I ended the last blog post five years ago, and in the years since then, life has sort of flipped around, and flipped back again.
I spent two years slowly editing, rewriting bits, correcting inconsistencies. I thought I had it about right, though I felt it was short. Things felt about as good as they could about the book. And then, two brothers brought pressure cooker bombs to the Boston Marathon.
I realized following the attack and the rest of that week that I had the character of the people of Boston wrong. Not hugely wrong, but wrong enough that I needed to revisit parts that wouldn't ring true now that Boston Strong was part of the national story on Boston. David Ortiz saying "This is our fucking city," while not mentioned in the novel, had a huge impact on the rewrites. I tightened up some parts. I completely rewrote two chapters to take the bombing into account. I ended up with a much better novel than I'd started out with.
And then I spent three years querying to agents and publishers. I'm sure my various query letters were not great, even though I did try to follow the advice of Query Shark and other helpful agents. However, as I'm sure you can surmise, the querying process went nowhere.
I'm still proud of this book. I think it tells a good story engagingly. But now, there is another aspect of this whole thing that makes me want to tear my hair out.
It's probably related to my query letter not being the best it can be, but I've never had a lot of luck with promoting myself. I've only had one project that I would consider successful, and that one just lucked into going viral one weekend. This is the area where I need to learn the most.
And since I have literally no budget for it, free marketing is what I'm concentrating on. Things like posting to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags to attract other writers who might also review and recommend to their followers.
I used to be good at online networking. I've kind of lost my mojo.
Forward to now, when my wife and I have three weeks to move out of our apartment and into a hazy future, and suddenly, I'm less inclined to try for a natural build-up of interest, especially when it hasn't happened yet. Still, no budget for advertising.
In the immortal words of Cathy, "ACK!"