I spent last Friday working on marketing my memoir. I published it in early 2008 myself after realizing that I did not want an agent or publisher to mess with the story that I had to tell. I was confident of my wriitng ability and happy with the cover art I'd chosen (a pastel I did several years earlier), a clever title, and a carefully edited manuscript. On average self-edited books sell under 25 copies; my book is approaching 900. I feel really good about that and think there may well be a wider interest in my book if I can get it out there. And to be honest, I've only made some efforts to do that.
Even more important to me, my original intent in publishing my stories was to be of help to other women and men who had struggled with addiction or recovery. In the United States alone, that's over 10 million people. I still want my book to make a big contribution.
My hope now is to find a publisher who would like to publish a second printing (or a second edition) and give it the PR push it needs. To that end, I've been talking about it at the Hazelden conferences I've been speaking at and have gotten a few referrals, one to an agent and two to publishers who might be interested.
That sets up warm leads and a foot in the door, and so it didn't seem all that difficult to write some letters and mail some books last Friday.
At the same time, though, my first novel, which is finished, is waiting for me to give it some marketing attention. No warm leads there, just the daunting list of agents and their individual requirements (email for some, snail mail for others, first chapter for some, 50 pages for others, 1-page synopsis for some, 2-page synopsis for others. There's plenty of busy work but it makes me tired just to think of it.
What might be more helpful would be to think of it as a game, one worth playing. Again, as I mentioned last week, I need to stop being in perfectionism and just do what I can do and send them out. Not quite sure why that's so hard.