Monday, June 18, 2012

Selling Myself For Fame And Profit

I - Background
In a couple of months, I'm finally coming out with a novel. I released one a year ago - THE WHISPERING FERNS, which was the first in a series of kid's books under the name Kristopher McClanahan. It was a really fun experience and I love the book. It's only sold about a dozen copies, but some of those are to strangers and that's really gratifying, especially because I did so much wrong when I released it.
THE WHISPERING FERNS was a novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo that paid tribute to the kinds of books I loved as a kid, good natured, somewhat innocent adventures, where friends were made, mysteries were solved and ghosts were hunted. It takes place in the Pacific Northwest and centers around a boy named Smith who goes to live with his aunt and uncle in a tiny fishing village called Moonstone Bay. While there, he finds new friends and a ghost in the forest. 

A simple story and a lot of fun to write. That was the easy part. I had a cover made by my pals at Deeply Dapper, one I like a lot, and I let images of big numbers parade in my head every once in a while. I also did the smart thing and found a writing group to latch onto and glean info from, The Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Chat Board, AKA Verla Kay's. I loved it there. I made a lot of connections with other writers and illustrators who were doing the same thing I was: creating a world to entertain people. Some were all out pros and some were just starting, like I was.All of them were funny and insightful and great.

I also started promoting myself on websites and blogs, commenting on posts and making myself known as the generally witty and handsome fellow that I am. I got some attention and even had a few agents casually take a look at my novel. Unfortunately, something I knew was a fault made itself clear to the agents - my book is old-fashioned. There's humor and action and adventure, but there's no sons of gods or scathing sarcasm. Not the kind of book that sells. 

But that was okay, I was already pretty darned excited about the E-Pub world and the way it was expanding, so I went that route, unraveling the tricks of the websites to eventually come up with a pretty solid little E-Book, which you are welcome to purchase for three bucks on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and Smashwords

The problem is that by the time my book came out, I'd slacked off on being a real person in cyberspace. I hardly commented on blogs or blogged myself and had virtually vanished from Verla Kay. So my little novel was released with barely a blip and there it has remained.... Waiting....

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