Talking about my book is just weird. It’s not that I haven’t memorized a spiel to tell people when they say, “I hear you’ve written a book, what’s it about?” At one time I even considered printing business cards to give to people, so high was my fervor to promote my book which has yet to be published. I started this blog with the sole intent of marketing hardcore. This has actually worked, since I’ve slowly gained a readership who is loyal and very nice. Some even like my writing!
Having a Twitter and Facebook page– those things are easy. Facebook has singularly helped increase my views on this blog by a tremendous amount. But marketing a book has to do with more than posting incessantly about blog posts and book signings. Eventually, you’re going to have to talk to people in real life about what you have written.
“Hey, I read your blog. I saw that you wrote a book.”
“Yes, I…. yep. I sure did.”
“Cool. So when will it be published?”
“Well, I’m not sure. I don’t really have a contract or an agent.”
“Oh, so you haven’t sent it off to the publishers yet.”
“Well, it’s not that simple… you see, you have to…”
“What are you talking about? How did Twilight get published then?”
“I don’t really know. But you see, first you need an agent…”
“No, you don’t. Just self-publish. Like my mom did when she wrote that western-erotica. You should totally buy it. It’s called Cowboys and Aliens 2: Cowboys Come Again.”
“Wow. Well…… that certainly sounds interesting. Is she very successful in selling it?”
“Six people have bought a copy, so…”
“That’s why I’m not sure I want to self-publish.”
“Well, what’s your book about?”
*Sigh* “Well, it’s about, well…… um, a serial killer. But he’s actually a pretty good guy. Except he’s a terrible person. And I guess I still want people to feel pity for him or at least sympathize with him. And it’s also about a lot more characters, and it tells their stories. I guess it’s rather complicated. Oh, and some prostitutes die. I guess there’s something in there about how murder is a fad. Or maybe… yes.”
“Well, right, I’ll totally buy that whenever you decide to send it off to the publishers.”
Sometimes it seems downright impossible to explain your own work. I’d rather explain sex to a four-year old. We get nervous, ready to show our genius we are to our friends and cohorts. But then all that comes out is mush that doesn’t make much sense at all. I wonder what some authors told their families while writing their works. What did Thomas Pynchon say? What about David Foster Wallace? Or David Mitchell? Everyone would say, what were you thinking? What exactly are you WRITING? At some point, I guess we all have these problems.