Wednesday, June 10, 2020

No regrets

With thousands of new titles being published every day, what do you do to try to raise your new book above the fray and catch the eye of readers?

by Dietrich

Well, aside from coming up with a catchy title, an eye-catching cover and making the best use of the marketing avenues available to authors – minus the limitations brought on by the recent lockdown that all of us have had to deal with, cancelations to reading events and seminars, conventions, and so on – the best thing I can do is to focus on my work in progress and make it the best book I can. Of course, that part comes long before I’m thinking of catching the eye of the reader.

I listen to the marketing and publicity people at my publishing house; they know their stuff. And as far as publicity for the title I’ve got coming up in the fall, we’ll be discussing that soon, and it may mean that more of the promotion will have to be done across the internet. As well as physical book tours and events, I have been doing blog tours and podcasts for the past few years, so I’m okay with that. They’re fun, easy and have been quite effective.

But back to making it the best book I can. Getting into that head space every day and moving the book forward is always key. I try to keep a level of energy going through the various stages of writing. Adding new ideas and building characters, considering what to take out and what to keep in, in general moving it forward. And having fun and being creative with it. Finding that flow. 

There are books I’ve read over the years that have inspired my own writing. And many of those just seem to deserve a spot at the top of any book lover’s list. Timeless classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Catch 22, and A Clockwork Orange, and so many more of that caliber. 

And being in this lockdown mode, I’ve been reading more lately, and finding some really good books across various genres. And I’ve found plenty of inspiration in them. Here are some I’d like to pass on and highly recommend: Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young, The Body by Stephen King, The Comedy is Finished by Donald E. Westlake, Mortherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Letham, Split Image by Robert B. Parker, and Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes.

Of course, there are many books making the shelves at bookstores that are well written and don’t get the recognition that they seem to deserve. What would have made the difference for them? That’s a question that can leave a lot of publishing people scratching their heads. But, I think at the end of the day if I’m happy with what I’ve created, then that should be enough. Although I have nothing against knocking one right out of the park.


Brenda Chapman said...

An inspiring post, Dietrich. Congrats on your upcoming book.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Brenda.