Writing, Editing, Marketing ...

Trying to balance the creativity with the need to edit and to market is tricky. Especially when you are, essentially, on your own. Just lately I've been trying to get to grips with the latter two elements in my title, editing takes a lot of effort and, even when I'm sure I've caught everything and sent the manuscript to my professional editor, I can still open the file - and immediately spot another three or four things I've missed. I was reminded of this again the other day when, by way of taking a "time out," I read Robert A Heinlien's "The Door into Summer." 

It's been a while since I last picked it up, but it's still very readable, even though he wrote it in the 1950's and set it in 1970 and 2000/2001. At the time he wrote, no one really anticipated the explosion in technology lurking in the 1970s, but then, a lot of what he thought might happen by then, hasn't. Cryogenics has turned out to be a bit of a dead end for one thing. But that is not the reason I mention him. What surprised me was how many typesetting mistakes I found in the copy I own. OK, it is a reprint, but I would have thought someone would have checked it.

I've noticed recently that there does seem to be a problem with this. Even some of the 'big' publishing houses seem to be letting quite a number of typos and formatting problems slip through.

Editing is one thing, marketing is another. The battle any author faces these days is to get noticed. There are an awful lot of writers out there. How do you make your story, your work, stand out? That is quite a challenge.

My method is to make as much use as I can of the "social media" to keep my titles on the search engines. I use Twitter as well, for this Blog and another I write on. I'd love to do radio talk shows, but I live in Germany, so that is a little restricted as are book signings, getting my books on shelves and so on. Yes, the German Bookstores do stock English titles - but they limit their shelf space to only the 'Best Seller' names and titles - for probably good financial reasons.

Another good way to get noticed is to get reviewed, preferably by someone for a major publication such as a national daily. Again, that is an uphill battle when all the major dailies you have at hand are in German, but one has to keep plugging away. I have found reviewers on the web, such as Blue Ink Reviews and Blogcritics, both of them are good ways to promote yourself as they do publish their reviews online and they are linked to B&N, Amazon and other distributors. I have also undertaken reviews for other struggling authors, on the understanding they would do the same for me. So far I have discovered that some do and some don't, even after you've read and posted something on their work. Sadly, I suppose, there are folk out there who will promise the earth, but not deliver on it.  

It all takes time, effort and sometimes money, but there is no alternative. If you believe in your writing, you believe there is a market to be reached, you have to put in the effort to reach it.

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