Saturday, 24 April 2010

Forward Movement

I think I mentioned ages ago that I'd foolishly volunteered to help out with a local musical. I was also for a while in charge of the music side of things, which was very daunting. Luckily I was relieved of that responsibility earlier this year, and became instead a General Helper-Outer And Keyboard Player.

Well, we put it on this week, and it was utterly exhausting but very rewarding and I'm both pleased and sad that it's over.

And it's meant that there has only been a small amount of movement on the book front, but there has been some. I now have a vague idea of how I'm going to do it, and am gradually getting involvement from Clever Creative Types who will help me make this book A Beautiful Thing.

I can't write too much until I have a better idea of who's doing what, but I'm aiming to have a cover, blurb, quotes and maybe even reviews ready by the end of June / beginning of July, which is when I will start a massive campaign to get advance orders for the book. The number I get will determine the size of the print run.

I'm hesitating slightly over whether I can ask people to pay upfront. I'm tempted to accept promises rather than actual hard cash... but this is probably foolhardy. And I *think* I could get enough people to do it... or could I?

It's horribly easy to get ahead of yourself with these things. You think to yourself, "Well, I know hundreds of people in this context, and hundreds more in this other one... and thousands of people have read my [previous] blog... so that adds up to a gazillion book sales, right?" WRONG. You can't assume anyone will buy anything. Ever.

But... out of the literally hundreds of people who read and enjoyed my first book, and the hundreds more who have met me since and responded positively to the various writing-related things I've done... I can surely find 50* to commit to buying this book. Friends and family alone ought to cover that. Easily. But will they? And will they be happy to pay up in advance?


Problem is... I don't think I can hedge my bets here, or start on one track and then switch halfway. Either I'm asking people to pay up in advance or I'm just asking them to commit to buying the thing after it's been produced.

But then again... NEVER SHOW DOUBT**. Assume a thing will work, act like there was never any question that it would work... and chances are, it will work.

And anyway. It was published by a major international publisher. It's not a complete punt.


*100 would be better, but 50 is a viable option. I think.

**Ahem. So this post doesn't exist, right? You're not reading it. Yes? Good. Glad we cleared that up.

***That's eek as in "Oh help!" But also as in "Eeee, how exciting!"


Brian Clegg said...

I would hesitate to ask for money in advance, just in case you don't manage it and have to give it back, which would be tedious and disheartening.

Why not ask for promises, when you get enough, THEN ask for cash, then produce the book. Or is that what you meant anyway?

Jen said...

Oh, I disagree with Brian (sorry, Brian!). There's a singer I absolutely love called Kat Flint who did a similar thing that you want to do - she wanted to bring out here 2nd album but didn't have the funds for studio time & all that so she asked, as you should do, for people to pay upfront. We did. Lots of us. And getting her album 'out there' meant she could promote herself. It was later snapped up and she's on iTunes. Amazon & Radio 2!

Promises are lovely but hard cash is better. Dreams aren't free, are they? Go for it. You can put me down for a copy.

Beth said...

I agree with Jen. I'm happy to pay in advance.

Also, I suspect that it was seeing a link to your first books (god knows where) that introduced me to the no.vel ra.cers. so you never know what good things can follow from stuff like this.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...


Ooh, it's happened again. I've had a comment so interesting that my reply ran to several paragraphs, and suddenly I realised that it really deserved a whole post all of its own.

Jen/SpiralSkies... I think (hope) you're right, and that I can indeed get away with asking for money upfront.

B, I'm glad I introduced you to something good. Hooray for networking!