The Long Road To Publicity
I think of EEL'S REVERENCE as my first real novel. I decided to write a novel when I was in junior high--or maybe high school. At any rate, let's just say I wasn't a child prodigy. The world should give me a medal for not saving a copy of that monstrosity.
After that thing, I wrote a gothic romance with a male lead character who didn't have a romance. I've rewritten that book multiple times and now like it very much, and I think (fingers crossed) it's found a publisher.
Meanwhile, after the gothic, I took the time to go to some workshops and I joined a writers group (I still belong to it--the Southern Indiana Writers Group).
In the early 1990s, I wrote three books which I placed with electronic publishers. Back then, "electronic publishing" meant that people ordered the books through the mail and received 5 1/4 floppy disks with the books on them.
My first electronic publisher quit the business. My second one did well for me at first, but sales dwindled. A couple of years ago, I retrieved my rights to the three books and submitted them to Echelon Press, which accepted all three for re-issue.
I'm currently on a blog book tour for EEL'S REVERENCE and previewing FORCE OF HABIT, which is due out in November--and thank you for hosting me!
So what was the difference between my first two publishers and Echelon?
Echelon is a good publisher, but those two were also good publishers. All three houses had/have close working relationships with their authors, all three did/do everything they could/can to make noise for their authors. So what's the difference?
I would like to say that the only difference is that the other two were way ahead of their time. I would like to say that the other two had some flaws that Echelon doesn't have, or that Echelon has some attitude or clout that the other two didn't have.
But here's what I think is really the difference: Echelon has a different author.
Since the time I retrieved my rights, I've done quite a bit of research on the ebook market. I've joined marketing email lists. I've read marketing blogs and books. I've taken a blog book tour class and I've studied other writers' blogs and techniques. I've learned how to build a professional blog and, I hope, use it effectively. I've put up inexpensive or free short stories on Kindle and Smashwords to use as promotional items. I've sold short stories to anthologies and taken those to signings, and have volunteered to sit on panels at conventions and workshops.
I expected my previous publishers to do most of my publicity for me, and thought all I had to do was notify my hometown newspaper and all my friends and relations, "Here I am! Come and buy!" Echelon benefits from my having done a little wising up.
Takeaway advice: If you want a good publisher, don't just be a good writer; be a good author.
Anyone who leaves a comment at one of my blog tour stops AND mentions EEL'S REVERENCE will be entered. Anyone who buys the book and posts a review anywhere and includes the link to the review as a comment to any of those posts will be entered five times. All entries will be numbered and the winning numbers will be chosen by random number generator. Only one prize per entrant. First winner gets first choice of prize.
- Free copy of EEL'S REVERENCE or FORCE OF HABIT, my upcoming sf/farce. (2 separate prizes-1 of each)
- Free softback copy of SWORD AND SORCERESS XXIII, with my story "Undivided" in it.
- Free softback copy of DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND, with my story "Team Player" in it.
- Your name in the story I'm going to write to promote FORCE OF HABIT.
When elderly priest of Micah, "Aunt" Libby, goes on a Final Wandering, she's accosted and then befriended by an amphibious mugger. The area known as The Eel is infested with worse than minor criminals--it's under the thumbs of a coalition of greedy, brutal priests. Aunt Libby is a frail barrier to stand between peace and violence, and the worst violence may not come from her enemies...but from her friends.
EEL'S REVERENCE is available from OmniLit and Amazon's Kindle Store.
Her writing reflects this love of network. No one exists in total isolation, but in a web of connections to family, friends, colleagues, self at former stages of maturity, perceptions and self-images. Most of her work is fantasy, science fiction and/or mystery, though she writes horror, humor, romance, mainstream or anything else that suits the story and character.
Professionally, she's a member of Southern Indiana Writers, Writing and Promotion (WRaP), and Green River Writers.
Her web site is http://MarianAllen.com