Today I welcome Dylan Callens to the Library of Erana where he chats about some of the challenges facing the new author.
What to Do Next
I’ve finished my first book. I have one month to prepare before its release while my editor diligently works away at what I hope are my last few grammatical and punctuation errors. That leaves me one month to navigate through the insane world of social media, to build some kind of audience before its launch date. Where do I even start?
I have several ideas; I’m not green when it comes to web design or working on social media platforms. I’ve promoting things online before with varying degrees of success. I even purchased a book to help me with online marketing. Alas, I am only one person trying to build a website, tweet interesting tweets, post amusing Facebook content, network on Goodreads, and create articles for other blogs.
Shit, I think to myself. Should I create a book trailer? Should it be shot using live action? I know how to shoot and edit good video, so maybe I should. Then I calculate the amount of time it will take me before I would be happy with such a project. Ten hours, minimum, for a one minute trailer, I figure. That is ten hours where I am not actively networking. With only four weeks until launch, how will I fit that into my already congested schedule?
My attention turns to setting up accounts for distribution. The usual suspects: Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. I’m leery about iBooks but I’m not sure why. Then I notice Amazon’s button for KDP Select. Some research is required. On the surface, if sounds like a great plan, except for the part where I can’t sell my ebooks on any other platform. More reading. Some have success, some do not. I can’t decide. I shelf the idea for the time being. I still have a few weeks, I’ll figure it out later.
And then there’s advertising. Where do I advertise? What is my budget? I have a little money squirreled away for that but I’m not convinced that it’ll be enough. I figure that I will be throwing money into a pit. Yet, I need to get my name out there. I read a great post about advertising on Amazon that suggests it is a profitable endeavor. Does that mean I have to enroll in KDP Select to use it? And what about Goodreads? That seems like an ideal place. But those ads look so cheap.
My head is swirling with ideas. There is no clear path. I sit up, take a deep breath and try to clear my head. There is only one thing I can do, I figure. Put my fingers to the keyboard and start on something. Anything. I will keep writing. Timelines aren’t that important right now anyway. As long as I keep pushing forward, I will be fine. As long as I can contain the fear of failure, I will persevere. When I’m overwhelmed by the magnitude of work that is ahead of me, I will have to re-center myself on the idea that as long as I am working, I am doing the right thing. Making mistakes will only delay success, not stop it.
Dylan Callens is a high school teacher in Sudbury, Ontario. He is the author of, Operation Cosmic Teapot, which will be available on Amazon on December 11, 2015