Head shots or “Just shoot me in the Head”

I hired a photographer last week.  This should be an exciting thing, right?  I’m putting together a website — my very own home on the Internet — and I need some lifestyle photos that show me, well, having a life, I guess.   I found a guy who has a great portfolio, and experience, and an impressive camera and all those light-umbrella thingies.  Perfect, right?

Writing after a first sale. Is it any different?

Along the road to publishing, there’s one thing you can count on:  lots of rest stops.

I’ve finished my copy edits and I’m waiting on the next step.  So, what else should I do other than marketing stuff?  (See my last blog for an idea of what that entails!)  Well, in fact, this is when I should be doing the most important thing of all:  Writing a new book.

It’s called a WIP:  Work in Progress and I nearly always have one.  But this is the first time I’m starting a new book project as a Published Author.  Does it feel any different?  Well, yeah.   It does — in some ways good and some ways bad.

Book is written…now for the hard part. Marketing.

Can we go back in time?  Ten years ought to be enough.  Maybe twenty…  I want to go back to the days when publishing houses arranged book tours and launch parties.  When they brought me to New York to meet with sales reps.  When personal marketing meant carrying a pen for autographs and dressing in brights for photo opportunities.

Today, it’s a different world.  Authors are expected to carry the brunt of the marketing load.  But, you mutter in frustration, what does that mean? What do you really have to do to market yourself?  Oh, I’m so glad you asked. I’ve been trying to figure that out and I’m still not sure.  Lucky for me, my book isn’t out for about 9 months — but here’s what I’ve done so far:

Identity Crisis — Middle Grade or YA

I thought I knew who I was:  A middle grade author.  After all, my debut book that comes out next summer was being carefully crafted to reach middle grade audiences.  I even edited out all the crap (literally!)  The worst cussing was an occasional Dang! Then, enter the marketing and sales meeting.

Apparently, the marketing people, sales reps and book editors at the publishing house get together periodically to discuss the titles coming out for the new season.  And at this meeting I lost my identity.