The Hambledown Dream has been "on the shelves" for a week now. And it seems to be going well. It has sold copies - not in block buster numbers, but I guess I wasn't expecting that it would.
I have spent every spare moment of the past week emailing just about every conceivable media outlet I can think to garner interest in it, hopefully secure and interview for it or a review of it. It's tough going. Never have I scoured the internet more in my life in the quest for these three things. And in the process I have learnt something...
I have no idea about marketing.
At the moment I don't have any strategy. I am just emailing anybody and everybody. But in the past few days I have started to categorize "blocks" of people to contact. Those in the mainstream media - including print, radio and TV. Those in the online media - podcasters and bloggers and those outside of both these spheres - real people. Potential readers. I guess I've sent out over 200 emails - I've lost count. I'll give it a week or so and then I'll resend those emails if I haven't heard back from those contacts. There have been a few nibbles from a couple of quarters but nothing concrete as yet.
I started a Facebook Fan Page. It wasn't something I really wanted to do initially. I have always been a little suspicious of those fan pages because I get so many requests to join fan pages. For instance - I got a request the other day to join a fan page for people who "hate it how people don't indicate in traffic"??? But I took the suggestion of starting a fan page and ran with it and I've been surprised by the response to it. I actually have fans now. Whether those fans will actually purchase the novel is another story but...I have fans!
My publisher and I are in regular contact and she has been fabulous in her suggestions and advice and it has really helped me. The dialogue is great.
The ironic moment of the week came on Saturday when I purchased The Weekend Australian from the newsagent. In the "Review" magazine there was an article all about the rise of the eBook and how it is fast becoming the new way. Australians are relatively in the dark about eBooks even though we have one of the fastest growing populations of iPhone owners in the Western World. The common refrain I hear from people with regards to eBooks are "but I really like the idea of holding a proper book in my hand". There is certainly something tangible about a paper and cardboard (??) book so I'll admit, they've got a point. But the potential that lies within the digital world for budding authors to get their work out there is limitless. So much more so than in the traditional publishing sphere.
Australian publishing is a little backward.
To those of you who have purchased the Dream thus far, thanks so much. I hope you are enjoying it.