You’re So Vain, You Probably Think Self-Publishing’s About You

Sunday was quite amazing. After all, it isn’t every day that your book is released.

It started out with a text from Rusty in the morning. You’re the number 1 “No Time For Kings” on Google search now. Yes! This pleased me to no end. You see, there’s another book out there with my same title. Also self-published, back in 2004. I discovered this a couple of years ago, halfway through the writing process. I debated changing the name…for about thirty seconds or so, but decided my title fit in perfectly with the story and I didn’t want to give it up. Besides, there is no rule against this – in fact, many books share the same title. Did you know there are at least four novels named Twilight, for instance? And three of them were not written by Stephenie Meyer. Think that’s bad? There are no fewer than 22 books called Night Shift! Obviously Stephen King’s is the most popular. So, the fact that there was another NTFK out there didn’t bother me in the least. I simply said, “Well, I’ll have to knock that book from its top perch on Google, and I will do it…mark my words.” So we’d been checking Google periodically. A few days ago, the other book was still number one. Yesterday, it was knocked down to 3rd place when I looked. And that is when I discovered my book had officially been released for sale.

I didn’t know what sort of fanfare – if any – would accompany the release, so when I saw it posted on Booklocker’s website, I was pleasantly surprised. Barnes & Noble and Amazon quickly followed suit. Suddenly, there my book was, available for sale online! And thus began the next step in this grand adventure: promoting my novel.

A few days ago, I read an interesting post from Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) called Advertising Self. Timely, because she talked about the art of self-promotion, and how uncomfortable it makes her. That’s something I can relate to. I actually have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising, but by the time I reached my senior year of college, I knew in my heart advertising was not the career for me – I felt the business was too cutthroat, and dependent upon false claims. I didn’t feel comfortable manipulating people out of their hard-earned money, but by then I’d completed the majority of my mandatory coursework and wasn’t about to change majors and sign on for another couple of years of college, so I took the piece of paper and hoped a degree alone would be sufficient to help me move ahead in my career. The verdict’s still out on whether or not that was the right move, but simply having a degree has opened doors for me, so I suppose it was worth it.

Anyway. I’ve also had opportunities to work in sales, and always turned those down, for similar reasons. I’m just not comfortable selling things! So it’s ironic that I’ve chosen to pursue a profession where if you don’t sell yourself, you’ll never succeed. Truth is, that’s borderline terrifying. But there’s one major difference here: I’m selling a product I believe in very strongly – and that makes all the difference in the world.

Courtesy of askdavetaylor.com.

Some say self-publishing is for the vain. Trust me when I tell you, I am not like that at all. I consider myself to be quite humble, actually. I’m not comfortable in the spotlight. But I believe in No Time For Kings so strongly, I had to see it through to print. It doesn’t matter that a hundred different literary agents fed me the same “sorry, this project is not for us” line: that in no way means my novel isn’t worthy. Not a single one of them read it, and I understand that’s the nature of the business these days, so forget about them. I forged ahead on my own because I think the story is exciting, fast-paced, timely, and well-written. And I believe, if you buy the book, you will agree. It’s got action, adventure, intrigue, drama and passion. Explosions for the guys, a love story for the girls. I don’t expect to become rich or famous from the novel…I just want to entertain people and, if I’m lucky, maybe have a few more doors open up for me. Do you know why I can assure you I didn’t self-publish a book just to see my name in print? Because I’ve got three other manuscripts tucked away, gathering dust, and they will never see the light of day. They simply aren’t good enough, and no amount of massaging and editing will change that. Sure, I could have put them out, too. But what good is achieving immortality if your work sucks? I’d rather not be remembered if that was the case!

No Time For Kings is worthy. I believe that with my whole heart.

And so, I begin the arduous process of self-promotion. Like it or not, it’s a necessary part of the job. Some might say the fun part. They’re doubtless Type A personalities, and good for them! I’ll just do the best I can. I have a master plan that started with a Facebook page and will spread to book reviews, press releases, booths at festivals, social networking, etc. There are many different ways to promote a book, and I want to try them all – even some that have never been thought of before. This is all pretty exciting (okay, maybe it is a little fun!) but also scary, because now I have to see if people will actually buy my book, and if they do, whether they’ll like it.

With that in mind, here are some links to purchase my novel. I am willing to sign copies for anybody interested; we’ll just have to work out the logistics, but I’ve got some ideas I’m working on. The book is available in paperback on all three sites. There’s also an e-book version available at Booklocker, and in a bow to technology (if you can’t fight progress, you might as well embrace it!), a Kindle version for sale through Amazon. I’ll also be posting all this information to my Buy My Book page.

Buy on Booklocker.
Buy on Amazon (paperback).
Buy on Amazon (Kindle).
Buy on Barnes & Noble.

Thank you for your support – and let the fun begin!

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Categories: Writing

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26 replies

  1. Congratulations, Mark! And good for you for promoting your book big time! I had missed Lisa’s post so need to jump over there and take a look. When Sara gets home I’m gonna ask her if she wants a hard copy for our library or if we’re better off with a Kindle versionl I can’t wait to read!
    Kathy

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  2. Congrats!! I say self-promote the hell out of this. It’s your baby!

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  3. Copy the name of a famous book. Then the people get fooled and buy yours. Brilliant. When my cartoon book is ready I will call it The Bible. Or the Karma Sutra.

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  4. Mark, I wish you could see me right now because I’m doing the *happy dance* for you!

    CONGRATULATIONS, buddy……you’re PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!

    Woot! Woot! Woot!

    And I can finally say ( with pride ) that I know someone who has a published book! And I’m glad to hear you didn’t change the title of your book because you’re right….I know of many books with the same title.

    I can’t wait to go over to the Barnes and Noble site and look at your book!!!!

    And even though I’m in sales, I know exactly what you mean about not feeling comfortable ‘selling’ because I’m the same way. But I think of it more as ‘offering’ the goods with pride and then allowing the product to speak for itself.

    ” I’m selling a product I believe in very strongly – and that makes all the difference in the world”

    That’s the perfect attitude, Mark, ‘believing’ in a product!

    “No Time For Kings is worthy. I believe that with my whole heart.”

    You GO, boy!

    And the BEST to you!

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    • Well, Ron, there is such a thing as YouTube. So if you want to film yourself doing that happy dance and post it, then I can have the visual to go along with the words.

      Or, you know…I can just take you at face value. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words, buddy!

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  5. I have learned over the years that no one will advocate for you with as much passion as you will. The art of shameless self promotion is a fine line between humble and ego. You tend to lean on the humble side 🙂 Flog the crap out of this book!! I cannot even begin to understand your excitement!!! Congratulations! 🙂

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  6. Congratulations. I don’t think you have to be obnoxious to sell things. Just put a quality product out there, be a helpful, genuine person with integrity, and let the word of mouth do it’s thing. It might be slow, but it’ll happen. Don’t be afraid to ask others for what you need. I hate to ask for anything, but in this business you just have to do it. I got two awesome book reviews this way and the reviewers were glad to give them, but it never would have happened if I hadn’t asked.

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    • That’s the one thing I’m not great at…asking for things. Fortunately, I have an amazing network of friends throwing their support at me, and I don’t mind saying “yes” to their offers. I’m a firm believer in word of mouth, too – and hope that’ll help my book sell.

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  7. Mark, I wish you so much luck with this. I’m hoping to get my book up and going soon (one of the projects I’d like to finish quickly so that I can start fresh and focus on marketing–EEK!). Your book sounds interesting, and I hope I can order a copy one of these days, but right now every penny counts because of the move and my state of unemployment (for the time being)

    Thanks for the shout out. I may be e-mailing you for advice as I get my act together.

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  8. Oh M Gee!! Hah….I bought your book! Woot!!!

    Okay, it was on kindle but that by no means I’m not gonna get one that I can have you sign personally, with a nice little note about me being ‘your’ biggest fan! Just promise me that you stay away from the Colorado mountains when you decided to write another book! Oy, the misery of it all….

    On a more serious note…I couldn’t me more happy for you Mark. This is so very exciting for you and I hope you get to ride this wave for a very, very long time!

    Congratulations my friend!!

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  9. Congrats! This is all so exciting!

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  10. Congratulations, Mark! This is wonderful!

    Jane

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  11. I’m enthralled and it’s only chapter 3….dang….YOU ARE GREAT!!!!

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  12. Huzzah! Great news, Mark – and may the true version of No Time for Kings remain ever at the top of the Google search.

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  13. Congratulations, Mark. The original title of my novel was Redemption but that had already been released by my publisher, so I changed it to The Benefactor. Turns out Susan Sontag wrote a book with that title. I wonder sometimes if people mistakenly buy my book instead of hers. Yay!! Whatever it takes to sell a book. 😉

    I wish you tons of success.

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    • For what it’s worth, Margaret, I like The Benefactor title better – so good move! And I’m wondering if the other NTFK has seen a small but accidental bump in sales, as well.

      I’m thinking of naming my next novel The Bible. It could end up a bestseller!

      Like

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