At this point, we’ve gone through the galleys twice and my publisher, Pen-L, has ordered proofs.
Just to let you know how Pen-L does it, the galley was a pdf document. I’m not sure how it was in the old days, but the electronic frontier has no doubt streamlined some things about publishing. I suspect galleys used to be loose sheets of the printed book, but that’s just supposition on my part. I do know that advance reader copies were once printed books that might or might not look like the final product. I have an advance reader copy of California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker. It’s a trade paperback, and has a sidebar on the back that tells the different promo packages that will be available to retailers. It also includes a note that there might be mistakes inside and that it doesn’t represent the final formatting.
In my case, the advance reader copy is an e-book, and some invitations have already been sent out for readers to write reviews when this puppy shows up on Amazon. We haven’t gotten to everybody yet, but we will. It’s just getting started. There will, of course, be hard copies of it for some reviewers who prefer it that way, but my PR company, Oghma Creative, has beta readers on tap and they’ll read the e-book.
Speaking of promo, we’re getting set to fire that up, too. Casey sent me concepts for the author poster and book poster I’ll use at signings, and he’s working on a bookmark to give away.
I have to wonder if a lot of bands felt like this back in the 80s. I mean, that’s when videos first hit the scene, and there were several bands who didn’t like the idea. “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straights almost didn’t get made because Mark Knopfler didn’t see a reason to make videos. He thought they cheapened things. And Metallica didn’t do a video at all till 1989’s “One” from their fourth album. Of course, they went downhill severely after that album, too.
It’s the same in the publishing business now. Thanks to the economy and downsizing at the publishing companies, unless you’re a consistent New York Times bestseller, it’s not likely your publisher is gonna cough up money for a PR campaign. And when you’re going through an independent publisher like Pen-L, they simply don’t have the budget for it.
Either way, promo is left up to the author. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and you’re left wondering when the hell you’re supposed to write if you’re spending all your time blogging and keeping your social media up to date—not to mention answering emails (though that’s not a serious problem for me yet).
Enter a company like Oghma Creative Media, which focuses on authors. It takes a big load off your shoulders. Casey and I still have to work out a marketing campaign as well as doing a photo shoot to go along with it, but we’ll get there. Some of it’s pretty tough for me, going to school and working part-time. This is hitting just when I need to buy textbooks for next semester, but I also need to pay for printing up my posters. I’ll get it done, but it won’t be easy to juggle all this.
It’s worth doing, though. And, as you can see from the two posters Casey made up for me, it’ll be worth it. These are works to be proud of, and hopefully they’ll catch people’s eyes when they enter whatever venue I’ll be in.
First off, there’s the book poster.
Yeah, I know, it doesn’t have the book cover, but that’s okay. It has the book’s spirit. I like that desert highway going off in the distance. I think it’ll catch as much attention as the cover, and has just enough mystery about it to make people want to know more.
Then there’s the author poster.
Like most people, I’m not too fond of things with my picture on them, but Casey’s done a good job of obscuring my ugly mug some and giving it something of a mysterious look as well. It’s all part of the image, the brand.
So here’s the next step. Tune in next week when we’ll…well, I’m not sure at this point. Maybe I’ll have a proof by then, something I can hold in my hand and say, “This is what my book looks like!”