Saturday, August 15, 2009

Post-natal depression

I have never suffered real post natal depression, but would be the last to denigrate what is a very serious problem. As a writer however, a similar malady strikes everytime I release a book.

My literary pregnancy begins in earnest with the arrival of the contract, and, as in real life, my joy is diluted only by the realisation that some time will pass before the book becomes a reality. My pre-natal exercises of editing, proofing, cover art, etc., increase my anticipation of the happy event proportionally until the book is released. Then comes the flurry of promoting, posting of excerpts, chats, interviews, competitions, etc., etc., etc...

After that, things settle down a little, not unlike the establishment of regular feeding patterns with the new child and a return is made to the current WIP...only to find regular work patterns disturbed by a vague anxiety leading to restlessness and reduction of daily output. This problem increases exponentially as the first royalty reporting date approaches and a delay, or silence, from the publisher becomes exceedingly painful.

With two books released in the last month, and another due in November, I am not looking forward to the next six months

It made me very grateful for Zollyanna's reviews of "Snow Drifter" and "A Soldier's Woman", particularly her final paragraphs:

Snow Drifter
Amy Gallow is a bright and talented author always gluing you in your seat until you finish the story. The characters pop right off the page into whatever room you are reading in. I will definitely read any other book that Amy Gallow writes. She is a wonderful author who can sweep you off your feet and into a whole new realm.

A Soldier's Woman
Amy Gallow never ceases to amaze us with each and every one of her books. She is a bright and very talented author. Her characters keep you riveted to your seat making each word seem to come to life. I am very, honored to read each one of her books that come across my desk.

Post-natal depression or not, it's a great life


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Promoting Books

I have published five e-books, with two more releases scheduled before the end of 2009, and found promoting them the least rewarding of my activities, if one judges by royalty statements and website traffic. All five were received enthusiastically by the publishers, garnered good to excellent reviews, and I used the traditional means of promoting, posting excerpts, chatting, interviews, RT adverts, blogs, presences on the web via Yahoo groups, Myspace, Facebook, etc., etc., etc., but the most significant factor in sales has been the dwell time on the front page of the publisher's website. It outweighs the effect of every other activity by so large a factor, it is embarrassing.

This leads to two opposing conclusions, either my efforts have been so badly directed as to be totally ineffective, or the traditional means of promoting are nonsense and nothing works beyond having enough books released that they promote themselves by their excellence and the fact that readers keep tripping over them on the web.

My first five books were all in print and the publisher did the general advertising etc, allowing me to hold local events, book-signings and the like, and dabble with conferences and my magazine short stories required no effort on my part. It spoilt me for the "real" world of E-publishing.

In case the first of the two opposing conclusions is the right one, I have signed a six month promotional deal with an affiliate of Coffee Time Romance and will observe the process with considerable interest.

Wish me luck!