wild colonial girl

A freelancer moves to Castlemaine

OK, my book is out, now what?

Thrilled at the book's safe arrival!

It’s arrived! just_a_girl released 1 June…

When I posted that question recently on Facebook, a good mate said: ‘Sell it.’ Increasingly, with the advent of social media, and with book buyers receding, there is pressure on writers to market and sell their own books. I sometimes wish we could revert to the olden days before writer festivals, book tours and launches, when after your book was written, someone else would take it off your hands and you could let it gently fly away (I recently heard someone refer to releasing your book as watching your baby crawl across an eight-lane freeway.)

But who am I kidding?  I realise the irony of this, as I sit here writing a blog about my new book. I recently enjoyed seeing the literary critic James Wood speak at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. I love his reviews, and they focus as much on the writer as the writing. The audience is hungry to know where the essence of the fiction comes from, what ‘truth’ gives the novel its flavour. I admire the guts of Italian writer Elena Ferrante, who Wood quotes:

Ferrante sent her publisher a letter that, like her fiction, is pleasingly rigorous and sharply forthright. It lays out principles she has not deviated from since. She will do nothing for [her book] “Troubling Love,” she tells her publisher, because she has already done enough: she wrote it. She won’t take part in conferences or discussions, and won’t go to accept prizes, if any are awarded. “I will be interviewed only in writing, but I would prefer to limit even that to the indispensable minimum”:

[Ferrante says] I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t. . . . I very much love those mysterious volumes, both ancient and modern, that have no definite author but have had and continue to have an intense life of their own. They seem to me a sort of nighttime miracle, like the gifts of the Befana, which I waited for as a child. . . . True miracles are the ones whose makers will never be known. . . . Besides, isn’t it true that promotion is expensive? I will be the least expensive author of the publishing house. I’ll spare you even my presence.

Oh, to have the gall! I wonder if she has read Wood’s article…

It is daunting letting your first book out into the world. You want it to be reviewed but to be treated kindly. You want discussion that looks at the real issues, that delves beneath the surface. You want your characters to be respected (but not necessarily liked). You want the fact that you’re a beginner (in terms of novels) taken into account.

Margaret Atwood, in a recent interview with Jennifer Byrne (currently available on ABC iView), mentioned that there were four kinds of books: good books that make money; bad books that make money; good books that make no money; and bad books that make no money. She said that three of these four is OK! I love her cheeky style.

And so here we go…the spruik (I promise I will only do this once).

just_a_girl was released into bookstores on 1 June

It’s been very exciting to finally see the manuscript in book form. When I opened the package from the publishers my hands were shaking and I did the equivalent of the touchdown dance they do in footy (or whatever it’s called).

Apparently, the book is available in Australian bookstores (a friend saw it in Readings in Melbourne but, being a rural Victorian, I haven’t seen it in a bookstore yet – if you do send pics!). If you live in Castlemaine, Stoneman’s will have it.

You can also buy either a paperback or e-book version from UWA Publishing here. If you live in the States or elsewhere overseas (I know a number of readers do), it’s available for pre-order on Amazon.

Invite: Sydney launch of just_a_girl, 18 June, Gleebooks, 6.30pm

Invite: Sydney launch of just_a_girl, 18 June, Gleebooks, 6.30pm

The official launches

The Sydney launch is coming up fast. TUESDAY 18 JUNE, 6.30pm, at Gleebooks, to be launched by the wonderful novelist Emily Maguire. If you’d like to come along, you can RSVP directly to Gleebooks via their website. Children are welcome. Would love to celebrate and meet you there.

The Castlemaine launch will be SATURDAY 13 JULY at Lot 19 in Castlemaine, from 5pm, to be launched by Angela Meyer of LiteraryMinded fame. The band Itchy Scabs will be playing and kids are welcome there too. If you’re in Melbourne, come up for the weekend. It’s a gorgeous spot to explore. Invites are being prepared as we speak…

Order it at your library

If you don’t have the funds to buy books (and many don’t), please ask for it at your library. I love libraries and the more libraries who order it, and the more requests at those libraries, the happier I will be.

Review it on Goodreads and Amazon

The worst thing that can happen for a writer is resounding silence, after ten years of focus on a work… If you like the book (or if you hate it), please talk about it. I’ve set up an author page and the book is now up for discussion at Goodreads. Get in contact with me on the blog, do a review. I’m so keen to hear your thoughts. Also, if you’re not on Goodreads, it is absolute heaven for book lovers. You can create shelves with books you have read, books you’re currently reading, do reviews, rate books, recommend books to others, and get close and personal with writers.

Suggest it for your Book Club — or start your own

Book Clubs are a fantastic way of talking about writers, especially debut novelists! If you’re a member of a Book Club, just_a_girl has some terrific book club notes exploring the following issues:

• Sexuality and identity; Teenage friendships and relationships; The dangers of social media and technology; Mother-daughter relationships; Faith and healing; Searching for connection in a disconnected world

Interviews and articles

The most wonderful thing about social media is how bloggers and tweeters help each other out. I will be posting interviews and articles/reviews regularly at Wild Colonial Girl, but first off the rank is the lovely Allison Tait who invited me in for a cup of tea and a chat at her blog Life in a Pink Fibro — about the teenage voice (in an adult novel) and choosing a publisher.

If you’d like to interview me, would like a guest blog post, or a review copy, just click on the Contact tab and send me a message.

Read a sample chapter or two

Sometimes, with all the choice on offer, I like to see a writer’s style of writing before I purchase a book, especially if it’s the first time. Here’s a sample (introductory chapters) of just_a _girl and I hope you enjoy it…

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

HAVE YOU HAD A BOOK PUBLISHED?

WHAT WAS IT LIKE LETTING IT OUT INTO THE WORLD?

AND HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT PROMOTING IT — AND DID YOU WANT TO?

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18 thoughts on “OK, my book is out, now what?

  1. (I recently heard someone refer to releasing your book as watching your baby crawl across an eight-lane freeway.) LOL Love it. Congrats on the book. Just added it on Goodreads, although my reading time is getting less and less these days. I thank Janine from Shambolic Living for allowing me to find you.

  2. Congratulations, Kirsten! It is an exciting moment when you hold your first novel in your hands and you realise all your hard work is now in published form. Also a trifle frightening. I think the first books of most writers really do seem a part of them, so seeing it find its place in the published world can go alongside helicopter parenting at times. Social media is a great way to promote your novel – and readers are very good at sharing their enjoyment! Absolutely love Castlemaine – perhaps I can twist my husband for a country drive and come up for your launch.

    • I love your idea of helicopter parenting. This is exactly what I feel. Reluctant to let the damn thing go, hovering around it and waiting for it to emerge. And on the other hand, wanting to move on to other things (not that I can do that as a parent:-) Come to the launch! I’ll be posting it on Goodreads, and here no doubt…

  3. Lindy on said:

    What a wonderful achievement, Kirsten. I can imagine how exciting it must have been to hold the actual book in your hands! From the small excerpt I heard you read, I think your book (and writing) will probably sell itself. Congrats, it’s very inspiring 🙂

  4. Congratulations Kirsten. How exciting – and I’m sure a little scary – to finally see it in print. I prefer the Snoopy dance though. 🙂

  5. Hi Kirsten, congratulations. I’m really looking forward to reading your debut nov but will purchase rather than order from library.

    Is it in Dymocks? Will order from my local in any case.

    As for your questions, yes – my book Mr Cleansheets was published in 2010.

    It was an exhilarating experience but ultimately disappointing – mainly because the book stores were so unbelievably slack about re-ordering when they sold out. This cost me hundreds of sales and possibly meant I missed out on hitting the critical mass that could have given the book a life of its own without further marketing.

    I was happy to promote, for a while, but eventually the creative drive for the next book took over. My promotion took all sorts of forms, including making a short film (actually part of the story) which was linked within the text and uploaded to the net.

    I chased radio and press interviews, and offered my services free to two different magazines (one hard copy one online) whose readers would be interested in my articles and my novel. I still write for them (in return for free advertising) and have just been invited to write for a third – the free advertising I get is still worth it because I believe the book is timeless, and the many excellent reviews convince me it may still take off one day.

    The other thing to remember, is that if your book does disappear without a trace – it can still go berserk in the future when you finally write the big one and all the legions of readers start looking up your backlist.

    But, I’m rambling. Good luck, and I’ll see you at the launch.

    AD

    • Hopefully it’s at Dymocks. If not, let them know! Adrian, you are such a tireless worker. I understand what you mean re bookstores. You need to be on their backs. I don’t really understand why they won’t reorder books that are popular. Doesn’t make any sense, does it, in a world where we claim books are not being sold as much… A short film! That sounds brilliant. I’m sure your next book will be the big one (because I’ve read it).

  6. Congratulations, Kirsten, and may your novel have wings! I look forward to reading it 🙂

  7. Pingback: Kirsten Krauth’s debut novel Just a Girl has just been published

  8. Hi Kirsten,

    Thanks for an inspiring post, to which I was directed from Twitter. I will definitely follow your blog to find out how you’re doing. I saw Margaret Atwood interviewed by Jennifer Byrne live at the Perth Writers’ Festival and remember her vitriolic cheek well!

    I too have recently self-published the first in a six-part series of novels and am quaking in my boots at the thought of having to get on the promotion trail. I am so hopeless at anything to do with sales and marketing, but no-one’s going to find my story if I don’t let people know about it…

    Good luck with the success of just_a_girl. I will definitely buy an e-copy.

    Lorraine

    • What is your first book called? Very exciting. Tell me more about it or a link here? Yes, it’s a double bind isn’t it. I’ve come to the conclusion that, while I’m a natural introvert, when it comes to things I’m passionate about, I can do it! And of course social media makes it so much easier, which is another blog post, I’m sure. I look forward to your thoughts on just_a_girl…

  9. Kirsten, with limited wi-fi access while in Borneo recently, I managed to read this post but haven’t had the chance to comment until now. Congratulations on the release of just_a_girl and also on a terrific post.

    I share your discomfort with the whole spruiking/author-as-salesperson exercise. But short of a industry-wide writers’ strike (I’m thinking seriously about calling one), I don’t know how we can escape the reality of being published authors in the social media age…

    …except by being such brilliant writers, our books spruik themselves. Of course, to write brilliantly, you need time — time that is not taken up by social marketing.

    It comes as no surprise, then, that I loved the stuff about Elena Ferrante and read the James Wood piece, too. I’ve even decided my new ‘curveball’ question for writers’ festival events this year will be to quote Ferrante and ask writers whether they think their books have no need of them.

    And I was thrilled to learn that Text is publishing Ferrante’s novels in Australia later this year.

    I warn you that I plan to shamelessly mine your post (with acknowledgement) in support of the release of my own new book next month.

    After all, the time we save with the cut and paste can be put back into writing…

    PS I have a romantic notion of shopping for your book with you so I can have you sign it on the spot. Short of that, I will have a copy ready for your signature next time we have a date 😉

    • Thanks, Angela. I am hoping to get to Ballarat so perhaps we can do a mutual signing. Will you have books available there? Otherwise, I may get to Melbourne too… or could you make it to Castlemaine? There’s a winter festival on that weekend (13 July) in Maldon so will be lots to do around the place. Anyway, at some point in the next month we will see each other xx

  10. Great blog post. Its useful information.

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