I just came back from the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Maryland, a well-run book extravaganza held on a perfect day and there were lots of families and book-lovers.
Between my session and a signing, plus driving, I only got to say hi to a few fellow authors and attend one session on promotion. Of course. I add the 'of course' because it seems as if getting my books into the hands of readers is always on my mind. The talk I went to was about using social networks/media to promote your business. The speaker was Jennifer Abernethy a business woman turned entrepreneur who out of necessity began promoting herself and her business on Facebook, then Twitter and Linkedin, and now has a book (another 'of course' goes in here) that would tell me how to sell a million books. Not. I didn't buy it because she has an updated one coming out in 2012, and as she herself said, the internet/twitters/iPhones of today will be obsolete by the time we blink.
A friend of mine also just came back from a writer's panel in NYC. The word there is that editors are looking for great writers, not just writers with great media presence and huge blog followings, BUT(and here's a big 'but')if you don't sell tens of thousands of books when your novel is published, you won't get a contract for a second novel from that publisher. I am experiencing that right now with one of my YA novels.
Hmmmm. It's no wonder I get worried. Those of you who don't write to pay bills or write for smaller presses or self-publish, may not need to worry. Writing to make a living is much harder than writing because YOU LOVE TO WRITE. I know that I DO and SHOULD write because I love to write, but I also pay college tuition for my daughter and buy feed for my horses. It's a dilemma that I have not solved in the twenty-seven years I have been writing and publishing. Some years have been down-right scary! (Which is one reason why I teach.)
So once again, my blog is not about horses but it sure is about books! And how to sell them. Anyone have the magic answer?