My new book Gold Dragon Haiku will be out on Amazon tomorrow. Yeah!
I put editing the second strand of the novel aside (it's chuntering along at a fair pace - I’m half way through) and have spent the last couple of days tweaking and re-tweaking the haiku. I have finally decided on a title - making sure no one else has an identical one is time consuming - and I’m ironing out some formatting glitches. Why does the title appear aligned on the left on one device and not another? Today’s task - sort these adjustments!
Tomorrow morning my intention is (may the powers that be protect me from all natural disasters, marauding Norsemen or a nervous breakdown) to press the ‘Publish’ button which I shall do with pleasure. This is not just because I’ve achieved the target date (+1 as I did say end of April) but because I’m putting my writing out there for people to read. Reciprocation is part of the writing equation: an offering and an acceptance. If it wasn’t, I’d be writing a diary.
So when Gold Dragon Haiku is up there on Amazon’s screen, what else do I need to do?
When you’re in your writing bubble, absorbed in the creative flow of story, character, word choice and in the case of haiku, transposing a moment or an observation into an insightful image, there is nothing more important. Yet when you finally decide that you've done your best and your offering is out there, you learn that it’s up to you to inform the world.
The PR/marketing that a self-publishing writer needs to take on in the new fluid digital marketplace of today’s books is daunting but to ignore the opportunities, seems to me, to be sticking your head in the sand. Yes, it is more work and it is a learning curve - developing a bright shiny 140 odd character sound bite must be an excellent writing exercise - surely it’ll be another string to the bow?
If I sound as if I’m trying to convince myself, yes, you’re right, I am. But the reality of an unknown author sticking their book up on Amazon/Smashwords or wherever and watching it fly to the top the bestseller list with no more effort from yourself other than to watch the numbers sold rise, is, I think, a myth.
So yes, I've found the courage and I've gone and done it. I’ve opened a Twitter account. Will it work? Will I increase my readership? Or will I spend endless hours trying to figure out how to put a tweet in the right stream because the FAQ don’t seem to have that question and answer in their list. (I'm very pleased to say I did manage it – isn’t all computing about finding the correct button to press?)
I’m accepting that blogging and tweeting are part of publishing for new writers treading the self-publishing path, and getting to grips with this side of the business is a must. My line of reasoning to myself, is that even if all the hype is just that – hype – then what will I have lost by trying?
I will have to invest some of my time which could have been used on the novel – but time management is, possibly, the most important skill here. No twittering until the day’s writing is done. The same practice I observe with keeping up with Google + communities and writing my blog – most of the time that is. That’s common sense but what does have to be cultivated is the discipline to stick to it.
At this point, enough of the serious stuff. I think it’s time for another chocolate, after all, you’ve got to get your juice from somewhere haven’t you?
a species which spreads
invisible tentacles -
hello are you there
Gold Dragon Haiku is available from tomorrow (even if I have to work through the night to make it so...) as an ebook at the Amazon Kindle Store.
My thanks to all those bloggers whose wise words have enlightened, and encouraged, me on this curve of the writing journey. I'd like to mention, in particular, Sara Greenfield, whose book was
invaluable, and which I shall continue to use as I gain proficiency in this new medium.
Here's the link:
And you can find me on Twitter at Teagan Kearney@modhaiku
For all story lovers out there, I wish you good reading, and for those of you who write, good writing.
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