The thing is with being a novelist (it’s easier for me to use this label. The words ‘author’ and ‘writer’ just seem… fake) is that it’s a permanent job. I’ve heard this said many times, you may have too. And also that it’s a full-time job, being a novelist. And it is. There are FB groups where authors hang out and exchange stories of sitting down and writing for ten hours a day, seven days a week and yes, that’s right, that’s a 70-hour week, bashing the keyboard, turning out prose, like an infinite monkey mainlining full-fat sugar.
I’ve got a deadline for the first Tempest prequel. I want to have the novel ready for packaging early November. This means that I have to have finished writing it, have it edited, get it back from the editor, manipulate the text some more, send it to my typesetter, get a cover commissioned, get that to my typesetter too, receive the package, turn it into a *whole* package, send it to the paperback publisher and get the Kindle version accepted for publication. And, as I’ve said, this all needs to be done by early November. That’s a big ask. But I love a challenge, so I’m having a go at the deadline.
The November milestone is a Christmas-related thing. Get the book into the shops ready for the Christmas rush, you see. Christmas presents for everyone! Socks for you. Pants for me. And the latest Brennig Jones for Uncle Arthur because he’s a sad old git who already has plenty of socks and pants. Or maybe he doesn’t wear socks and pants. Whatever.
The authors who are big into marketing and who hang around on the writing FB groups tell you (me!) to get your social media churning. Get your website up and running. Get your special FB page churning out content. Get a mailing list going. Build networks. Involve people. Yadda yadda yadda.
And you (I’m) supposed to do all these things while I’m sitting down writing like the wind, trying to hit my November deadline. That’s an even bigger ask. But me and challenges, we have an understanding.
So I’ve revamped the writing website. And I occasionally poke the social media (though this is more difficult as I’m in the stages of leaving the bin fire that Twitter has become) with ‘Buy my book you bloody lovely people!’ messages. And, to be fair, quite a few people have. And quite a few are tucking in to the audiobook.
But I do wish I had a marketing magic wand to wave about. One with an unlimited budget and full engagement with the public. I must know people who work in marketing – people who I’ve worked with in the bad old days – who I can tap up? Maybe I need to head over to the dread place that is LinkedIn to see who works in marketing and whether they remember me. Or perhaps they don’t.
Novel-writing is hard. Novel-selling is harder. Take it from me.