As one of the stops on his blog tour with Omnimystery, Paul Martin Midden is here to talk about marketing his new novel TOXIN. Paul is a psychologist serving as the Clinical Director of a nationally-recognized treatment center. TOXIN, a political thriller, is his second novel. Without further ado, Paul Martin Midden:
Paul Martin Midden is giving away a signed copy of his book, Toxin, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to his book tour page, http://paul-martin-midden.omnimystery.com/, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 1221, for your chance to win. Entries from Jen's Book Thoughts will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow (July 25th). No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on their book tour page next week.
One of the things I have discovered while writing fiction is that the biggest challenge is not in producing the works themselves. That is fun for me with almost no down side. The biggest challenge is marketing.
Because I was published through a small press, it was my responsibility to do book marketing. That seemed acceptable, at least in theory, but the doing of it proved more daunting that I imagined. Finding access points and reviewers seemed like entering a mysterious new landscape (rabbit hole?), one with which I was totally unfamiliar. In addition, the context of my first book, Absolution, was the Catholic Church, and, while it was a positive portrayal, raising questions about sexuality in the Church these days is risky business. So I did the sensible thing: I hired a publicist. Even with a publicist, however, the marketing was slow.
My second book is not about the Church. In fact, it is completely different in style and tone from the first. It’s a thriller, although I did not think of it that way when I wrote it. For this book, Toxin, I also hired a publicist, and the response has been much more positive. We will see how this translates into sales as time goes on, but the initial reviews are quite favorable, and I look forward to more.
Still, how to get a book sold remains something of a mystery to me. And in reality it
does seem to be a changing field. There is a proliferation of book sites online, so it is not that there is no interest in literacy or in reading. As major newspapers cut back--even on book reviewing—the Internet has spread its inclusive arms to embrace almost everyone with an idea. This is a new, democratic, expansive, and bewildering notion. It holds promise for world-wide exposure, but the competition for attention and book dollars is very high. I have a notion that the New York publishing industry used to control book production in a way it cannot do so easily as the process of publishing gets democratized along with everything else. I am not certain that is true, but I imagine silk-stocking agents and publishers holding hushed conversations in elegant restaurants in afternoons over white wine deciding who will and who will not be admitted into their august company.
As with many writers, I have a drawer full of rejection letters from New York agents. So I do not deny there is some bitterness in this characterization. But it does seem that the alternative to New York and its limiting influence is to somehow embrace the chaos of the emerging, democratized book- selling business where limits are almost all self-imposed. That is a exhilarating and daunting challenge.