Monday, November 16, 2015

Marketing Before Publication? How About Before It’s Written?

Copyright © 2013 Robert W. Walker
Originally Published by 1st Turning Point
In what I consider a bold move, a writer decides to create a journal-type blog that will follow his work in progress. He makes challenging deadline predictions for completing the rough draft and the edited-vetted final: a book in a year, a rough draft in three months.
This is a novel that has not been written yet, much less published, and while there is no pre-ordering set up, people who follow the blog, hopefully, will want to get the book they have been hearing about for so long once it’s available.  Hopefully the premise, the setting, sharing characters, even setting up chapters on the blog, will entice readers and generate buzz.
This has been my plan with my work in progress-to put out there how I write, where I get my premise, how I do research, fashioning drama out of said research, holding research down to backdrop and pulling the human story to the forward stage.  The blog gets into details of various tools and instruments used in putting the story together as close to a seamless symphony as one can make it.  It speaks of the unique character of this particular book, what special needs are required in this book.  The blog appeals to those who wish to see how a novel is built brick by brick, scene by scene, chapter by chapter.
I have had mixed results thus far, but it is early in the process.  The first draft has yet to be completed. I set out in mid-February. Mid-May marked three months, so I have run past my initial deadline; the beauty of one that is self-imposed, yes, but there is so much value in having a deadline of any sort.  It’s something to shoot for.
How is this marketing?  With each blog entry, I announce it on chat groups, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and elsewhere. As I speak about it in my various blogs, I set up a free chapter for download from my website.  It has gotten twenty followers, which may not seem like much, but they are avid folks and interested in seeing the book evolve.  All the while, I can also speak to the publication date when it begins to loom closer to the time when people can read the book from beginning to end in a neat, orderly, well-edited copy.  I can also demonstrate putting this title up as a Kindle Original and market it as such.
Should you do this with your work in progress?  I will admit, writing novels has become somewhat second nature after doing some 50-odd novels, but part of the purpose of the blog is to demonstrate just how many ways I mess up and pick myself up and go on in the face of adversity and life in general.  I believe anyone contemplating a work in progress can and should give this a try.  Why?  Because of the rewards that come out of it.  Even if no one reads my journal on writing Curse of the Titanic (for which I ran a title contest that ‘failed’ as no title rattled my cage like the one that came from another source)-and even if no one reads your blog about your work in progress, either, YOU will feel wonderful after getting these asides about the process out of your head and on screen or on paper. I do.
We often say our first reader happens to be us.  That makes good sense since in the writing we free ourselves to fly. Keeping a journal on a work in progress is quite freeing.  Many a writer, like John Steinbeck, who worked with traditional tools, kept journals wherein they railed against themselves and the work in progress to shake it up and strangle it and get what they needed from it to MAKE the story.
It does take time, and at times I wish I had blogged more on the manuscript, but I have to also find the time to WRITE the thing.  I have tried to blog every other weekend at the very least, though I began with it once a week.  It is rather overdue for an update now, so I am away!

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Award-winning author and graduate of Northwestern University, ROBERT W. WALKER created his highly acclaimed INSTINCT and EDGE SERIES between 1982 and 2005. Rob since then has penned his award-winning historical series featuring Inspector Alastair Ransom with CITY FOR RANSOM (2006), SHADOWS IN THE WHITE CITY (2007), and CITY OF THE ABSENT (2008), and most recently placed Ransom on board the Titanic in a hybrid historical/science fiction epic entitled Titanic 2012 – Curse of RMS Titanic. The original Ransom trilogy straddles the Chicago World’s Fair circa 1893, and has had enthusiastic reviews from Chicago historians and the Chicago Tribune, which likened “the witticism to Mark Twain, the social consciousness to Dickens, and the ghoulish atmosphere to Poe!”  Rob has since published DEAD ON (also an audiobook), a PI’s tale of revenge as a reason to live—a noir set in modern day Atlanta,  followed more recently by Bismarck 2013, an historical horror title, The Edge of Instinct, the 12th Instinct Series, and a short story collection entitled Thriller Party of Eight (also an audiobook).
Rob’s historical novel CHILDREN of SALEM, while an historical romance and suspense novel exposes the evil in mankind via the politics of witchcraft in grim 1692 New England, which one professional editor reviewed as:  A title that only Robert Walker could make work—romance amid the infamous witch trials. The author followed this ANNIE’S WAR, an historical romance set in 1859, a tale from the point of view of the daughter of the infamous John Brown of Harpers Ferry notoriety.
Robert currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia with his wife, children, pets, all somehow normal. For more on Rob’s published works, see,, books. He maintains a presence on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Killer Instinct, the first book in Robert W.  Walker's Instinct series.
DR. JESSICA CORAN - A brilliant and determined FBI medical examiner, she was an expert student of the criminal mind who thought she could face anything. 
That was before Wisconsin. Before she saw one of his victims... 
THE VAMPIRE KILLER -The FBI agent had a special code name for his unusual method of torture: Tort 9, the draining of the victims blood. The newspapers called him the Vampire-Killer. But his own twisted love letters were signed "Teach"... and were addressed to the one woman he wanted most of all: His hunter, his prey, Dr. Jessica Coran.

1 comment:

  1. I like this idea. Marketing can start as soon as writing does. Then is won't be so overwhelming when the book finally comes out.