This weekend finds me a little sad. I had hoped to attend the Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival in Muncie, Indiana. I attended for the first time last year and had hoped to be able to go again this year.
There's a myth out there among some non-writers that think if you publish a book, you'll get rich. That's not necessarily so. My first book was released in December 2009 and since that time, I've received one royalty check, one royalty check in almost two years. I'm going to attribute that to a couple of things, I was a brand new published writer, so no one knew me and the ebook explosion had not happened yet. My second book is due out in January and I'm hoping that will help increase sales in my first book. It usually does. Saved by the Sheriff will not only be in ebook format, but should also be out in print as well. However, I still won't be able to quit the day job.
On thing I didn't know much about when my first book came out was how to market the book. Unless you are with one of the big New York publishers, you will be doing ALL of your own marketing for your book. At the time my book came out, I was ignorant as to how to do that. Since then, I have been all over the place with marketing. I have Amazon author pages in both North America and Great Britain. I've been interviewed on at least twelve blogs, with more still on the schedule and I have passed out bookmarks and post cards all over the place.
But, attending conventions can be a real boost for a writer. I attended Fright Night/Fandom Fest in Louisville, Kentucky this past summer and met my new publisher there. The Magna cum Murder conference has both writers and readers, so attending it could have helped with sales, not to mention networking with other authors. Why didn't I go? Well, the registration alone for the conference was $250.00. While that sounds like a lot, it included lunch and dinner each day, attendance of the panels, and the banquet. The price really isn't that bad, but when you put that with a hotel bill for two nights, and gasoline for me to drive to and from Muncie, it would have ended up being close to $500. That's a lot for a struggling writer in this economy.
The best I can hope for is a lot of book sales in the coming year to help finance a trip to the conference next year.