Thursday, November 4, 2010

Learning From the First One

Me and OIf mistakes foster learning, then I’ve become a much smarter man during the past year.

Seven months ago, my first book (DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD) was published, and, although counseled by different members of this blog about what to expect, I was still surprised by many things. Now that I’ve been through the pre-pub, pub, and post-pub promotion cycle, I know more about what’s heading my way for KILLER ROUTINE. Not that I’ll be ready for everything this time around, but at least I’ll know what’s coming.

I’ve ordered (and received) bookmarks for the new book, using the same printer I used before. This time, it took me only a fraction of the time to design them (in large part, because I didn’t have to re-learn Photoshop).

I’ve got my “basic” PowerPoint presentation ready, and it won’t be difficult to update it for the new book/series. Having done a ton of presentations (including signings, panels, radio, TV, tent revivals, etc.), I’m a lot more comfortable talking about myself and my books.

The website has been up and running for a year or so, and I plan to give it a facelift. But since I’m well along the learning curve, it won’t take nearly as much time as the original design effort (I now know HTML and CSS!).

My online presence has grown (Hi, Facebook friends! Hi, Twitter followers!), and I’ve got a good base to build upon. I’ve been blogging, three times a week on my personal blog and once a month here on InkSpot. I’ve also got some ideas about how to improve my blog tour and Goodreads giveaway promotion.

I’m planning my conference schedule now. From my experiences, I know which are worth the time and which ones are marginal. And I’ve heard from other writers about other conferences to try.

Looks like another busy—and fun—year!

Anything to warn me about for my second book, MInkers?




Lisa Bork said...

Oh, Alan, that picture just made my day! It might be easier to become president than to sell books :)

Vicki Doudera said...

Nice outline of what I STILL need to do, considering we're on the same exact schedule!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I'm with Lisa. I opened the blog and laughed out loud (note, I did not say "LOL!"). Thanks, Alan.

Advice for second book... hmmm. Be prepared for folks to compare the two in a very blunt fashon. And, it gets easier with each book. Not the sales, but the procedure and preparation for the release comes more naturally.

Pamela Callow said...

Alan - that picture is priceless. Have you ever thought of running...?

Thanks for the tips. I'm impressed you do all your own website coding.

It's been great sharing our debut year together. Looking forward to Killer Routine - love that title!


Anonymous said...

Alan - Thanks for sharing what you've learned to do. I need to archive this. If my WIP is actually accepted for publication, I'll find this stuff very useful!

Darrell James said...

What? Alan, you haven't encountered the throngs of teenage girls wanting your authorgraph? Maybe you need to try a Bieber haircut.

I too have learned photoshop and I'm working on HTML and CSS. Had to laugh at the photo. Thanks.

Ingrid King said...

Love the picture. I would vote for you :-)

Alan Orloff said...

Lisa - Unfortunatly, you might be right!

Vicki - I left out a lot of stuff I STILL need to do.

Sue Ann - I think my standalone is a lot different than the first series book. Bluntly different. Not sure how that's going to fly, but I guess I'll find out.

Pam - Yes, the debut year has been fun! As for running for office--If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. I'm not crazy!!

Margot - There wasn't enough room on the blog to share the things I HAVEN'T learned to do yet.

Darrell - I might have more groupies if I was a MAN OF MYSTERY like you. I have something to aspire to, anyway.

Ingrid - Thanks for the support, Ingrid. You know where to send the campaign contributions...

Kathleen Ernst said...

Tent revivals? Hmmn, I've clearly left something important off my own list.

Congrats on the new book--love the title, by the way. You've definitely got momentum in your favor!

Lois Winston said...

Alan, love the picture and the idea of tent revivals. Whatever works, right?

Keith Raffel said...

Alan, if big bestselling novelists like Lisa, Vicki, Sue Ann, Pam, Lois, Ingrid, and Kathleen (and future ones like Darrell and Margot)are leaving comments on your post, I'd say your future is assured. Lucky fellow!

Deborah Sharp said...

Hail to the Chief! Love the podium pix.
Advice on Book No. 2? Be prepared for friends and relatives to be a bit less interested this time around. It's like the first baby gets all the attention; second baby, a little less, and by the third baby, your cousins are saying "Are you STILL having babies? How many does this make??'' Same with books.