So, I've done it. Produce the book. And you can even buy it here. (If anyone can tell me how to put pictures and clever links on the side of this blog so that it looks inviting and not just gobbledegook web address I'd be grateful.)
I must, I am told, market this book.
That's business-speak. It wears the jargon of business. Which is, of course, terribly important and without it the country would be in a dreadful state because no-one would buy anything and then where would we be ... Honestly, I'm not suggesting it's not important. But, from my perspective, it's, well, a bit boring.
But I am stiffening my shoulders. Trying to behave as if I'm not at the back of the class passing notes. I must learn. I have a book to sell.
And I have friends who know about these things - and even care about them. So I've had a lesson.
Marketing, I'm told, is about product, price, place, and promotion. I must think about each in turn - without resorting to the wine and chocolate and who-really-cares-about-this-stuff option.
Product: I have the book. Well, ebook. It's in the real world now. Well, the eworld. I've done the very best I can with that, and I am proud of it. It is the right book for me. (But, whispers businessman, it doesn't matter what you think. Is it the right book for your readers? As if I know the answer to that.)
Price: I've read blogs telling me not to underprice the book; it will look cheap. I've read blogs telling me not to overprice the book; people will not buy it. There is obviously no right answer. So I've plucked a sort-of-middle price out of the air. My current plan is to leave it at that - some writers seem to fiddle around with the price. Do they not have better things to do?
Place: Amazon, and Smashwords. I must be realistic. The local bookshop might be persuaded to take a copy or two, but it's unlikely to reach the front tables of Waterstones (unless I pay them enough, and even then it may not sell unless I stand on my head and dance in an effort to draw attention to it. Maybe not dancing while standing on my head ... you take my point.).
Which brings me to promotion. Yawn. I tweet, I facebook, and I blog. I am thinking about building a webpage (note - thinking. That's enough for now). I comment on other people's blogs, though only when they interest or entertain me. Surely that's enough? No - apparently. I have read advice suggesting I should join forums - on Amazon, on Kindle, on travel sites, on writing sites - really? To say what - to witter endlessly about the book, which will surely bore everyone. To join in general writerly conversations? Which are fine for a while, but I have real writing to do. Besides, so many of them repeat themselves, and there is a limit to how many times I can recommend that writers read a lot, only to be shot down by someone with wobbly grammar insisting that he or she has never read a book and doesn't mean to stop now.
So - realistically - what do you think I should do now? Carry on as I am, or join in some sort of internet-frenzy in order to sell a few more copies? (I know, I've made it obvious what I want you to say. But if you disagree, please say so. Maybe I'm being a bit bah-humbug about all this.)