A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO GETTING PUBLISHED
I am not one of those gals who is the life and soul of the party. When I die, that’s not what they’re going to remember me for at the wake. I’m not someone who bounds confidently into a room filled with strangers, sticks out my hand and says, “Hi, I’m Jo,” and leaves an hour later with a new group of BFFs.
I’m the one quietly slinking off to the side somewhere, hoping not to be noticed. I’m the wallflower at the school dance. I’m the one who is introduced to someone and I say “Hi”, and they say “Hi” back and there’s a terrible silence as my mind goes blank, and my blankness somehow seems to supernaturally flow into them, and they say nothing, and I say nothing right back, and it’s all so horrible, you just want to die.
So it’s come as a bit of a shock to learn on the way to getting published, especially being independently published, that it means - I have to talk about myself. Blog about myself. Tweet about myself. Writing the book is only part of the process; there’s a whole other side of it to be considered. It’s called promotion and building visibility and awareness, and it has to be done because otherwise – who out there is ever going to find my books and read them? Out of all the hundreds of thousands of sweet romances sitting on the digital shelves of Amazon or iTunes or Barnes and Noble – how are readers going to even click on “Falling for Jack”, let alone actually download a sample or even, praise the stars, buy the book and hopefully (cross fingers, get down on my knees) love the story – how they are going to do that if someone, somehow, doesn’t start telling them about it?
It turns out, that “someone” is me.
I’ve always had a picture in my mind of what it must be liked to be published with a big name publisher and be represented by a hot literary agent. I have an image of these two glamorous people, swanning around literary functions with glasses of sparkling wine, because that’s what they do, right?, saying, “Oh my gosh, you have got to read “Falling for Jack” by my author, Joanne Hill. It’s fabulous, she’s fabulous, I just love her!”
Well, I’m kind of my own agent and editor, and somehow I don’t think this is going to pan out any time soon… me, swanning around at some literary function with a glass of wine, saying, “I’m Joanne Hill, you have got to read my new book, “Falling for Jack”, its fabulous, I’m fabulous! I just love me.”
The buck stops with me in other ways, too.
If there’s a typo – or heaven forbid, a truck load of typos – I can’t blame the proof reader for missing those words, even if I paid them to check the manuscript. Well, I can have an hysterical fit in the privacy of my own home, but it’s my responsibility, when all is said and done, to get it right. And that reviewer or reader who gets really angry when they see those errors, they don’t care about the proof reader. It’s my name on the cover, not a publisher they can badmouth all over the internet. It’s little old me!
And speaking of covers? That lame design with the three handed heroine? No, there isn’t one (madly checking cover pics on Amazon) but if there were… I can’t blame the artists at the publishing house or the model they chose for the photo shoot or my editor who signed off on it for that error. Nope. I’m the boss. I designed or accepted that cover. I should have seen that extra hand.
Becoming an indie author means you have to leave the comfort of that self imposed shell now and then. You just have to gets some guts and do it. Unless, of course, something amazing happens, and your books just took off and everyone was raving about them, and you have no idea what or how it happened but yay – break out the champagne!
In a way, all it takes is baby steps. A little bit here and there on social media and in real life. Just baby steps to get used to standing in the crowd, waving that book, standing on tippy toes and saying, “Over here. Look at me. Come and buy my book .”
.......BY JOANNE HILL
Jack Fletcher has survived his rough upbringing to become a mega success, but with his personal life down the toilet, discovering he has a son sends his life even further into turmoil.
Robyn Taylor was the brainy girl destined for great things who now waits tables for a living to support her twins. Life is a struggle, but when Jack convinces her he needs her to look after his son, the conditions are too good to turn down.
Robyn has always had a bit of a crush on Jack, but being this close means the crush is rapidly turning into something else altogether, and when Jack gets shocking news, it draws the two of them even closer together.
But how can Jack ever believe he can be a father to his son, and a husband to a woman who must learn not only how to trust him - but to have faith in herself as well.