Now what?

State of Grace is finally published. It went live last Tuesday, and I was walking on air. You can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. (And you should do so right now. Click on the link from your favorite site and download it. I’ll wait.)

But apparently, the release of a debut novel from a largely unknown author isn’t quite enough to crash Amazon’s servers. So, if I’m going to make The Dream come true, it seems I’m going to have to do a little more work on this book. (The work never really ends, does it?)

So what should I do? Here’s a few things I’ve got planned.

  1. Loss Leader: Like any business, the challenge for me is getting people to try that first product. Right now, I’ve only got the one book out, so I need to do whatever I can to get folks to give it a shot. To do that, I’ll be releasing a free Wolf Dasher short story. It will be set a few years before State of Grace and will convey the flavor of the novel as well as introduce readers to Wolf. It will also have links to the online stores where readers can buy State of Grace. Hopefully, a free sample will entice buyers.
  2. Recruit Followers: I’ve been working on this since I decided to publish, but it’s critical now that the book is out. I need more Twitter followers and Facebook and Goodreads friends. Thus, each day I carve out a little time to find people on Twitter who follow people and topics I’m interested in. Then I follow them. Many of them follow back. Now they’re privy to my tweets and may retweet them to their followers. Social media marketing is viral, and I need more “carriers.”
  3. Reviews: In the new world of e-publishing, reviews are what sell books. I’ve got to turn some of those sales I’ve made into four- and five-star reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (If you were kind enough to click a link above to download State of Grace, be sure to leave a review on its page when you’ve finished reading.) I’m currently soliciting reviewers on Goodreads, but I need to do more in this area, which leads me to the next point.
  4. Book Blogs: There are tons of blogs out there dedicated to reading and reviewing books. Many of them interview authors. I have got to connect with some of these — something I really need to learn more about. There’s a lot of research that needs to be done here.
  5. Mainstream Platforms: I have connections with two local media outlets, and two different schools can claim me as an alumnus. I need to trade on that capital for interviews or any other kind of exposure I can get.

And that’s just a start. Getting State of Grace published took a lot of work. Getting it to sell is going to take even more. Time for me to get at it.

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