At the moment I’m in the process of applying for a grant from the West Australian Department of Culture & the Arts (DCA), to publish my novel, The Ark, as an e-book with an interactive website.
Writing grant applications is one of the more time-consuming ‘duties other than writing’. First there is the interminable application form, including the dreaded budget, and then the chasing up of letters of support, quotes, writing samples and the like. As if that wasn’t enough, the Publishing Assistance Program grant application requires a marketing plan.
But what do I want with one of those? Won’t there be an entire department working in shifts around the clock to promote my novel? Well, if I’m the guy who wrote that book about Jesus being secretly married to Mary Magdalene (you know, the one with the name of an Italian artist in the title), then yes, probably. But if I’m the woman whose first novel sold a few less than 80 million copies, (more like, let’s say a couple of thousand), AND I’m planning to self-publish my new book, well hot damn, it looks like the marketing comes down to little old me.
But I’m a writer, not a business mogul; what do i know of marketing plans? So I google it, as you do. And I enter a new world. It’s a bit like my experience with Hong Kong: I didn’t want to visit, but once I arrived, it was hard to leave. Yep, marketing is kind of interesting. And a lot of the things you have to do are actually fun. In fact, they’re things I like to do anyway, like blogging (here I am!), tweeting and Facebooking (that doesn’t work quite so well as a verb, does it?).
After a day of research, I was so excited about ‘building my author platform’ that I literally couldn’t sleep. And writing a blog post was at the top of my to-do list.