The sequel

I had a couple ideas for a post to place here this evening, but one has blown up into a more major story that I’m still investigating and hope to have for the beginning of next week, and the other wasn’t turning out the way I liked so I decided to scrap it for now. I’ll probably revisit the idea in a few weeks; it wasn’t time sensitive.

But it occurred to me yesterday that a year and a day had passed since I put out my first book, So We May Breathe Free: Avoiding Ineptocracy. Frankly, it hasn’t sold as well as I’d like, and I think in large part it was because I didn’t know the first thing about marketing a book; in fact, while it took me a long time to write – because I shelved the idea a couple times in the process – I really rushed to get it out in the summer before the election. This was especially true once I found out the traditional route to publishing can take many months.

There is a concept I’m playing around with for book number two, which is underway but a long way from completed. I was hoping to have it finished by the end of this year, but with the demands on my time it’s probably looking like at least 12 to 18 months out. The way it’s going to be set up, I will have to complete the draft and then tweak it as a whole to update it with any new information and ideas I come up with in the interim. That’s how I completed SWMBF.

Right now I’m envisioning it as a follow-up to some of my writings for Liberty Features Syndicate, an outlet I wrote for weekly for about a year in 2009-10. The title I’m working with is 600 Words, which refers to the ideal length they desired for my pieces, as they were intended for distribution to whatever newspapers took them. There will be a subtitle as well, but I haven’t figured that out yet – the original draft of SWMBF had a different subtitle, but I changed it to Avoiding Ineptocracy at the last minute. I was afraid of making the title too long and the original was lengthy.

But I think once I get 600 Words around 1/4 of the way completed, I’m going to try and devote a little time and effort into marketing and perhaps some outside editing insofar as placing the book in a good electronic format. Obviously I didn’t know everything about the craft of writing a book, and looking back those are the two areas I should have invested more time into. Those who purchased SWMBF haven’t had many complaints about it, so I’m guessing the writing is pretty sound.

It’s not often I solicit comments on this site, although they’re always welcome. I guess sometimes I say all there is to say. But presumably the hundreds and hundreds of readers I get a week receive some satisfaction out of what I write, and to me they are very important.

So what ideas do you have to make 600 Words a success? (Maybe they can still be applied to SWMBF as well.) I’ve even thought about starting a Kickstarter fund for enhanced marketing, a catchy cover, and finishing work – all of this costs money and I’m definitely not a wealthy man. SWMBF was literally a one-man operation and I learned a lot, but the biggest lesson was that this time I’d like a little help in making the second effort a success.

And I said it all in – you guessed it – 600 Words.