“The trailer’s the thing, by which we’ll prick the interest of the potential readers!”
-Hamlet, sort of
In last week’s cover reveal, I talked about a cover’s importantance in attracting potential readers. That’s not a bold or divisive statement, by any means. Unfortunately, a good cover on its own is rarely enough. Thanks to modern technology and digital storefronts like Amazon, there are a lot of books being published every week. Many of them even have cool covers, because… again… everyone knows how important that is.
So how do you make your book stand out even more? Well, that’s where marketing comes in… and where I start to flounder. Author interviews, book reviews, give-away contests, calls-to-action for your 50k+ Twitter followers… it’s all designed to get the word out about your book and to convert some of those people into new readers.
A picture is worth a thousand words. A cover is worth way more than that.
The irony of being a first-time author is that some of the most important keys to a successful launch have nothing to do with your writing at all. It’s not enough to write a good book… you have to convince people to actually read that book too.
Worse, you have to convince them to pay for it.
I am old and fat and slow.
Even the breath leaving this body is stale,
leached of life by its torturous climb
from the flesh cavity of my chest,
up the worn trachea,
and into a mouth clinging to its teeth
like a shipwrecked sailor to driftwood.
Late August is upon us, and if there was any good and justice left in the world, I’d be unveiling the cover for See These Bones and talking about the forthcoming release.
Narrator: There was no good and justice left in the world. Both had taken an ill-timed vacation to Mars. Don’t nuke Mars, Elon!
Instead, I’m still where I was last month, which says dire things about my anticipated fall release. In lieu of shiny book-related treats to share, I decided to instead whip up a guide to self-publishing, leveraging my vast stores of non-existent experience and a passing familiarity with the general concept of humor.
I started with
the basic summary—
one wife, two jobs, no kids—
then added chapters to detail
the paths taken
since we last spoke,
but soon realized
I was boring even myself.
With literal hordes of grasshoppers descending upon Las Vegas like a biblical plague (minus the destruction), one thing is abundantly clear:
It’s time for another status update.
So let’s get to it!
When you were five
and so small you were
almost lost in your own jacket—
a bundle of bones
and two eyes so blue
they drowned out the summer sky—
you would recoil
from every loud noise on
the nearby street,
I left for work this morning
but never came home.
The man they sent in my place was older,
weaker. He had a scar across his left
cheek and gray splotches in his hair.
As one of the many residents of “Writer Twitter”, I participate in a fair number of writer-centric hashtag games. Some are great ways to introduce yourself to fellow authors, some provide an opportunity to dig into what makes your manuscript work (or not work), and others are just there for silly fun. Last week, #TheMerryWriter…
Last night, I dreamed
that you were tossing back highballs
from a martini glass,
and when I pointed this out,
you slapped me,
and said everyone was doing it.