Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Today I planted a dozen pink and red geraniums in the pots on my deck after I clipped away the dying greens from the tulips that greeted us on our return from our cruise. We had never gone on a cruise and luckily chose one that suited us just fine: great food, free wine (me) and multiple desserts (Don) at each gourmet meal. We cruised to celebrate our mutual eightieth birthdays after we noted that in each port we could choose to walk around the town if we opted not to climb the volcano. It's important to have choices when one's choices in life are narrowing in many ways.
The geraniums were a choice, too, after my attempt at blueberries on a sixth floor terrace failed. No one, even a cruel winter, can kill off a geranium, at least here in Oregon, if it gets a little water and occasional kind words.
I've made another choice also. I have chosen to sign with a new publishing company which has offered to redesign my three books, make them a "set " of books that resemble each other and market them as a series. I will still have to help market the books and am obligated to join a list of social media sites to make my and their presence known. This kind of publishing, which includes paperback, e-book, and auditory versions, also uses the Print on Demand sources, but not Amazon or Createspace. Companies like this call themselves "hybrid publishers," and do much of the upfront work of putting out a book as well as support with websites and advertising as their authors market.
Two problems with my choosing to sign this contract. I will be spending many hours tweeting and Facebooking, not to mention Tumbling. But my son Peter says all this a activity will keep my brain active, like crossword puzzles, so there will be an upside to this effort. The upside for him might be that it may prolong the time before I end up living in his basement.
Also, I need to decide which genre my books fit into. If I indicate Women's Fiction, they may end up next the Romance books. Or pecking away in the Chick Lit trough. My books have a little romance in them, but my women don't consider romantic love to be number one on their to-do lists any more. An intent look and a whispered, "Bella" works pretty good for most of us. A genre called Contemporary Women's Literature seems to indicate ambitious women characters with good hair and glass ceilings—and maybe about thirty years younger than my Ellie, Edith, and the pals in the beach house.
A number of phrases describe my women: women of a certain age, older women, hens, old ladies, boomers (these are the more positive terms), and I'm being asked to direct my marketing efforts and my choice of genre toward this market.
So, I am again faced with a choice. Except I don't like any of the possibilities. Geraniums choices were easy. The genre of my books isn't. I need some help from anyone who knows what I'm talking about–the age thing–the importance of choice thing. Please.