Julie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean--and she's got an active imagination. Truth is--she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions. She is a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist. The Deep End is her first mystery and is the winner of The Sheila Award.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Writing and Readers
I write a blog post once a month. Not daily. Not once a week. Once. A. Month. I should be able to wow you with witty observations or snarky asides. The truth? I got nothing.
My excuse? I’m adapting, coming to the unwelcome understanding that being a writer means more than writing books. It means marketing. It means making myself far more available than my introvert self would like. All my brain power is being used to learn new skills while simultaneously writing a book.
Last week, a friend of a friend called me. Seems he’s written a book and wanted to find a publisher. “How,” he asked, “did you get your agent?”
I explained the query process and suggested he look at Publishers’ Marketplace.
“How long will it take?” he asked.
“There’s no telling,” I said. “But it can take years. Do you have a second book in mind? Something to work on while you’re waiting for responses?” Writing was the only thing that saved me from losing my mind during the query process. If I was writing, I was doing something positive. Otherwise, I was obsessively checking emails.
“I’m just going to write the one book,” he said. Then he told me all about his book.
“Agents make their livings off of commission,” I explained. “Most of them want to build a long-term business relationship.”
This he brushed aside.
“Have you considered self-publishing?” I asked.
“I have, but I don’t want to do any marketing or plan my own book tours.”
I answered with a moment of silence. How to break it to him? New authors do their own marketing. And book tours? Think blog tours. “You’ll be doing most of the marketing,” I said. “And I don’t think you can count on a book tour.”
“Are you sure?”
My publisher, Henery Press, has been remarkable with its marketing assistance and I am grateful. But, the truth is that if a reader wants to engage with an author then the author, not the publisher, needs to engage.
My book has been out in the world just under three weeks and already I have met fabulous readers. They have questions about the characters, want to share a 19070s remembrance, or want to know when the next book is coming.
Readers make late nights and early mornings worthwhile.
Still no witty observations or snarky asides but maybe I got a little something after all. I have gratitude for every single person who has bought and read The Deep End.
Now, go tell your friends about it!
Posted by Julie at 1:00 AM