Thursday, February 2, 2012

SELLING: A DIRTY WORD BUT WITH A KIND-OF-NICE OUTCOME, MAYBE

So, now that both Graffiti Grandma and The Solarium are being sold on Amazon, Lulu, iBook and Nook (don’t even ask what this last few weeks have been like), I am beginning the marketing.

I like that word. Marketing. It seems professional. A Facebook page is under construction. I am reading a few other writers’ blogs. I have hired a web page genius who happens to also be a good friend even though I’m twice her age. I have on-line joined a couple of indie writers and publishers groups. That’s what we self-publishers are called with only a slight squint nowadays, a lot better than the derisive downward curve of the lip that used to accompany “vanity press.”

I haven’t a clue what to do next. Altogether I have sold maybe thirty copies of my books. My son even bought one and downloaded onto his 21-inch Mac. He will be paralyzed if he tries to read it that way, sitting straight up in his desk chair, but the effort warms his mother’s heart. A friend gave up trying to find one of my books on iTunes and downloaded the Glee-Madonna album instead. Another friend said, “Jo, I don’t do e-books. I don’t do Facebook. I don’t do the internet. Mostly, I don’t do computer. What else is there?” I ran off the manuscript of The Solarium and sent it snail mail to her, but warned her to open it carefully because Kindle formatting doesn’t do page numbers.

For the past day or so, I’ve begun to realize how easy it is to become addicted to the possibilities that the computer screen offers anyone who needs to make life, or in my case, marketing, perfect. This morning I Googled “e-book reviews” and two hours later it comes to me that I’ve been overtaken by hundreds of reviews of e-books, yes, but books written by Janet Evanovitch and that Patterson guy and others who get reviewed whenever they sneeze. No one’s going to review either one of my offerings, except my friend-writer Peggy who knew I’d also do it for her if it comes to that. Which it won’t because her first book may be picked up by a publisher who is entering the e-book business with romantic-mystery books, which is Peggy’s genre.

There is no genre for stories of old ladies who may or may not have mysterious (at least to anyone under sixty) notions--but think about it--who’s out there to notion with? Perhaps that’s where the mystery comes in. An old people’s genre? Somehow made sell-worthy with a handsome ninety-year-old lothario who happens to be a serial killer? (I’m noting that last sentence for further consideration.)

I have decided to take control of my days and my computer. Mornings are for writing the next novel about an old lady, to hell with it, and the afternoons will be for cruising the internet for marketing ideas that don’t cost $3,000. At noon I am joining a senior exercise class and giving my body a break.

“Mens sana in corpore sano.” At least I may get one of those right.

Jo Barney Writes
Website: www.jobarneywrites.com
Blog: breakoutnovelarace.blogspot.com