A Progress Report and Some Obeservations.
“Where The Popsicles Are” first went on sale October 28, 2017, and for those of you who helped me realize the dream of telling Joanie’s story this is a progress report, and a look back at the process of trying to get the book noticed.
The book continues to pick up some sales, albeit a bit slower than the first few months, but that is to be expected. I am not surprised at all. I knew it would be a long road to gain traction for a book by a first-time, unknown author. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the term patience, something I’ve not always been.
There was a good review of the book in the Bismarck Tribune December 24, 2017, and I’m in the process of getting a web site set up to further promote the book, so we keep on trying to get some notice for Joanie’s story.
That’s the basic update, now for a couple of observations about this whole process.
In some ways writing the book, even as long as it took to get it done was the easy part. I knew from the start that finding one of the big publishing houses to even take a look at my manuscript was going to be impossible without an agent.
I also knew that finding an agent who could get my manuscript to one of the big houses was going to be next to impossible. Agents, you see, operate on commission, and most who have access to the big houses are reluctant to take on a first-time, unknown author who might not make them any money. So there was that.
My next step, as many of you know who helped me out, was to self-publish the book, even knowing that getting traction for a self-published book was going to be difficult.
So, knowing that I was swimming against the tide, I published “Where The Popsicles Are.” So far the tide is stronger than I thought it would be.
One of the avenues of gaining attention for your work is to send a copy of it to newspapers, newspapers that have a Sunday section in which they might feature reviews of books from time to time. I figured, at least the might read it, and even if they savaged it in a review, it would get some attention. Wrong.
What I found, was the third leg of the resistance to self-published books, and that is the editors of those sections of a paper in which a review might be printed.
So I sent a copy of the book out, and found that not only would they not read it, they would try and sell it, or give it away, but in no way was I going to get a review published in their paper.
It was self-published. Not that it wasn’t a good story, and not that there wasn’t a market for it, just that it was self-published. Self-publishing is negative term in some circles, and no self-respecting book critic, would be caught dead reviewing a book that didn’t come from a big house publisher or even from a smaller publishing house.
I was not totally surprised. In fact I kind of expected it. What disappointed me a little was not getting a fair appraisal of my work, even if it was negative.
So, there you have the triad, the big publishing houses, the literary agents, and then the critics who control what you see in the newspaper, all conspiring to make the job of an unknown first-time author as difficult as they can.
Well, those are my observations about this process, and as difficult as it is, I’m not sorry I did it, and I will continue to work on finding the audience for this story in spite of the roadblocks.
Again, for those of you who helped me bring this book out, I thank you again, and I will continue to find ways to spread the word.
By the way, the book is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.