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What's Your Biggest Challenge with Your Book?

I'd be interested to learn what authors/publishers on this network think their biggest challenges are with their book. I wonder if there's any common, pervasive challenge we all face.

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My biggest challange right now is length. At this point I am almost at 27k and my goal is about 45k, yikes. I am finished with the first rough draft and almost finished with the second. I have gained about 4k so far with about 20 ms pages to edit. I know there's more editing to go but at least its getting there. I'm not the greatest person at editing but I am learning. I'm doing something right since I'm on my way getting my second book out there. But I think editing and getting the length are my weakest areas right now, with this book. Usually, I don't have a problem with the length but for some reason, my characters want to just skip through scenes instead of going through them. Maybe they are terrified of it lol. Who knows. It isn't horror so it shouldn't be fear unless its stage fright lol.

I would like to add something really fast lol. For the book I have out and the one getting ready to come out, marketing has been the biggest challenge. But I enjoy what I'm doing so its so worth it!

Hi Amber,

Marketing is hard. It had been my first year of publication on November 6th of this year with my first book A Healing Heart. I've fought hard to get my book into Massachusetts bookstores: B&N in Braintree, Borders Express in Taunton Galleria Mall, Baker Books in Dartmouth, Readmore in Taunton and Bev Loves Books in Rochester. About ten other locations carry them in their gift stores and even Curves took some to sell.

I have planned a trip in February of 2008 to Orlando Florida for a weeks vacation. I got brave and called B&N on International Drive in Orlando to do a book signing while I'm there. I should be hearing from them this week. I decided authors have to go for it whether you are scared to do it or fear a rejection.

Editing is not my least of worries. I look to a professional who has the background and education to pick my mistakes. I go ahead with the writing and worry about editing last.

I'm also writing my second book Please God, Not Two. It's a memoir about my living with and losing a husband and daughter to alcoholism. I'm branching out to talk at alcoholic centers and meetings. I've done one and was a wreak but made it through with hugs and kisses from the 30 women that I spoke to at the Gosnold Center in Falmouth, MA. It was the most gratifying thing I have ever accomplished.

I would love to hear from others on what other avenues you have taken to market your book(s).
Visit my site at

My biggest challenge with my book is mostily finding time for marketing. Unfortunately, I'm not able to stay at home and just write my stories like I would love to do, so I need to work outside the home. Luckily, my job allows me to have summers off, so I can set a lot of marketing goals then, but finding the time on a daily basis, other than the internet promotion I do, it's difficult to find time. Then there are family issues, again, taking time away from my marketing and promotional goals. I do spend a lot of time with Blogs and networking, but I can do these on the off hours anytime day or night. Finding time during the daylight on regular business hours, is difficult. That's my challenge at this point in time.

Visions of Enchantment
and coming soon--
Enchantment's Embrace, Book Two in the Enchantment Series
Hi, Mary.

With limited time and resources, marketing focus is imperative. You can't do it all, as you stated in your post. You have to decide what is best for your book given the resources you can devote to marketing. The one marketing effort that produces the biggest effect is deciding on distribution for the book. How will you reach your target audience. Do you reach the audience through the bookstores? If yes, then you need to find a distributor. You may consider a distributor friendly to self-published authors such as Midpoint Trade Books or Biblio. Contact Eric Kampmann at Midpoint Trade Books or Jessica Wetzel at Biblio.

If your book reaches your audience through specialty stores, then contact a distributor that focuses on specialty stores. The easiest way to find a specialty store distributor is to contact a store of the type you want to sell your book and ask the store manager who distributes books to them. Many managers will volunteer the name, and sometimes the contact person, of the distributor they use.

Establish your distribution first, and the rest of the promotion will be easier. In many cases, the distributors will help you plan your marketing. They, too, have a vested interest in selling your book and will offer advice and suggestions to help you sell more.
I found out today that I've been accepted as an instructor at the South Coast Learning Center in New Bedford, MA. My first class will be in April of 2008. I'm looking forward to it and may do one in Newport, RI. I will be teaching a Beginning Writer's Workshop.

I wanted to share this with you. I hope the exposure helps me and my book as a promotion feature.
Congratulations! I am certain this great opportunity will help elevate your career.

Keep us posted on your progess!

Happy Reading!
How many of you have Self-Published and are you happy you did? Is it expensive to start out? I'd like a range in price as I'm playing with the idea on my next book.
Thanks, Alberta
Hi Alberta,
I am on the way to publishing my first book. I keep going back and forth between which will be done first, but one will actually be about publishing options. As I started researching my options, I realized some of the info I needed isn't really out there in the form I was looking for so I decided to write it.

Much of what I've looked into is the diff between conventional self-publishing and POD. POD companies are all over the board with what they offer and what they cost so you must research the details very carefully. I'd recommend you check (which does evaluate submissions and rejects some) as well as Mill City Press. Both are very up front about the industry and provide good info.

If you want to go true self-publishing, get ready to do even more research. The guru for this is Dan Poynter and his site Here cost depends on the vendors you choose. For example, you can find a cover designer in the $500 range and go to the $2-3000 range. Printing also varies by type of book and number of copies. If you go either of these routes, I'd say you need to plan a bare minimum of $2000 for the production side of things.

Hope that helps.

Hi Cheryl,
CONGRATULATIONS! Your first book. That is so exciting. I give you credit. Writing about publishing choices is really something. There is so much research in it. You should be proud.
I went with PA for my POD, although, they keep saying that they aren't POD. I didn't put any money out, except buying my own books. That's where they come way ahead of the game.
I'm still working on Please God, Not Two. It's about my life living with and losing a husband and daughter from alcoholism. Hopefully, it will be done by the end of 2008 or sooner. I'll be offering an audio on my speeches at AA Rehabilitation Centers.
I'm at the stage of just drafts. I look at it at times and wonder if it's written well enough. Like my first one, A Healing Heart, I'll have to go over it a lot before the final touch.
Let me know how you make out. I think when I'm finished, I'll send some query letters to publishers that I found publish in this genre. Then I'll go from there. I hope to have a background with speaking at AA locations.
Talk soon.
Hi cpickett,
Thanks for the info. I will look these three sites up. I'd like to know what is out there after I complete my MS.
I would like to comment on the POD if I may. There are many POD (print on demand) publishers that are not self-publishers. That is, they don't charge you. A POD publisher means that is just how they print the books. It saves on warehouse space and have the ability to print from 1 book all the way up to an endless number and the book is always available because of that. There are many bigger publishing houses that are taking this route for that reason. You order the book (you meaning bookstore, you personally, or a customer) and the book(s) is(are) printed out using a template digitally stored. At the end of the contracted date, this template can either be sold to the author or destroyed unless the contract is renewed. Now there are self-publishers who also use this print technology but the actual term doesn't mean self-publish. When the term first came out it did mean "publish on demand" which doesn't mean POD anymore. I just wanted to help people out so there would be less confussion on that. I didn't want to offend or upset anyone and if I did, I really am sorry. I know on some boards, this is a sensitive topic especially for PA authors who have dealt with "bashers" not that anyone in here are. I think a lot of people in here may be authors from there as I am and proud of it lol. We have to stick together and show each other support because we're all in the same boat, all authors from all publishers. That is, we're all published and trying to promote our books the best way we can.



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