Saturday, April 13, 2013

Another treadmill writing episode: 43:28

As I've mentioned in some earlier posts, this new novel I'm working on is posing many different kinds of problems than the ones before it where I seemed to automatically know what each next episode was going to be. This process is much more one of fits and starts. I show up every morning to write, but I often have to wait a while to know what to write and some days I don't get very far.

This morning was one of those days. I reread yesterday's drafting as always and tweaked a couple of words and added a little description. I had two other chapters started (a couple of sentences in each) but I couldn't figure out where to go with either one. Finally one of the characters told me she wanted to go to a Chinese restaurant so we ended up there but I couldn't figure out why and then my time was up.

I went to the gym after that. I needed to go early as I had a memorial service to attend later in the morning and I was conscious of the time so I decided on 40 minutes on the treadmill. As I got to the end of that 40 minutes though, something in me said "do another 10." But I had decided on 40 and I was already cutting it close to get ready to leave for the service.However, the little voice just wouldn't let go.

And so I stayed, listening to Foreigner and thinking about the book, and suddenly at 43:28 on the treadmill, I knew a big piece of what happens. It just came into my mind--all laid out. And it was so cool!

And yes, I walked the full 50 in gratitude and yes, I made the memorial service in plenty of time!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Book marketing #3

When I published my first book and the whole marketing challenge settled in on me, I felt overwhelmed and baffled. Even though I knew a fair amount about marketing (I had written press releases for clients, knew how to put together a press kit, knew how to get information), I felt pre-discouraged by all the bad talk I'd heard about how impossible it was to get your book out into the world on your own.

I'm a chronic list-maker and so that's what I set out to do. Make a list of all the feasible, practical, and possible things that I could do to market my book and an equal number of crazy, impossible, and impractical (i.e., too expensive) things I could do. But I didn't get very far until I asked myself two questions, which, are, I think, at the heart of marketing.

1. Where do I buy books/art objects?
2.  How do I learn about new books/art objects?

Here are some of the answers I came up with:

Question 1:
a. from catalogs
b. from amazon
c. through online searches and the retailers that show up
d. small retailers, including independent bookstores and gift shops (museum and otherwise)
e. Fred Meyer's
f. at workshops and classes I take

Question 2:
a. friends
b. chance encounter (see it in a shop)
c. looking for something similar to what I already like

So I began to target my marketing efforts in those directions. What would be your answers to these questions?