This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting up with my publisher, Jay Hartman from Untreed Reads, and talking writing and stories for well over 2 hours. Nothing like a quiet corner in a Starbucks to tease out the intricacies of the publishing and writing business.
We talked at length about the challenges of getting ‘eyes on the page’ with so many E-Books and paper books out there. How do you differentiate and how do you get your name out there? Or, better yet, how do you build the brand that is you?
Truly that is what it’s about these days. Of course good writing and storytelling is ultimately what will help you go the distance, but there is a need to find that niche and connect with readers.
I’ve been thinking back to the marketing and business books written by the guru Peter Drucker that I had to read in college, but sadly not much of that information is still available in my long term memory vaults. My creative brain tends to focus on other things than marketing. And let’s face it, even as recent as 20 years ago an author didn’t have to market their book to nearly the extent they do now; a publisher would see to that.
From that topic we moved on to the book I’m currently working on. I have been struggling with the format and Jay, without reading the rough draft, suggested that perhaps it was not a good format as the main story is strong enough and possibly epic enough to stand on its own.
I had been wondering if perhaps I was writing two different books in one. Or if I was possibly typecasting myself by trying to blend 1940 and 2013 into one book. But then again, if I do it right, it might become my trademark.
The ‘magic’ element, as Jay calls it, works for Tales from the Fountain Pen, but might not work as well for a different book. Even if done differently it might still become gimmicky and stall a career.
As I’ve said before, much as we think of ourselves as lone creators writing away in our little writing garrets, it is very much a collaborative effort.
I’ve sent the, rough, first 6 chapters to a few beta-readers and I’d like to find a few more. If nobody comes forward in the comment section, then perhaps I’ll post the first two chapters here for comment sometime in the coming weeks.