well that is like…better not go there. Let’s just say its going to be a great buzz, so enjoy!

    1. Thanks man, I appreciate that. Your description of feeling naked is spot on. I cringe to sit while anyone reads my writing. I have struggled with this from day one. Blogging is a bit easier I suppose, but there’s the asynchronous disconnect that is unavoidable. That’s why I have always envied musicians – instant feedback while you express yourself.

      Thanks for your support, one thing that WordPress has given me is a sense of community that I was lacking.

  2. good idea to have someone like that to read your manuscript and advise you… i take my stuff to a professional actor/singer and she is a great help…also a creative type obviously so we get laughing and talking so much the ideas flow……best wishes as you polish up the book…think of me just stockpiling my writing …but laughing…..one day i’ll publish

  3. Nicely worked web-site. Good theme, and…everything is “just like it should”. As an Microsoft System .NET Administrator, I can say that THIS is something that can be used as an example of a good site. No much colours, except the avatars of “readers” *followers”, that are badly even reading’ . I would cut the place where WORD PRESS followers are, and made a page like “Hall of Fame” where You will put the “Fan Letters” , and “read readers and follows”.

    1. Thanks for your comments…I have been pretty happy with this theme thus far…the community widget is something new to WordPress, thought I would give my fellow bloggers an extra chance to grab some readers. Good thoughts…

  4. Good luck! I’m an aspiring writer too, but I’m only eighteen right now, and I’m just entering college. And I’ve only finished like four chapters of a book 😛

  5. “Pretty much a Kurt Vonnegut and Phillip K. Dick have a baby book.”

    I’ll buy your book based solely on that statement! (And you should make damn sure they use it in your marketing copy!)

    As I work along my path toward literary greatness, it’s inspiring to see how others are working along their own paths. Most are a few steps ahead of me, but that makes the path a little easier to follow!

    1. Now that’s what I am talking about! It’s a very cool time to be a writer, we have many more opportunities. I learn something every day, let’s find that greatness.

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