On Friday night, a friend of a friend at the Lower Deck asked if I was “the author” of Full Speed Ahead and a few moments later, was pulling the book out of her back pack for me to sign.
I was thrilled!
“I have two boys…I can relate to so much in your book”, she said…then told me it was AWESOME and commented about how much she was enjoying it.
Then yesterday, the receptionist at the dentist’s office pretty much said the same thing…that she loved my writing…and thought it was great that I had a book!
The thing is…I want more of that! Not that I’m looking for people to pat me on the back all the time (though with my back thrown out at the moment I could use a good massage!) But…I want more people reading what I wrote.
It was great when friends and family purchased the book and told me they liked it…but now I’m hearing it from people who don’t actually know me and I’m having that Sally Field’s moment of “They Like Me…They Really Like Me!”
I’m actually starting to believe and feel a little more confident in my writing than I did when I just vulnerably put it out there!
The problem…I HAVE NO SWEET CLUE HOW TO MARKET A BOOK!
I’ll let you in on a little secret…I didn’t think it was good enough to be picked up by a publisher! You see, many years ago, I wrote a book that was rejected by one publisher after the next. I received one letter back from a company that told me it “didn’t meet their criteria” and I cherished that letter…kept it for years pinned to my bulletin board! A publishing company (Nimbus) actually took the time to tell me “no”…rather than completely ignore me! I understand they’re busy…they get submissions by the thousands and can’t possibly respond to every one…but picture yourself putting your baby in 9×12 manilla envelope…sealing it…addressing it…sending it off to be judged and reviewed and then never hearing a thing about it again.
And while I truly do get the process…with all I’d been through…I just wasn’t ready for more rejection.
So…with a wonderful team to help pick what they thought were my best posts, a fan base of folks who supported the project, a crack-the-whip editor a.k.a “dad”, an illustrator I count on for more than just drawing, and a design company behind me…the next thing you know, I kind of put the book together, printed it…and away things went…Full Speed Ahead!
Which, believe me, is pretty freakin’ cool.
Except now…I’ve kind of started believing in it…as in…I honestly think it’s good!
I put the cart before the horse and now, with a book printed and selling…I’ve decided to send it off to a few different publishers to see if there’s more that can be done.
I’m not meant to market my own book. With raising three kids and working on building my design company…I think I need to leave the book business to the experts. It’s great that I’ve a few stores behind me and it’s selling on my blog…but I feel like, maybe, possibly, it could be more. I don’t have the time or understanding to even begin to know how to get it to more people…more stores…more coffee tables. I’m plugging away and self-promoting but it’s kind of tough and goes a little against my character to constantly be telling people how great I am…which is kind of what you need to do!
So today…despite my fears of rejection…I’m sealing my book inside an envelope, introducing myself to a few publishers…and hoping for the best.
Maybe this time I’ll get a response that I’ll cherish a little bit more than the “no” I received on a different book…years ago.
PS – Wish me luck…and in the meantime, if you’re looking to purchase a copy, click on the “Book” tab in the blog’s main menu…or visit TattleTales Books, Mudwraps to Manicures or Mills!
You are so brave, Colleen!! You publicly say so many of the things that I say in my head. I soooooo hear you on the self promotion thing, and having people who don’t know you comment on your work. Since you have sooooo much time, you should look into a book called The Artist Way, by Julie Cameron – totally about that artist voice in our head.
I’ve been back reading your blogs. It’s 1:03am, and I keep saying ‘ok, 1 more’. That’s the sign of a good book/blog! And I’m not saying that, because I like you! If the world were more honest, like you, we’d all be a lot less stressed trying to look like we’ve got it all together!
From one creative person to the next Richelle…thank you.