Marketing Before Publication? How About Before it’s Written?
One Way for ebooks in particular
In what I consider a bold move, a writer decides to create a journal-type blog that will follow his work in progress, and he makes predictions on completed rough draft, edited-vetted final to challenging deadlines: a book in a year, a rough draft in three months.
This is a novel that has not been written yet, much less published yet, and while there is no pre-ordering set up, people who follow the blog, hopefully, will want to get the book they have been hearing about for all this time. Hopefully, the premise, the setting, sharing characters, even setting up chapters on the blog to be read entice readers and lead to buzz.
This has been my plan with my work in progress—to put it out there down to how I write, where I get my premise, how I do research, fashioning drama out of research, holding research down to backdrop and pulling the human story to the forward stage. The blog gets into details of various ‘tools’ and instruments used in putting the story together as close to a seamless symphony as one can make it. It speaks of the unique character of this particular book, what special needs are required in this book. The blog appeals to those who wish to see how a novel is built brick by brick, scene by scene, chapter by chapter.
I have had mixed results thus far, but it is early in the process. The first draft has as yet to be completed. I set out in mid-February and mid-May was three months, so I have run past my initial deadline self-imposed deadline; the beauty of self-imposed, yes, but there is so much value in having a deadline of any sort. Something to shoot for.
How is this marketing? With each blog entry, I announce it on chat groups, facebook, twitter, myspace, and elsewhere as in speak to it in my various blogs, and set up a free chapter for download from my website. . It has gotten twenty followers which may not seem like much but they are avid folks like you and interested in seeing the book evolve. All the while, I can also speak to publication date when it begins to loom closer to time when people can read the book from beginning to end, the neat orderly well edited copy. All the while, I can also demonstrate that I can put this title up as a Kindle Original and market it as such.
Should you do this with your work in progress? I will admit, writing novels has become somewhat second nature after doing some 50 ‘odd’ novels, but part of the blog is to demonstrate just how many ways I mess up and pick myself up and go on in the face of adversity and life in general. I believe anyone contemplating a work in progress can and should give this a try. Why? Because of the rewards that come out of it. Even if no one reads my journal on writing Curse of the Titanic (for which I ran a title contest that ‘failed’ as no title rattled my cage like the one that came from another source)—even if no one reads the blog, YOU will feel wonderful at getting these asides about the process out of your head and on screen or on paper.
We often say our first reader happens to be us….that makes good sense since in the writing we free ourselves to fly, and so keeping a journal on a work in progress is quite freeing. Many a writer who worked with traditional tools kept journals like John Steinbeck wherein they railed against themselves and the work in progress to shake it up and strangle it and get what is needed from it to MAKE the story.
It does take time, and at times I wish I had up till now blogged more on the Manuscript, but I have to also be finding the time to WRITE the thing. I have tried to blog every other weekend at very least and had begun with it once a week. It is rather over due for an update now, so I am away!
Robert W. Walker, author & ebook publisher
Killer Instinct (for ME fans) and Children of Salem (for HYstery-Romance-Mystery fans)