Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It’s a Long Way to the Top

One of my favorite bands says “It’s a long way to the top, if you wanna rock’n’roll”.  Well, I’ve been officially published now for six months and, in that short time, I’ve spent I-can’t-tell-you-how-many hours promoting Procythian Reign.  In even this brief half-a-year I’ve spent as an independent writer, I think I can say: it’s pretty long way to the bottom of the heap, too.

I’m not writing this for sympathy, or to publicly bemoan just how taxing and difficult it can be to be a writer.  In fact, every article by every author I’d ever read on the subject told me to expect a long, hard, frustrating road.  So, I anticipate nothing different for myself.  And, though I haven’t paid any real dues to speak of, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that writing can be a demanding, time-consuming task that yields some pretty slow results.

I’ve read a few books about how to become a literary commercial success.  They’ve been informative and helpful.  I’ve gleaned much inspiration from their ideas.  I’ve incorporated as many as I can and dedicated as much time as I could spare and some I couldn’t into getting into the public forum.  But all of that work which has yielded little in the line of commercial success has made me come to a conclusion: These people must not have day jobs or they wear a cape and tights under their going-out clothes.  I do as much as I physically can, but there just aren’t the hours in the day.

I’ve decided that I need an assistant.  (How I'm going to pay him is another story for another blog.)  I have plenty of work for even a full-timer.  I could keep him busy for weeks just filling out review requests.  That isn’t counting the hours I spend on Twitter and researching promotional opportunities.  I could really use a hand putting together the second Procythian Reign trailer I’m trying to produce.  There’s also a Facebook page which has gone sorely neglected, and a new author-based website that I’ve been trying to get off the ground.     

Of course, only I can do the interviews and more personal correspondences with people who have actually responded to review/interview requests.  I need to be the one to dedicate more time to working on this blog and cultivating my small but growing fan base.  It’s my face that should be out there peddling Procythian Reign print book to small book stores all over town.  I need to do the face-to-face and make those precious inroads into the book industry.

I also need time to do something novel: write.  I’ve had a first draft of Procythian Reign’s sequel, The Proceena Crusade, written since before I released Procythian Reign.  The problem is that I am spending every moment I can steal away from my other responsibilities trying to generate excitement for my current book, I have had precious little time to work on my newer projects.

But I swear I'm not complaining.  In fact, I’m very happy to say that there’s a lot of reasons to be excited about the direction my career as a writer is taking.  I am working 10-12 hours on my off days(sometimes more).  The kids are back at school, so there’s more time, now.  Reviews, positive reviews, are beginning to trickle in.

I’m beginning to get opportunities.  I’m making contact with people who can help me reach out to readers!  Many of these are coming from visiting the local book stores.  Even the ones that don’t carry my book are putting me in contact with those who can help me, and I expect to have some very exciting news in the near future!

So, there is real sign of life! I’ve been able to do a number of interviews, including a character interview of Eric Phillips of which I’m really proud.  I can see a future for my Facebook page. I’m expecting that trickle of reviews to reach a steady stream in the near future! I have done a guest blog for another writer and think I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing. 

Yes, there’ll be more posts…a lot more in the upcoming weeks and months.  I already have an idea for the next one.  But I’ll have plenty of blog material coming up soon and I have more ideas for future installments of Greetings from Proceena!  Thank you to all of those who’ve taken the time to follow this blog and welcome to all who have just started.

It may be a long way to the top, but I plan to enjoy the ride.  I hope you’ll take the trip with me!