Today I had some very intensive conversations, one with the Rabbit and one with Misses Kitty, on the subject of marketing for artists. I have a fair amount of experience in marketing for other people. It was a huge component of my last real job, and I worked closely with the marketing people when I was in traditional publishing, but I never enjoyed it, or excelled at it. The Rabbit and Misses Kitty are sort of better at it than I am. But I’m supposed to try.
After all, the Owl, whose book coming out really soon, sold her house, bought a van, and swore to spend the entire year on a publicity tour. That’s a real commitment. And what have I done? Made some posts on social media? My books are good. I’m a good writer. But beyond that, the process loses my interest.
Also today I finished reading my next big novel to The Man (I have a slender kids’ book that will come out later this year, but it’s actually older than The Hermit.) This next book is science-fiction-y, and murder-mystery-y, and dystopian-y. It’s also about 800 pages. For quite some time I puzzled over how to cut it down to a manageable level, but the people who’ve read it don’t seem to think it needs cutting down. Still, it needs some editorial work. In reading it to The Man (800 pages, which took about 5 weeks) I found dozens of typos and a number of continuity errors and things like that. After this next book is published, and I have participated in some marketing-related activities, I will make about 2 more passes and then maybe start the entire agent-seeking process all over again. If I can actually sell some copies of The Hermit before then, it will help.
Now I’m writing a horror novel; it’s a genre I’ve barely touched on in my life, even though I read everything Stephen King wrote prior to 1996 and some of the stuff he wrote after it, and all of Clive Barker’s early stuff, and HP Lovecraft and other writers in that vein. I know I can write a novel; it remains to seen whether I can be scary.
Not that I’m scaring anyone with a crayon mandala in cotton candy pink and marshmallow Peep yellow. And I guess those are blue M&Ms and the green are those weird sour candies that kids like today. They didn’t have them in the ’80s, as far as I can remember, so I never got a taste for them.