Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Promotion Tip
What Do You Do While You Wait?

My publisher, Bob Gelinas, refers to the time between contract and release date as The Interminable Wait. The first time I heard him say it, I sat in a conference workshop amid various attendee responses. There was timid chuckling from some, patronizing laughter from a few, cynical but knowing snorts from some others. I sat there in silence thinking, "I don't like the sound of that."

Patience is not one of my virtues. I had a marriage counselor once tell me, "Your Hell will be waiting on other people." Nice. (I refrained from telling him I was already there.)

My point to all this is it usually takes a year (or more) for a book's release. And I'm talking about print books here. Electronic books have much faster turn-around, as a general rule. My question for you is what do you do during The Interminable Wait? Are you using your time wisely? Are you engaged in pre-publication publicity?

I'll share with you a mistake I made during the wait for my first novel's release so any aspiring authors out there can avoid it. I believed that all reviewers would only review books after publication. They'd want the physical, finished product in their hands. Therefore, none of my pre-publication publicity for Choices Meant for Gods included rounding up reviews. Once CMFG came out, I contacted reviewers whose backlogs of books meant mine would be "old news" by the time they got to it. They weren't interested in wasting their time on a dated project.

Now that Choices Meant for Kings is due for release soon, I'm handling things differently. I've been requesting reviews since June. I've sent out more than a dozen hard copy advance reader copies (ARCs) and a handful of electronic ARCs. I've received 10 fabulous reviews back so far. When you consider my first novel only got 11 reviews in the year and a half that it's been on Amazon, I'm pretty darn pleased with the results to date. Of course, the trick will be getting these reviewers to take the time to post on Amazon two or three or four months after they've put the project asideā€¦

Besides gathering reviews that you can use for back cover blurbs, blog posts and other promotional opportunities, you can write during The Interminable Wait. Write special posts on all your blogs. Write guest posts for other people's blogs. Write your sequel. Write your marketing pieces. Write reviews of books in your genre on Amazon. Write the script for your book trailer. Something I did was write a few short stories about some of the characters and events that helped shape the history of the fantasy world in my Choices trilogy. Well, you can't let that writing go to waste, so I'm having it published in a short story anthology called What Choices We Made. Of course, that set me up for an Interminable Wait within an Interminable Wait, but there are medications to handle the psychotic episodes sure to manifest from the stress.

In the meantime (read: while I'm waiting for its release Nov. 28), I'm doing all the pre-publication promotion and marketing that I'm harping about in today's post.

So how about it? What do you do during The Interminable Wait? What keeps you sane between contract and release date?

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Blogger Mary Ricksen said...

Hi Sandy,
I certainly can relate to this. It took forever, the rewrites, the re edits, the found a stupid mistake re dos, and even the publisher, slowed me down.
This is only my first book,(it's called 'Tripping Through Time'), and I am waiting. Digital in January, print in late March, seem so far away!
In any case, all you can do is write the next one, and PROMOTE, promote, and promote some more.
A full time job in itself. Good luck with everything.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Hi Mary,
It's the parts that ya can't control that drive me the craziest. Production schedules...I can't force the printer to go faster or the publisher to get a project in front of mine to move more smoothly, etc., and that sort of thing drives me nuts. I think it might be part of the Type A personality. :)
I'm glad to hear you've been given a timeline for your release! Excellent news. Good luck with all the pre-promotion. It does help pass the time...
Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

6:58 PM  

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