“Let Me Tell You About My Novel…”

My plan to to begin the publishing process for my first official novel, this year. Whether that will be by way of agents or self-publishing I have yet to officially determine, though I plan to have that decision made by the end of winter. I will announce that here when it happens.

Regardless of which way I go, I know I need to build excitement, or at least awareness of my novel. That’s not to say of course that I’ve never talked about it here on the blog. But those have been more mechanical considerations. (When I’m editing, or what draft am I on?)  I know this year I will continue to do that, but I have to also be both more open and more specific.

Based on what I’ve seen other writers do, and on some of my research, this enhanced talking-up of my novel has three main avenues:

1) Offering peeks.

This could get tricky at times, as I want to find the important balance between sharing quotations, and possibly excerpts with readers and follows and just given away the store. After all if my readers and followers know too much about the book before hand, what’s the incentive to read it?

Plus, I’m quite protective of its content before publication. Not just from a stealing perspective, (though a tiny bit of my mind still fears that), but from the perspective of giving the wrong impression. What are the good quotations to take out of context to share with the world? What scenes stand on their own, and offer hints, but don’t mislabel the whole story? How long should an excerpt be? These are considerations I have to make.

2) Theme and/or Purpose

Both of those terms mean about a million different things to a million different writers, I understand. To me, it means that in addition to sharing more content, I need to share more of my feelings about what I want the novel to be or to do. I should be talking about the aspects of life I hope the novel touches on, but again without giving away its entire nature. I don’t think there has to be a profound reason for writing a novel other than wanting to tell a good story, but why did I want to tell this one? And to whom? Which leads into the next consideration…

3) Audience

It will behoove me this year to not only officially declare a genre, (though I think the novel straddles two of them), but to consider what type of reader and what type of person would likely get the most out of my particular story. I of course want many kinds of people to read it eventually, and I believe it can appeal to a wide range of folks. But for the sake of getting the ball rolling, I probably have to think of a demographic, (if not a niche), and talk to them when I talk about the book. “They will understand” should be my mantra in this. I don’t want to shut out other demographics, or course, and I will be careful of that. But finding the type of person more likely to enjoy my novel and speaking to them is no doubt a plus to begin with.

I just have to make sure I pick the correct demographic or type.

So, these are things I’ve thought about for a while, and mentioned in passing here in the blog and on Twitter. But if I’m to build interest in this book as I get closer to it being public, I have to consider these three things (and more) as I share about it.

So much balancing to do. Let’s see how I fare.

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