A funny thing happens when you begin marketing book. Suddenly a project that has been intensely personal becomes public property. And even worse, once it’s public, the public begin to have opinions about it. (The nerve!) And as much as an author wants everyone to universally love our precious baby novel, not everyone is going to. From reading while in a bad mood, to just not being someone’s cup of tea, not everyone is going to like a book.
But even if everything does go as smoothly as possible and someone does love the book, suddenly ownership becomes shared with everyone who loves it. The story takes up residence in someone else's head which, for an author who has had those characters living in her head for months or years, is intensely strange and disconcerting. With each book I write I start out wanting to share about it immediately. It’s like falling in love. You’ve met these wonderful, hilarious, romantic, daring people and you want to tell everyone about them. But as I move into the marketing stage I find that in some ways I become more protective of my characters and story. Please love that one even though I’ve made him annoying. And don’t make fun of her – she has hidden depths! Although, yes, go ahead and hate him. We all should hate him.
Except that a book needs to be shared to be successful. I want strangers to talk about it, readers to review it, and friends to share it. Those things are literally what make a book a success. It is a very strange dichotomy of wanting to shout as loud as possible while at the same time hoping nobody looks at me while I'm doing it. So nobody look at me while I say this next bit...
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Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she's not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and BookBub.