In the past few months, I have been busy marketing and promoting my latest book, Geckos & Guns: The Pakistan Years. I have to admit that this is hard work for me. Writing is my passion and, even on days when my muse is not speaking to me, I always find something to write about. Edits and rewrites can be frustrating, but I still feel good about that process. An efficient ‘housecleaning’ elevates any story.
However, once a book is published an author is faced with the most daunting task of all—marketing! Even avid readers won’t read a book if they don’t know about it. This can be a tricky balancing act. Friends may tire of many social media posts or bristle if asked if they have read my latest book. (Maybe they just haven’t gotten around to it yet.) At the same time, I need to strategize as to how to attract readers from around the world. Millions of people don’t know me or my writing. I must find ways of getting my book in front of them as well as capturing their interest.
This is where the hard work begins and, am happy to say that I am getting better at it. The first time around, after I wrote Nine Years in Bangkok, I had to establish myself as an author with a platform—website, Facebook page, and numerous social media sites. This time I have the advantage of working from that base. I’ve also made more friends in the writing/publishing/marketing world who have provided me with a wealth of advice and information. I’m connected with independent reviewers and bloggers and thrilled with their positive reviews and ratings.
But my greatest pleasure has come from taking part in podcast and radio interviews. This is both nerve-wracking and great fun. Zoom has been a game-changer. So far I have been a radio guest in Newcastle upon Tyne in England, Detroit in Michigan, and Strathmore in Alberta. I have been a podcast guest in New York, Florida, Arizona, and Ireland. The time frames are as varied as the hosts. I have been asked to speak for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and an hour, respectively. Some interviews have been a resounding success and others not so much. One interview started at 7:30 am. What a ride!
I don’t know what the future holds—any popular late-night talk show would an exciting (but very unlikely) adventure! All I know is that I have finally learned to enjoy the journey. My promotional adventures won’t be perfect, but I look forward to all the joys and challenges they may bring.