My friend and I are doing final edits of our first book, which we hope to get published one way or another. The process of publishing is like a whirling eddy of scary options ranging from seeking a conventional publisher using an agent (if you can find an agent), self-publishing after shelling out half of one's pension in perpetuity to get it going, publishing it exclusively as an e-book using at least four different services (and I do mean different), or a combination of those. I don't believe I have the courage, frankly, to go the paper route through a conventional publisher. And I haven’t yet made an effort to seek out an agent. I have visions of rejection slip after rejection slip shooting through my mail slot like bullets through a Gatling gun.
I’ve read authors’ blogs where they say that marketing is the most important part of the process—the activity least likely to be relished by any writer, including me. It’s the process of writing that appeals to writers—thus the moniker “writer.” It’s the creation of a paragraph that makes sense, sucks you in, tells a story, explains a premise. Whatever it is, it flows. Marketing isn’t writing.
I’ve explored the marketing short-cuts. So I’ll change my Facebook page, create a web site, start tweeting (I guess). I don’t consider myself an old fogy, but I can’t seem to keep up with the technology. I rely heavily on the expertise of my three sons who seem to be able to operate anything with either a mouse or a keyboard. Contrast that with my own experience. I grew up during the Civil Rights movement when Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug were radical heroines, a woman’s right to choose was affirmed by the Supreme Court, women began keeping their own names after marriage, and the Vietnam War ebbed and flowed into the history books. I’ve used computers since I was a young woman, but I have not, evidently, kept up with the social media industry--rapidly morphing into something incomprehensible.
Nonetheless, I will adapt. One thing I learned from being a minister’s daughter is that adaptation is survival. We moved several times during my childhood, and I survived without the scars often suffered by children whose lives were uprooted in their tender youth. I made new friends, started over with a new school and a new church, and found stability in the adventure. I’ll figure out how to twitter, dammit, and when my book comes out, be generous when you find me outside the local supermarket hawking copies.