My debut novel is set to release on February 1st, 2018. I’ve worked hard to get here. Now, all I have to do is find a way to spread the word. Easy, right?
According to Steven Piersanti, President, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, “… the number of new books published each year in the U.S. has exploded to well over 1 million annually.” 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing (https://www.bkconnection.com/the-10-awful-truths-about-book-publishing)
With that many new books released into the world every day, it’s no wonder that a majority of those debut novels show very little, if any, profit. So—how can I make sure my book will be different?
If I were writing a novel, I’d invent a magical, future-predicting device to help me. (Wouldn’t it be great if writing skills were superpowers? I’d use them to write myself through all of life’s challenges!) Barring that ability, I have no way of truly knowing what will connect with my readers. But if I don’t find a way to let people know about my book, those potential readers won’t even know it exists.
Suggestions for getting the word out abound. Become active on social media, get reviews, schedule book signings, offer promotions. But there was one avenue I kept hearing about that I hadn’t tried, and as I researched, I learned that right now it is ‘the thing to do.’ It’s simple, really. Here it is:
Start a blog.
Everyone’s doing it. As a writer in this era, if you don’t have a blog, you’re among the scattered few.
Okay, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure what a blog really is. For that reason alone, I shied away from the idea, shutting myself into a comfortable little box.
But a tiny voice made it through the cracks. Shouldn’t I do everything I can to set my book up for success?
So, the first order of business was to research. I read articles, quotes, and visited websites. I talked to other authors. And most importantly, I read blogs. Long blogs, short blogs. Some that made me laugh out loud, and others that had me wiping tears from my cheeks. Covering a wide variety of topics. It didn’t matter. If there was a blog posted, my eyes devoured it.
I found out that, in the simplest of terms, what constitutes a blog is updated information. The biggest difference between a web page and a blog is that a website can be static, while a blog is not. A blog is updated frequently with new information.
I leaped out of my box and decided to give it a try by setting up a blog page on my website, intending to post an update once per week.
How hard can it be? I’m a writer, after all. I’m sure I can think of something to write about each week. No sweat.
Well…maybe it’s not quite as simple as that.
The big question. What should I write about? How will I ever think of an eye-catching, thought-provoking, topic to share with my readers? And not just once, but every seven days? Self-doubt began to filter into my resolve, and I eased one foot back over the edge of that box.
My life is not more exciting than yours, I promise you. It’s pretty mundane, really. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Feed the dogs. Cook dinner. Fold the laundry. Do some writing. Watch TV. Got to sleep. Repeat. Not really the kind of information people want to read about. So just how do you decide what to write?
During my research, I’d learned that you can blog about anything you want. There really is no limit on the topics you can write about. So, I’d have to narrow it down.
Firmly planting my foot back on solid ground, I rounded my shoulders and began typing.
It seemed natural that my very first blog post would be about writing. I wrote about the road to publication, and my personal experiences with landing a publisher for my novel.
But a very important part of blogging is your reader’s ability to hear your voice and get to know you on a more personal level. I realized I was going to have to dig a little deeper.
I started paying attention to the little things. Everyday things that we all have in common. The morning commute to work. Things that happened during the course of a workday. The people around me. Upcoming holidays.
And somehow, through the course of it all, I began to change.
Oh, it wasn’t a swing in my personality or even a shift in my interactions with others. No, this was a much more subtle reform. A change that came from deep down inside at the core of me. (Picture the Grinch, his tiny heart growing to three times its size.)
As I traveled down this blogging path, I started to really pay attention to me. My inner thoughts and fears, joys and misgivings, sorrows and celebrations; some of which I hadn’t even consciously acknowledged, suddenly came into focus like never before.
On this road to help my book succeed, I found myself along the path.
Blogging has become like a journal to me. A diary of sorts. The only difference is that I share it with the public. No matter which topic I choose to write about, parts of me shine through, and I’m forced to take an introspective view of myself through each issue presented.
Who knew that the act of blogging could take on a therapeutic role? Certainly not me. Starting a blog has opened up new doors in my life.
So, if you find yourself faced with the choice…to blog or not to blog? Not sure if you want to make that leap…
Take my advice and go for it! You might just find more than you set out to accomplish.
When faced with what to write about? The answer is…drum roll please…anything! Just make sure you put yourself into the piece, no matter the topic.
I promise you won’t regret your decision. Your inner-self, and your readers, will thank you for it.
“A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life.” –Tobias Wolff
About KEEPER OF THE WATCH
Chase Walker is beginning to doubt his own sanity. From the moment he turned eighteen, a strange paranoia has taken over his mind. It all started the moment he discovered his uncle’s old watch…
The watch calls to him. Though it beckons, he resists. His body strains toward it, blood pulsing, heart pounding in a mysterious and primitive need to connect with his uncle’s old beat up watch.
When sexy and mysterious Alyx saves his life, she promises answers. She talks of dimension travel, and wears a magical watch of her own…
Kristen L. Jackson lives in Reading, PA, with her husband, two grown sons, and three large-breed dogs. She has been a teacher for over 20 years, and writing for children of all ages is close to her heart. Her debut novel, KEEPER OF THE WATCH, is set to release on February 1st, 2018, and a children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS, will release later in 2018. She enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family at their cabin in the Pocono mountains of PA.