Saturday, December 1, 2012

An Author's Journey

 Like I promised yesterday, I will finish telling my story.
After publishing Lightning in the Tunnel," In the Beginning" I began to search for a publisher that I didn't have to pay to publish. I ran across an Ad that said we will pay you to publish your book! Claiming to be a traditional publisher!
Responding to the Ad, I submitted my second book in the series to them. They rejected it, so I took a look at it. Those that bought my first book, the older readers complained that there was too much explicit sex in it (the younger ones loved it!). So I thought that was the problem with the second book, so I rewrote it reducing down or eliminating any explicit sex in the book. Also because I felt the older ones didn't read the story or remember what it was about, not just the sex scenes in the book. I re-submitted the book under a new title "Zigzagging Home" and got a contract!
Once again I thought I had it going on, every three months I submitted another book, The next one was called "the Journey Continues.*" followed by "A Place Called Terra" then "Terror Reigns".
I bought a few copies of each and my saleslady, Sammi started selling them. Soon, I developed a following. One guy drives fifty miles away to here to buy each new book that comes out! I have it going on big time in my mind! The Publisher besides selling me books, I paid to have them placed in bookstores around the country and at all the book fairs (Guaranteed sales)!
This was 2011! Books should be selling like hotcakes, Right, no wrong! Being a diabetic, I chose early retirement having problems with my legs. Now, all I had to do was sit home and write more books! I wrote "T.T. Gristman" and decided that it would make a good story for TV so I decided to get an agent so they could present my book to all these screaming Producers. I still didn't know what a query letter was or existed. I submitted a short blurp to one agent and got a response asking me to send the first few chapters in an email not an attachment. So I did not realizing that when you copy and paste with notebook from word that all Formatting is lost and you have to re-format. I sent it on its way thinking I did what was right. When I reopened the email, I saw that it looked like a bunch of gibberish! I'm willing to bet that agent hit delete quicker than it took to open the email! Needless to say I was undaunted going on my merry way thinking I was doing right.
Being retired, I decided to attend an author's convention and meet my publisher! A book signing followed the convention. Just prior to attending the convention, I received a statement of my sales for 2011. NO Sales to report!  I was dumbfounded, what? I paid to have my book sold at a guaranteed book fairs!
Well, I was going to the convention, get answers there! At the convention, I thought I was at a soap sales convention, you all know about! Using my skills as a production specialist that gets to the root of production problems that I acquired over the years in the metal industry and in management. I observed and took notes. The answer to my question about those sales was the accounting for some reason didn't pick them up so my report was in error? They corrected and soon after I received a check.
After the convention, I went to the book signing event. They placed us in a mall that had little to no foot track being supper time for most people in that area. The best thing about the whole trip was I went and visited my children and grandchildren in North Carolina afterwards.
Returning home, I already had set up a book signing event in a large city. Those I held locally sold more books than at the convention book signing. When I arrived there, I found they didn't carry any of my books, that was alright with me, I had plenty! I even left some on consignment there! This was supposed to be one of those places that carried my books according to my publisher!
All this got me to thinking, what am I doing wrong? Meanwhile, I submitted "General Tomahawk Rises"
Getting on the Internet, I joined Writer's group and behold, Jason, R.C. and Sally M. had posts on there on Linkedin that told me about something I didn't know, Marketing! it was the Author's job to do that! I will continue with more of the story tomorrow! Give my your feed back!