I have a plan! At least I think I do...actually, I have no clue...
At some point while working on Under the Emerald Sky, I started thinking that what I was writing might actually be palatable, and possibly even good. And so, once I had completed the story, I confidently (or perhaps arrogantly) set out to find a literary agent, who I was sure would then be able to arrange a publishing contract for me, thus providing me with all the necessary marketing strategies (and personnel!) to successfully sell my book. Unfortunately, however, that just didn't happen (for reasons I may go into in a later post).
So there I was, with a completed novel and a dozen ideas for the sequel. But as I agonised over my inability to secure an agent, I found that I could barely write a single word. I was undoubtedly stuck, not to mention feeling disheartened! But what to do? Should I sit around waiting for something to happen, not publishing, not writing, just stewing in my own frustration and misery? Since that didn't particularly appeal to me, I decided to do what I could instead, which meant self-publishing my book. It wasn't how I'd planned it, but it was thrilling, nonetheless, to finally see my novel available for sale, and to hold a printed copy in my hands. This was a tangible achievement, at last, and I revelled in my success! And as faithful friends and family members flocked to virtual stores in support, suddenly I could write again as well!
But of course, most published authors (myself included) want more than just family and friends to read their work - although I am very grateful to those of you who have! Convincing anybody else to even consider it, though...well that requires a good deal of marketing. And marketing a book is a sizeable job, indeed, particularly for someone like me, who has absolutely no natural inclination towards sales! With no agent or publishing house behind me, though, nor vast quantities of money to hire a publicist or other useful individuals, that job has now fallen to me.
Clearly, my initial plan didn't quite work out. But unless I want to watch my novel die by literary neglect, I guess I'd better embrace the challenge of having to do my own marketing!
by Juliane Weber (@UnderEmeraldSky) 25 February 2021
About Juliane Weber
Juliane is a scientist, turned medical writer, turned novelist. Her debut book, Under the Emerald Sky, is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in 19th century Ireland around the time of the Great Famine.