I published a book. Now what?

I published my book Titan almost two weeks ago and it has been a nerve-wracking, exciting, and confusing time. I did not publish in the traditional sense (of course, what is “traditional” anymore?) and so it’s left me feeling both proud and confused.

On the one hand, I published a book. Holy cow. I recognize that simply creating a long-form work and putting it out there for consumption is great. I try to humble and appreciative. My go-to line has consistently been, “I’m not Stephen King. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

On the other hand, I want my book to sell and I want people to read it. This is the internet, so it’s hard to be genuine without someone questioning your motives—but I’ll try. I am not in this to make money or be famous. I want people to read my work and like it enough that they want to read more. I recognize that money and fame have a role in that process, but they’re in support of the primary goal—they’re not the main goals.

Frankly, I am at a loss for what to do to publicize the book. I’ve created a Facebook page to centralize information and communications about the book, but I’m finding that it isn’t converting interest into sales. I’m beginning to understand why Facebook’s having “gone public” wasn’t received positively—there are genuine questions about the effectiveness of its ads.

I’ve also used Twitter to make some announcements and share information. The problem is, I follow quite a few authors on Twitter and the ones that constantly pepper my feed with schmaltzy ads for their book(s) annoy me. I don’t want to be “that guy.” Twitter is a tool, but it can be misused and I’ve seen more authors misuse it than use it well. I think author Ksenia Anske (@kseniaanske) uses Twitter very effectively—she treats the platform as a dialogue with readers and fellow authors, only occasionally referencing particular books for sale.  Plus, she tweets about stuff other than books, which makes her a well-rounded “follow.”

Independent of my self-publishing efforts, I am working with a Publishing Consultant on a pitch letter and proposal for my book for “traditional” publishers and agents. I want the book to get the widest possible distribution; if that’s what I have to do, then I’ll go that route.

There isn’t a roadmap to follow. I wish there was.