Tag: Publicity

Two more days to snag first edition novel

You might recall that mine was a big decision to independently publish The Barrenness. A writer friend reminded me a few weeks ago that the idea of self-publishing intimidated the daylights out of me.

But true to my determined nature, even if it did take me years to get around to it, I found the courage to take the plunge and set-up Prymus Publications. And once I dived in, I gained high hopes, despite all the doom and gloom around the publishing industry–publishers collapsing, book stores closing left and right, and e-books bridging any gaps that came open.

The latter, of course, created opportunities for self-publishers. But I still had to think about the stigmas associated with it, hence some of my turmoil. Now a few months just short of a year since the novel was released, I can’t say I am totally at peace but I am happy to have immersed myself into this project.

Maybe I still haven’t learned how to swim properly, but I am floating, keeping my head above water. Basically, I had three major goals in publishing: to get the novel published (including writing, editing, design, etc…), to promote it, and to sell it.

The first one I achieved on target, thanks to a fantastic team including my editor and designer and of course, printer/distributor. The latter two–promoting and selling–are ongoing, and I must say that while I’m still expecting sales to surprise me any day now, I am delighted with the results of press coverage. In this area, I am a pretty good swimmer.

Since last April 2011, The Barrenness has been featured in some forty media outlets, most of them listed on my website. Still there are others in the making, including FOX News and ARUN, a national radio network in the US. In addition, there are many copies of the novel out there that still might be reviewed. Let’s hope so. In the meantime, here are some highlights:

CNN with Pam Oliver, as well as The Tom Joyner Morning Show, ABC Let’s Talk Live, CBS This Morning, Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys, The Toronto Star, and The Voice.

Many thanks to the media in the US, in particular, for supporting the changing face of publishing and covering vibrant, new voices, even when they don’t come from one of the big houses.

And in general, thanks to all outlets who gave The Barrenness some quality time, including my hometown television station and newspaper in Albany, Georgia. The biggest thanks, of course, goes to Janet Shapiro of Smith Publicity. She’s the one who totally immersed herself. What a star?

Now, back to this countdown–just two more days left to secure the first edition this debut novel! In the meantime, I absolutely must learn how to swim, properly.

Magic or hard-work – I’ll take it

Many writers don’t read fiction while writing it, including yours truly. It’s risky business, akin to rolling a two-sided dice—one will make you rich, the other poor, very poor. No wonder I am voraciously reading my fourth novel in as many months or less as well as a couple of short stories.

I do have to get writing again, working on my second novel that is. Admittedly, however,  I am a bit up in arms about what’s next.  If you’d asked me a month ago, I would have told you The Blindsided Prophet; I started it. I really did but the process got  interrupted, and when this happens, you’re back to the drawing board.

So I am  and interestingly enough, readers are encouraging me to take a page fromThe Barrenness—explore some of the minor themes,  the characters. Naturally, I am carefully considering the feedback. But I am getting edgy.

Going without writing fiction for too long stresses me out and knots up my muscles.  I’m not sure that my right ‘rotator cuff’ muscles would have any flexibility were it not for my monthly short stories and of course, the ayurvedic massage I had on Friday.

What a difference unblocking energy makes, though such massages are not meant for those with low-pain thresholds, but what can I say I did it. When I’m back in London I’ll tell you all about this experience, particularly the aftermath. I was so relaxed  yesterday I had to take a cat nap before I could pack.

A good segue for me to tell you why I’m not sitting at my desk or on my floor in front of the fireplace, writing. I’m in the US yet  again to promote The Barrenness, thanks to my extraordinary publicist JS. Magic or is it?

Absolutely not! It takes hard-work from both publicist and writer,  hers spilling over into the late nights and weekends and mine going into fifth gear about now as I write this blog with unsteady hands and droopy eyelids. Only landed a few hours ago, and at 8.00 EST tomorrow morning, I call in to a television station in up-state New York.

What do you mean I should be in the studio. No  can do, I am in Georgia for another television taping to be aired in a couple weeks and a radio interview Tuesday  morning. Then I travel up the Eastern Seaboard  for quite a few opportunities in Virginia,  DC, and Pennsylvania (Philly)—some live, some taped. Who knows where all of this might end up—New York, NY, I should hope.  Last stop before I return to London.

Debriefings will be posted here, hopefully day to day—first one tomorrow evening.  But for updates and invitations to watch or listen, check out my Facebook page: Sonja Lewis.

If you miss the tour completely, visit my press for playbacks or copies of the interviews.  If you’ve read the novel, join the discussion on what to write next. If you haven’t read it, now is the time. I’m giving away two copies on Goodreads.com.  Or buy the paperback or digital version from most online retailers.

Now where was I? What page was I on? That’s right, the Kindle doesn’t do page numbers. Never mind, I’m enjoying this fantastic novel all the same and hope to finish it before the writing (well the researching, thinking, planning) begins. If not, I’ll just have to roll the two-sided dice.  Wish me magic? Okay, more opportunities for hard work. I’ll take it!