The past six weeks have been hectic-crazy-busy with a long to-do list of sales and marketing ideas spelled out in detail in my marketing master plan. It is a whole new world: buying advertising, entering writing contests, contacting all sorts of people and businesses, monitoring how each activity impacts the numbers of sales reported on electronic spreadsheets from vendors. Catching my breath just long enough to check off items and move on to the next challenge, I briefly cast a nostalgic glance at the writer’s magazines piling up on my bedside table and recall what it was like to pour over articles about plotting and character development and building settings. Do I miss that part? Of course. Do I plan to return to that way of (writing) life? Of course. But at the moment and for the next several months, my focus has to be on promoting what I just offered to the reading public and making it a success.
But an interesting thing happened on the way to forum: I found my true sense of power in playing this new role of self-publisher. The other person in this household who is also totally committed to making this venture a success (my husband) and I discussed the revelation that it certainly would be so much easier to leave the details of things (like sending press releases, calling total strangers with requests for appearance and speaking opportunities, announcing the grand event to readers) to a team of what (?) about thirty people at the “big” publishers who are assigned to assist authors who are supposed to be focused on writing that next big blockbuster hit. Instead – this two person home-grown team must do it all.
But we (are you with me sweetheart?) find this independence empowering. We can chart our own course, quickly make decisions without getting permission from some assistant editor, try new things to see if what that pundits say will work really does. I feel free to flip right past the pages in my latest writer’s magazine that details the agent interview or the rundown on debut authors who actually found an agent and publisher or the “insider” information from authors who are writing their fortieth romance novel. I think “my team” feels powerful because we have this goal mentally set in our brains. We will learn how this works. We will make some mistakes—but learn from them. Next time around we will know so much more (i.e. we don’t really need to start planning six months ahead like the experts tell us.) Striking a balance between never being too high or too low is the most powerful place to be in this writing game. As the acronym proclaims YOLO and this is certainly true for this adventure. The plot thickens.