Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Hardest Book to Sell

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Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop, hosted by our incomparable Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh (thanks, Cap'n!), postings shared on the first Wednesday of every month: And by the way, today is the second anniversary of this hop!

"Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"
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A couple of weeks ago, we finished writing the third book in our Silverville Saga series, The Magicke Outhouse. Or rather, we finished a draft we finally like.

We're giving it one more proof (although we don't know why we bother -- the remaining typos, errors, and missing words are all invisible to us by now) before we send it out to trusted beta readers, those trusted folks who'll tell us the truth about what can make this a better book.

But the pieces are falling into place: the cover design is getting close, the blurbs are coming in over the next six weeks, our publisher has a release date, we're starting to set up readings, blog tours, and, and ... we'll soon be thinking about the next project.

And that's where we're having a bit of a crisis. No, not because we don't have a next project (for starters, the Silverville Saga has at least two more tales to tell), but because we may have a chance to write a nonfiction book that might actually make some money.

It started as an off-hand comment to our publisher over dinner a few weeks back, when we mentioned a nonfiction idea we'd considered writing but had never pursued. The next day, the publisher contacted us and said he'd like to do that book. In fact, perhaps before the next Silverville installment.

Can't say we blame him -- after all, we're sure he wouldn't mind a book with wider appeal than our normal paranormal adventure-comedies. The notion shouldn't give us pause either: We both began as newspaper and magazine writers and later branched out to the more lucrative field of service journalism (read: promo and PR masquerading as legit news. Yep, sold out our souls long ago.)

Still, it's a step backwards from literary (okay, okay, quasi-literary) writing. Maybe our horses have gotten too high, and this is the chance to get closer to the ground again. Maybe it's just pre-press jitters as we prepare to set another story loose on the world.

A good friend of ours -- one who's sold to the Big Five and who's hit the NYT bestseller's list -- once told us he thought the hardest book to sell was always the next one.

We're not really complaining because there's been plenty of times when we didn't know if our writing would even find a next publisher. These days, that side of the business is coming easier (hope we didn't just jinx ourselves!) So maybe the real sales pitch isn't to the publisher.

This time, the hardest book to sell may be to ourselves.