I’m happy to say that on May 17th, 2017, The World Without Crows went live on Amazon. It’s now available, finally. Over the past few days since then, I’ve been constantly writing, constantly clicking links, constantly trying to get the word out. I spent a blistering three days writing bloggers asking them to review the book. Now I’m settling back, thinking of what else I can do.
Writing is a good time, isn’t it? You get to know a story, your setting. You explore your characters, you get to wonder about the world, maybe discover a few things on the way. It’s like a hike in a wilderness that no one has ever visited.
Then there’s marketing the book. This is like going from a calm wilderness with calling birds and idyllic scenery to some vast, urban landscape, chugging away with pollution and noise, billboards flashing, people huddled together against the cold under blinking fluorescent lights. Into this landscape you walk, going up to strangers, saying, “Hey, read this,” or “Hey, this is only 99 cents.” And they shake their heads so you walk on, uncertain, maybe pulling your coat closer to your body. Then it’s off to the next group of people, trying to avoid the guys in trenchcoats, saying, “Hey, I can do that for you, only 50 dollars.” And you turn your face away and keep walking. It’s a jungle out there, baby. You’re going to die.
Writing and marketing are such starkly different worlds, I understand why they are so separate. I used to think of Charles Dickens and Daniel Defoe and their ability to market as reminders that it can be done. But they lived in such different worlds. Back then printing the thing was the real problem. There was nothing to read. The library, if there was one, was full of books you had already read or that didn’t interest you. There was no TV. No radio. And listening to the crazy person on the corner talk fake news was fun for awhile, but eventually you wanted something real. If you could get something printed, people would buy it, talk about it, spread it around. It was like the paper Internet. All you had to do was keep writing which both of them could do, no problem. But now, in the digital age, there is no end of things to read. There is no end to the diversions that people have. And that is why marketing is actually necessary to writing now in ways that it hasn’t been before. It’s hard to get people’s attention. And if you do convince people that they should read a book, then you have to convince them of something unspeakable—try a book by an author that no one has ever heard of, that no publisher is supporting.
Self-publishing is not about becoming a bestseller. It’s really about getting the book into the hands of readers. After awhile, having a book just sit on your hard drive is not enough. It wants to get out. It wants to be read.
So I’m glad that mine is out there, at least. I’ll do what I can for it, but mostly I’m happy to have it out there among all the other books. Well, it’s time to put on the coat and head back into the urban landscape of marketing—Hey, did you know that The World Without Crows is only 99 cents? Yeah, and it’s free on Kindle Unlimited. No, I’m not lying. And you know what’s a good idea? Why don’t you put it on your Goodreads shelf and you can read it later if you want? Or maybe you’re one of the ones who has already read it: you know what a cool thing to do is? Write a little review for it on Amazon and Goodreads. And you could also tell your friends and you could. . . .
You can get your copy here:
You can put it on your to-read Bookshelf on Goodreads here: