By Rex Hurst
As I’m sitting writing this blog entry, my first novel is being uploaded onto Amazon. Now this isn’t the first book I’ve sold, that one being a particularly foul epistle on a serial killer from the murderer’s point of view, but as the publisher has been reluctant to return my emails, I’m counting this as my first. And of course I’m thinking what next?
All of my energy and focus and drive went into creating a modern masterpiece of aliens shooting each other, I gave no thought (or very, very little thought to be accurate) as to what the hell I do next. As the late, great John Mortimer once wrote to me, (I’m paraphrasing here) “writing the book is the easy part, then you have to get people to want it.”
How do you do that?
Well, writing a great description for the back of the book is a good start. I have now written and rewritten it half a dozen times. How to make it interesting, but not generic. Unique, yet also fit into the category the reader is searching for.
“Time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions,” as T.S. Elliot put it.
“A forced-grown Gen-Human, only three months from his decanting bottle, is shanghaied by a sadistic pirate clan.”
How’s that for an opening line? Does it grab you?
And does the blurb matter? I’ve got a kick ass cover, put together by some very hungry Venezuelans. The cover, despite what anyone says, sells the book more than the blurb. Am I wasting my time?
Then the practical bits. How do I advertise? Or, more importantly, where do I advertise? I’ve got cash for it, but I need to make sure that it doesn’t go down the tubes. Then there’s the process of buying the ISBN number, the bar code, registering the copyright claim, having a print run of the books, getting an author’s website up, going to conventions, having a banner made for myself, getting magnets and t-shirts and miscellaneous crapola all put together.
(I met an indie comic books artist recently who makes more on the fridge magnets and stickers of his comic than he does off of the book itself).
Still that’s neither here nor there.
All of these tensions, all of these potential problems, aren’t going to stop me from hitting that fateful button “publish.”
And here we go.