Thoughts and Inspiration for Creative Writers

-from Chrysalis Editorial

To Blog or Not to Blog? To Self-Publish or Not?

Posted on | June 1, 2011 | No Comments

Welcome back!

We apologize for our absence, but a lot happened in the past five months that kept me from posting a blog somewhat regularly. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’re dying to find out what occupied me, it’s at the end of this blog entry.   *Before you jump down there, read this:

For me, last year (2010, for those of you with short memories) ended with the publication of Confessions: Fact or Fiction?, an anthology of short fiction and memoir by 22 highly entertaining writers, some more famous than others. Confessions is unique in that the genre of each story (fiction or memoir) is not revealed until the end of the book. It’s a bit of a game. And I guarantee that as you read many of these stories you will be dying to find out whether they are true or not. Have you ever wondered why you want to know if something really happened or not? Read the book and find out.  Order a copy (paperback or ebook) at http://booklocker.com/books/5144.html.  Confessions is also available at Amazon.com and other major retailers’ websites. Also, check out the book’s website at www.confessionsanthology.com and see our blog post on this page.

Confessions Anthology cover

On publishing:

We decided to publish the book under the independent label Chrysalis, rather than spending time trying to rustle up a trade publisher (Random House, Simon & Schuster, etc).  We ended up with a very professionally produced book, and are now learning the ropes of book promotion.

As many of you know, it’s tough selling a book no matter who publishes it. Authors these days are expected to write and market their books. At a recent writers’ workshop, I mentioned to an agent a just completed memoir project of a client of mine (she escaped from Hungary in 1949 with the help of an American diplomat—a harrowing escape I might add), and the first thing the agent asked: “What’s her marketing plan?” Well, the woman is 82 and hasn’t got a marketing plan. Yet.

In any case, we are developing a marketing and promotion plan for Confessions, which of course includes social networking. How that and other efforts will spur sales, we’ll let you know. Clearly, we should have had the marketing plan in place before we published the book, but I don’t think it’s too late. Or is it? We have a terrific book, and now, hopefully, we’ll create the buzz.

We’d love to hear from those of you who have published (either self-published or gone through traditional channels). What war stories do you have? Which marketing efforts worked? And which didn’t?

Readings? E-mail blasts? Facebook announcements? Twitter?  Book trailers? What else?

Here’s what I did this spring: Suffice it to say that I place at least half the blame for my lack of blogging on spending many weekends (March thru May) at our son Max’s lacrosse games. (I know, I know for most of you that’s no excuse. You not only blog from sports events, but tweet and text too. Please, have a little compassion for those of us who suffer pttdsd – post-traumatic techno disability stress syndrome! We are challenged by cell phone functions, let alone blogging and tweeting from remote locations!) Back to my excuse, which (moving forward) I will no longer be able to hide behind: Max just graduated this past weekend from Cornell.

May 2011 (Cornell Graduation) 039.jpg for blog

Kudos to him for graduating, for having a job awaiting him, and for being named a 2011 Lacrosse All American. (What does that have to do with anything you might well ask? Mom brag!)

Also to blame was the earthquake in Christchurch, well, sort of. What I should say is that my husband Jim and I spent 2.5 weeks in New Zealand (bucket list vacation), and survived the earthquake which occurred on day 4 of our trip. It was a Hollywood style disaster from which we were spared by the grace of the gods who stuck us inside the Christchurch Art Museum at the moment of the hemorrhage. The museum being a brand new glass and steel structure that survived with minimal damage, while many other buildings collapsed. New Zealand 2011 085The events of that day and the images I have stored in my brain will eventually make it into my writing…will let you know when that happens. Meantime, stay tuned for more blog posts! J

In the weeks to come, we’ll be exploring:

  • Blogging—to blog or not to blog
  • Book promotion—do’s and don’t’s

And we’ll be featuring:

  • authors of Confessions’ stories
  • writing advice and tips
  • other fascinating topics (feel free to make requests)

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