Monday, October 27, 2014

For His Very First Blog Post, This Isn’t Bad at All!

by Justin Sewall

You published your first book…now what?

When M.J. agreed to review my sci-fi novella, I was thrilled. After publishing my first book last November, I was happy to get it in front of as many reviewers as possible. 

Having someone else critique something that you’ve toiled over for weeks and months can be an intimidating experience, but it’s worth it. The insights, opinions, compliments and criticisms of others are immensely helpful to any author whether it’s your first book or 37th. Now here I am, invited to be a guest blogger on M.J.’s site, another opportunity for which I am immensely thankful. So in the interest of full disclosure I must tell you that this is my first blog ever. Yes, it’s true.

“Great,” you think to yourself. What can this neophyte author possibly tell me that I don’t already know? That’s a fair question. To be sure, there are many, many others with much more literary experience than I. But I hope you’ll stick with me, especially those who are still wrestling with that first unpublished manuscript. Because once you’ve finished that first effort and you finally do get it out into the big, wide world, you’ll sit back at your writing desk and think to yourself, “Now what?”

This is not a blog about a ten-step marketing plan that will bring you fame and fortune. I don’t have the magic elixir or silver bullet for that (although I have worked in advertising and public relations and know a little about how that game is played). What I do want you to think about are those next steps you’ll take once you’ve birthed your first book. Most of us don’t have unlimited resources to begin a multi-media campaign to promote ourselves, and that is when frustration can set in.

Book reviewers can certainly help in this respect, and there are hordes of them out there. Just like authors, some are better known than others and whose opinions carry more weight. Well and good. I sent M.J. a copy of my novella because she was willing to review it, and I appreciated her feedback. By searching online, you can find a vast network of people who might review your book, or not. It’s a bit like sales, knocking on as many doors as possible, getting through the 39 no’s to hear a yes on the 40th try (I sold textbooks door-to-door one summer to help pay for college…I still have nightmares…)

So I’ll come to the crux of the matter as I wrap up my inaugural blog posting. Here’s my question to you: Are you content to write for an audience of one? If you knew that only one other person in the world would ever read your collection of poetry, recipes, short stories, whatever it is you have a passion to write about, are you content enough to keep at it for that one person? I would certainly never wish that limited market on anyone. There is more than enough room in the world for anyone who wants to be an author to be one. Ultimately the question is one of motivation.

Cerulean Rising: Beginnings, is the sci-fi novella I published last November. You can read M.J’s review for it here and see other reviews on Amazon. It’s the back story for a video game that some friends of mine are developing and I’ve done a little promoting for it. Not as much as I would like and certainly not as much as necessary to get it front of a larger audience. But after doing that, I got to work on part two, which should release sometime during the first half of next year. I’ve found that I’m really enjoying writing as my creative outlet and I’m happy to keep doing it, even for an audience of one.

Justin Sewall is a sci-fi and aviation enthusiast. He works at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center and enjoys watching airplanes fly every day. He enjoys distance running, HALO, VW GTI's, military history, his kids and wife, though not necessarily in that order. The works of Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Herbert and Tolkien have all made their influence in one way, shape or form on Sewall's writing. Cerulean Rising: Beginnings is his first self-published novella.

Thanks so much for guest posting on my blog today, Justin! It’s been a true pleasure working with you and getting to know you better. Here’s to your next book!

Now to all of my faithful blogger friends out there, please give Justin all the support you can. He’s a true gem in the world of self publishing!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by,

M. J. 

©2014 All Rights Reserved, Justin Sewall Photo credit: Justin Sewall ©2014 All Rights Reserved