The “back end” of publishing- the publicity, marketing, and book events that happen just before, and long after a book’s publication date are often fraught territory for authors who may have spent years writing and editing and polishing their manuscripts in near-isolation. For most of us, the writing, the dreaming, the re-writing and living with our stories are the parts we love the best. But we have to work just as hard at “green lighting” our books if we want our books to get out into the world. This means mastering social media, advertising, pitching articles and events, being engaging at those events, and direct selling our books and ourselves as professional writers.
Fortunately, the authors of She Writes Press have each other in impressive numbers to consult with, befriend, collaborate with and commiserate with as we move through this process. The joy of having my She Writes sisters as fellow travelers in the writing world was especially striking to me when I attended the Chanticleer Writers Conference in Bellingham Washington, and enjoyed a weekend with five other She Writes authors. The freedom to “geek out” with other writers to one’s heart’s content for two and a half days was truly delightful. Two of my colleagues gave talks which I attended, reminding me how skilled and generous I’ve found my sister authors to be with their knowledge and resources. Three of us were finalists and/or Grand Prize winners in the book awards that were part of the conference. Some of us were rejoining old friends, while others of us met in person for the first time. I’ve read all their books, and my admiration for these women is deepened by my admiration for the books that they’ve written. Pictured here are Michelle Cox, Amy Peele, Ellen Notbohm, and Betsy Graziani Fasbinder.
A second joy in the realm of shepherding a book into the hands of readers is speaking at book clubs. Author heaven! Interested readers hearing the story behind the story and asking great questions… here’s the “Chat and Chew” book club after an afternoon of Hard Cider conversation, and another wonderful group with a great lunch following our book discussion.
And then there’s that external reward in the form of book awards…. When people an author never knows or meets decide a book is worthy of accolades. As of this writing, Hard Cider has finaled or won in four book awards… feeling very grateful….