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Project Update

I met with my editor today about the next book I'm publishing and as much as we talked about the editorial direction the book needed to take, we talked just as much about the marketing strategy we'd need to embark on to make it successful.

The next book I'm publishing is tonally different than any of the other books or stories I've ever published.  It's not comedic fiction like Lost at the Con, nor does it resemble the science fiction collected in Man Against the Future in any way.  It's tentatively titled Interstate-15 and is the coming of age story of a pair of teenage boys.  It's a very close, personal book to me and I've been hesitant to publish it at all.  In fact, it was actually the first book I ever wrote and helped me deal with a lot of personal issues in my own "coming of age" story.

But my editor and I both feel that there's a great book in there with just a little tweaking and some modest rewrites.  In fact, I'd love to see teenagers read it to offer them some insight into their own maturation, and I hope adults read it to reminisce about the struggles they went through as teenagers.

But like I said, it's very different from the other books I've written.

I'm almost halfway done with another novel, a science fiction book, that has a lot of appeal to the sort of reader who has enjoyed my current published offerings and we had to have a very serious discussion about whether to fast track that book and release it next, or go ahead with the already completed book.

Ultimately, we decided to stay the course we had planned because it doesn't matter when the book comes out, I'm going to have to find a different audience for it one way or the other.  Though I hope that you guys all cross over and read it anyway, I understand going in that it won't be for everyone.

Since I'm an entrepreneurial publisher handling all of my own marketing, it's important to at least consider how I'm going to go about it.  I know to a lot of other artists, thinking about your marketing strategy is antithetical to being an artist, but if you want to succeed in this day and age, it's something you're going to have to wrap your head around.

It's one thing to be cognizant of the marketing plan before the book comes out, but after it comes out is when the real work begins.  But it doesn't need to be overwhelming.  In the weeks leading up to the release of these last two books, I would dedicate ten or fifteen minutes a night looking for review websites and publications that seemed as though they'd be a good fit for my books.  I'd send perhaps five or six press releases out per night (sometimes as few as just one), offering a digital review copy (or a physical review copy if they were big enough).  Not all of them bit, but those that did have been giving the book rave reviews and more are on the way.  And that process hasn't stopped since the book came out.

But wrapping your head around the who's and why's of the next one is something that you've got to consider if you're going to be a successful small businessperson in the realm of writing and publishing.

Here's hoping I don't screw it up.

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