Note the date: 5/21, the release date for my coming novel

Being a writer is often less about writing than about marketing, as I’ve shown in two recent posts, here and here. In fact, writing is – at least for me – where I spent the least amount of my writer’s time. I spend most of my time doing marketing and PR. Today is such a post, you can call it a pre-marketing post, and it’s about my coming novel, which got a release date yesterday: 5/21.

Marketing, marketing and more marketing…

Writing books is mostly about marketing them. As a newbie you may spend years just finding a publisher, talking to agents and being rejected again and again. But even once you’ve found a publisher, you need to sell your idea or at least your book to the publisher. They’re busy people and have tons of books to publish. If your publisher is as popular as mine, and you actively promote them among your friends in an industry where publisher after publisher closes down, well, you increase competition for yourself. So far, I’ve contributed with at least four authors to my publisher, directly or indirectly, adding more great voices. However, squeezing into the publication calendar becomes increasingly difficult. Yesterday, my new book to a first vital step to publication. A publication date! 5/21.

A tiny, but important step in the process

5/21: remember this date!

This is of course not the real cover. But remember the date: 5/21 is the release date for my coming novel

The fact that the book is released 5/21 is a tiny step, but it’s an important one. It decides a lot of other things, e.g. when you can start to pre-order (90 days ahead of time on Amazon), you can plan your marketing around that date, and it also gives you a deadline, as the entire publishing process is calculated backward from the publication date. How many weeks it takes to proof a book, to edit it, to typeset it, publish it. Based on the publication date, my publisher provides me with certain deadlines when things need to be done, including submitting the final raw manuscript.

On the other hand, I begin to plan for the release: newsletter articles, blog tours, contacting review sites, conventions etc. Once you have a date, you’ll know what conventions you’ll “miss” and which ones you’ll “make”, and you can plan their marketing accordingly. Sometimes that also involves advertising, and your newest book might very well be an “old” one since the new one isn’t out yet.

5/21 is the date for my new novel

I’m really excited about this date. Apart from being my late grandfather’s birthday, it’s the day when readers will get to meet Martin and the story I’m currently writing. I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t. The story is still in a lot of flux, despite it being at 44K, and I don’t like to say things I may have to eat up later. LOL, I have a very good idea how the novel ends, but the beginning is yet to be written and I have a hunch I may have to do a lot of editing once the first raw draft is done. My research trip to Seoul is to blame, in the best possible way, of course.

I can tell you this though: Martin is an octogenarian, a Korean War veteran, and he returns to Korea, looking for the love of his life, a love he lost when he returned to America at the end of his tour of duty in 1955. It’s a story of love (lost), friendship, and aging. Hopefully, one that is worth reading, one you’ll take to heart. It doesn’t have a title yet, I’m still working on that. And I don’t have a cover yet.

Cover in April

This is the first cover that Natasha designed for me, still a favorite of mine.

This is the first cover that Natasha designed for me, still a favorite of mine.

Natasha Snow, my amazing cover artist, has a spot to work on the cover in April. Natasha is so busy that it’s been getting more and more difficult to get her time. I take a sliver of credit for that, given the amazing work she’s done on my books since 2014. So we get a late cover reveal, which is new. But that’s fine. I’ll just have to be creative in my marketing up to that point… The mock cover above is one example. 5/21, mark your calendars, and if you’re a reviewer, feel free to reach out to me, and I’d be happy to jog you down for an ARC.

Finally…

I’ve been thinking a lot about marketing creating a Patreon account, primarily to help me finance more audiobooks. The creation of a high-quality audiobook is very expensive and I just don’t have that amount of money to front. It scares the hell out of me to think about what I’d “offer” to patrons. Because you have to put the work you put into in relation to what you get in return… And most of us are busy as we are… What would you like to see in order to pay a small/medium/larger monthly fee?

As always, if you like my blog, my writing, feel free to subscribe to my monthly newsletter (top right on this page) with competitions and hopefully interesting reading. Interact with me on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and/or Instagram. Have a great weekend and don’t be shy.

Hans

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