As an academic, I’ve written a number of books before, and it is fascinating to me how very different the process is for a novel with a major publisher like Tor. To be ready for its 30 September 2015 release, for instance, my non-fiction book The Battle of Crécy: A Casebook was turned over about two months beforehand. To be ready for its 10 November 2015 release, my novel The Shards of Heaven was turned over to the publisher about 13 months beforehand. That’s wild.
And then there is this:
Pictured here is the hold-it-in-your-hands tip (so far) of the iceberg that we call publicity. I’d say that it floats through the book-buying waters of this world, but I’m not sure what sinking the Titanic would mean in the analogy. Anyway, more ephemeral parts of this effort include the existence of this post itself.
And essentially nothing like this effort happens for a typical academic publication.
What we have pictured here, for starters, is the front and back of a “book card” that is meant to be handed out to booksellers — at events like the SIBA Trade Show that I’ll be attending this month. It’s meant to get them excited about my novel — Look at the cover! The description! The awesome blurb! — and to some degree it’s meant to get them excited about me — Look at this guy! He’d give a great reading! He’d give a great lecture! — and above all, of course, it is meant to move books. One way or another, that’s the gig.
I’ve also shown here a picture of the front and back of my new business cards. The Citadel doesn’t supply these, so I’ve never really had to carry them, but People In The Know tell me I better have these little beauties with me often. It’s simply another way of getting people to remember who I am, to be able to contact me for any book-signings or readings or lectures or modern dance performance pieces that they want me to do. (Note: Please, people, for the sake of all that you hold dear, do not pick the dance option.)
And then there are the pens.
Why the pens?
Because I’m confident that with your help we can make this novel a huge success. And that means signing a lot of books. And that means getting comfortable with a pen. Just need to choose the right one, right? 😉
Add in all the guest posts and interviews and events and panels and … well, it’s a radically different world from my quiet little corner of academic publishing.
And I like it.
Order-Boost-Review: The Shards of Heaven. Tor Books. November 2015.