At one time you wrote a book and that was it. You just got on with the next one and hoped yours would get some good reviews and turn into a best seller. I'm currently hoping to get some reviews for my latest book, The Trunk, a 7,000 word horror story for 12+ readers published as one in Peguin Australia's Eerie Series (Puffin Books).
Incidentally you can learn more about the curator of the series, S. Carey and his gruesome friends here: http://www.penguin.com.au/contributors/7041/s-carey
I asked my 14 year old grandson, Jake if he would write me a review for The Trunk, to which he replied, “Nan, there are no words to describe the ending of your book, it was too horrible for words!”
Yes, that was exactly the reaction I was hoping to get from readers – but I'd still like him to write a review. Possibly I'll have to resort to bribery!
These days though there's so much more you can do for yourself and your book in getting it out there. Nearly everyone has their own website, and blogs, then there's Facebook and Twitter, and forums and chat rooms where you can blatantly or subtly promote your book.
We can add audio and visual links to our websites and blogs. We don't have to wait for our publisher or anyone else to create a video clip to advertise our books, we can make one ourself, put it on Utube and offer it up to the world.
The world really is our oyster, it just seems to depend on how much time we can afford to spend on the self promotion and marketing aspect of writing. Because when it boils down to it, we have to leave time to actually write!
But isn't it more exciting? There seems to be so many different opportunities for writers now. We can bring out of print books back to life for new generations of readers to enjoy through ebooks and print on demand. These publications allow us to keep breast of how sales are going, instead of (or rather as well as) having to wait for royalty statements.
We can correspond and keep in touch with other authors if we wish instead of remaining in isolation. Through our own Balaclava there's always someone with whom we can share writing problems and ask for advice. If it's what we like doing, we can share our writing knowledge with would-be writers through workshops as well as going into schools to spread the word about our books and the joys of writing. Without a doubt, there's definitely more to writing than meets the eye - and lots of different opportunities.
A new outlet for me is getting one of my books serialised on an online radio station. The station is called Turquoise Radio and it goes out globally. And I'm really excited about it.
Deadly Hunter which Scholastic published back in 1998 is being serialised and narrated from Tuesday 16th April, then every Tuesday and Thursday until it's completed. It will be broadcast during the second half of an hour-long children's show from 7pm to 8pm.
Back in the late 1990's Deadly Hunter was the first book I'd been commissioned to write based only on the idea. The two books before that were written and submitted en spec, and I remember so clearly hoping and praying that they would like Deadly Hunter seeing as they'd paid me in advance for it. Something I hadn't experienced before.
For anyone interested, the mystery story tells of three friends who get the chance to visit a rare breeds park only to discover there's real danger there – and not only from the deadly white wolf they've spotted prowling through the nearby woods.
Since getting the rights for Deadly Hunter back when it went out of print, I hadn't actually done anything else with this story. I only had a handful of original copies, so none to sell on school visits. But since the opportunity has arisen to get the book on air with Turquoise Radio, it's prompted me to revise it and bring it out as an ebook and a print on demand paperback. The ebook should be up within the next couple of days and the POD version hopefully very soon.
I know Turquoise Radio intend broadcasting other stories. In fact our own Karen King also has a story being broadcast during the same programme. Check the website for yourselves as it might be another aspect of being a writer that you might want to get involved with.
Or, maybe you'd just like to curl up on the sofa with your laptop and the kids at 7pm next Tuesday or Thursday and listen to the thrilling story of the Deadly Hunter....
The radio station link is: http://www.turquoiseradio.com
Please visit my website: http://www.annevansbooks.co.uk