Today I’d like to give you a sneak peak into the not-so-glamourous side of a soon to be published, debut author. I know that some days it seems like it’s all “cover reveals” and “fabulous blurbs” but there are tons of little things in the publishing world that are the equivalent of doing those endless loads of laundry or scrubbing the toilet. Right now I’m pretty obsessed with sending postcards out to as many Independent Booksellers as I possibly can. It is lots of fun seeing all the cool names for the Indie Bookstores. It makes me want to go visit each and every one of them, but that’s impossible so the best I can do is reach out to them and hope that they like TOUCHING THE SURFACE and that they can see my enthusiasm for trying to help this book be a success.
The first thing you need to do when sending out postcards…is to get postcards. I had mine made by the very talented Jeff Fielder. After that it’s time to compile the list of bookstores you want to contact. I was very fortunate to win a pre-compiled list from Saundra Mitchell in a charity auction. I thank my lucky stars EVERY NIGHT! Even with everything already researched, it took me over two hours just to attach the pre-printed labels. *head thunk* We are talking about 760 bookstores here. *head thunk again*
Once your labels are on, you need to HANDWRITE a message on EACH postcard. Let the hand cramps commence. The most I’ve been able to do in one sitting is around the fifty card mark. But I also think it’s worth it. I want those booksellers to know how hard I’m willing to work and how important personal connections are to me. Every time I get a little free time I jot off a couple cards or if I’m lucky, sometimes I have an hour or two where I go for it and write as many as I can. I’ve sent out over three hundred cards so far YAY!!!!
But unfortunately, I’ve got this many left to go…
Yeah…that’s like 400+ postcards left to go. And don’t forget that some labels get cut off accidentally so I have those in a pile to fix when I’m done. And the hardest part of all…when they come back RETURN TO SENDER. Those go in another pile to see if I can find the bookstore on line and resend. So far out of the 300+ I’ve sent–I’ve gotten back 28 but I expect a few more soon because I just recently sent out my last batch.
And don’t forget the stamps. Postcard stamps are cheaper than regular stamps but every 100 stamps costs $32.
And of course–the truly hard part is not really knowing if the all the effort is worth it. I’m hoping it is, but for all I know, all my hard work could end up being a coaster under someone’s drink. But then again…they’re book lovers!!!! Besides, I’ve got to believe that a purple Sharpie pen is a magic wand in disguise.
What do you think is the most un-glamourous side of being a writer? Any fabulous tips to share about the not-so-glamourous tasks a writer must tackle? Do you like doing something that you think most people hate? Any questions on postcards or preparing for a book launch? I’ll do my best to answer them.
But for now, off to write more postcards…