If you´ve just finished your first book, and you are still in shock after finding out all the things you have to do in order to get it published, keep calm and read on.
You still have that silly look in your eyes just thinking about the incredible thing you´ve just accomplished a few hours ago. You´ve just finished your first book, how amazing is that!. I still get pins and needles just remembering the moment when I typed the final words (and it wasn´t ¨The End¨ for the funny ones out there). It doesn’t matter if it is a historical novel or a manual to put together a robot, the feeling is still the same. It goes from sheer exhilaration to a bit of disbelieve about bringing to the real world the very thing you dreamt of so many times. They thought you couldn´t do it, but you proved them wrong. Good for you!
Maybe tomorrow you will go to the printing centre and you will get it printed on real ink and the paper. You may even get one of those fancy metal beads instead of the plastic one for your manuscript. Spare no expenses. You know it will be the best ten pounds you ever spent.
The feeling of creating something out of thin air is quite surreal. Some people may compare it to giving birth, maybe that could be to take it a bit too far, but if you are one of those, good for you buddy!
But now the new day is here and all that excitement is waning. Reality is back again knocking at your door. There is this thought in your mind that keeps coming back, again and again. How the hell am I going to promote my book now that it is finished?. How am I going to let the world know that they can dip into their pockets and buy my amazing book, for little more than what you pay for an overpriced cup of coffee at Starbucks?. All the creative juices were taking over your brain when you were conceiving your masterpiece, and even though you looked a bit into how to publish it, you never realized what was coming your way. Beware! the Tsunami of social media is about to crash you to the ground.
Then you start looking on the almighty know-it-all internet. But there is something wrong. You listen to knowledgeable Youtube videos explaining what to do in order to promote and market your book, but the things they say make no sense. It´s like they speak in a foreign language. Landing page, Author website, SEO strategy, Google Trends… Am I going crazy?, or maybe I banged my head when I came out of the shower?. What on earth is this lot talking about?.
I am not going to sugar coat it for you. Here is the beef!. From now on you will have to become a bit of a social media expert, or at least medium level to ¨pass the exam¨. Writing a book is not enough to sell it. If you remember the film with Kevin Costner about the baseball field and the ghosts, then you´ll remember as well the famous phrase ¨If you build it, they will come¨, well, this isn´t that movie. ¨If you write it, they will buy it¨ doesn’t work so well in real life. On the other hand, ¨If you tweet it they will buy¨ is more likely to happen, and the only thing you should build is an author´s website in order to promote your work, even though it´s going to give you almost as much work as building a bloody baseball field (well, not quite).
I, personally, think that it is a bit of a shame to dedicate so much of your precious writing time to posting photographs and to answering message on Twitter, but unfortunately, there isn´t a way around it. The price to becoming a successful writer is not to give up your divine soul to a treacherous Lucifer, it´s to give up your earthly time.
Maybe one day you´ll be rich and famous and you will be able to afford a social media manager that will deal with all this Instagram, Facebook and Tweeter malarkey, but for the time being, you are on your own. Sorry.
- So open your Instagram (I quite enjoy this one because I am an amateur photographer), Facebook and Twitter account ( I couldn´t bring myself to do this last one. I don´t think anybody should suffer one of my comments every five minutes).
- Get ready to start your own website (this one is exciting but quite time consuming, at least at the beginning).
- And, I almost forgot. Start honing your skills as a blogger (at least with this one you can improve your writing techniques, there is always a silver lining).
Anyway, I hope you enjoy your social media ride. And remember if I can do it so can you
P.S: The website you see in front of your eyes was created in a couple of very intense days, but I did it all by myself just with the help of a few YouTube tutorials and plenty of trials and error. Sometimes it was frustrating, sometimes it was enraging, but in the end, it all worked out (almost). In my next post, I will explain how I set up my website.
To be continued…