Tag Archives: novels

Why Launch Your Book?

IMG_1787Writing and publishing a book is a big deal. There are many people who will spout how they’re writing a book but they never actually finish it. Then there are many people who have written a book but they never actually publish it.

Why is this?

Because writing a book is hard work. No way around it. Like many worthwhile pursuits, you need to put the work in. The biggest challenge is the actual time taken to writing the damn thing, let alone the rewrites and then the editing and production that comes with publishing it.

So getting to the publication stage, the actual printed book in your hands, is worthy of celebration. The best way to celebrate it is by having a book launch. It’s not vain to do this but a prerequisite to selling the book and getting it out into the world and into readers’ hands.

The book launch has dual purposes: to celebrate the work and to start the selling process. By announcing it to the world, you are affectively saying, ‘Here it is, come and get it.’

The launch is a very important part of the marketing strategy for your book. You can start talking about it long before the date (and this also makes the book feel very real) and you can use the launch as a platform to invite media and to talk about the book without it feeling too ‘salesy’. Doesn’t it feel better to invite people to a party, rather than invite them to buy the book outright? Of course you hope they buy the book because they’ll get caught up in the excitement of the event but there’ll be no pressure.

Your family and friends will also love to share in your achievement. There’s nothing more satisfying to see an author sitting before a line of people waiting to have the book signed. There might also be that little bit of satisfaction for the author to prove the people wrong who had nodded and thought, ‘They’ll never get there.’

The book launch is a very important part of the publishing process. Not having one will mean you’ll miss opportunities for promotion and sales. You might be an author who isn’t worried about making money from the book but surely you’d like to at least recoup some of your investment or make money to invest in the next project.

The Value of Feedback

Life drawing by Kev Howlett

You can appraise this drawing instantly.

A writer lives so much in his or her head and, unlike other art forms, writing is harder to share and get feedback.

Because you are living in your head, engrossed in your story, you are effectively inside a bubble. You are living and breathing a story that may or may not be good but you don’t have the distance from it to be able to appraise it yourself.

Writers can exist in a place that is either filled with anxiety or bursting with their own genius.

The solution?

Get feedback.

Feedback isn’t about feeding your ego (although for some it may be). It’s about gauging how a variety of readers might react to your writing and to see if what you think is happening is something similar for the reader. This is very useful because what we have written and what is going on in our head may not be the same thing.

Here’s an example: I sought feedback for my current novel because I want to know if a switch in point of view works. I had mixed reactions, mostly saying that it is jarring. You might think that this is negative. In fact, this is what I intended. This is a turning point in my novel and I want the reader to now be inside someone’s head. Jarring is exactly the reaction I’m after. Phew.

It isn’t always this way. Sometimes what I write isn’t always read the way I intended. If more than one person doesn’t ‘get it’ then I rethink it.

Why is getting feedback important?

It’s the ONLY way to improve your work. Yes, you might know your story is brilliant but if readers don’t agree, what is the point? If a story goes from your head, straight to a submission pile at a publisher, you won’t know if it has the best chance of getting picked up.

Get feedback and get a thick skin because not everyone will see your brilliance!