Two big things are happening soon. First, my website www.StephanieAllenCrist.com is getting a much needed overhaul at the hands of experts in digital marketing. Second, my memoir, Discovering Autism / Discovering Neurodiversity is being self-published in both electronic and print format, though the print version will only be available through, you guessed it, www.StephanieAllenCrist.com. Clearly, one of these must be done before the other.
My memoir has been drafted, crafted, polished, read, revised, crafted, and polished again, multiple times, and is now a breath away from publication. In a week or two, I will have the investment capital I need to finish the process.
When it comes to writing, timing is important, but quality is more important. When it comes to marketing, quality is important, but timing is more important. According to my original plan, my website was going to be live long before I was ready to publish my memoir. Of course, my original plan didn’t include months of sick days, so that plan has pretty much been scrapped.
All this time I’ve been sick, my slot has been held. First, not only am I a client of Robb Digital Marketing, but they’re also one of my clients. Second, I’ve already paid for the bulk of the site (I paid in advance voluntarily). Between the two, my site will definitely get done. But, sadly, my illness put us both off our schedules in significant ways. So, when I finally got the copy to her, she was booked out to the end of January.
The long story made short is don’t get sick. No. Wait. It’s timing is everything!
I can’t publish my book until my site is up and running. It just won’t work. A book launch is a marketing moment. It involves a lot of pre-launch work that collides in a single day/week/month of activity. If you miss your window, it’s gone. You can’t get it back again.
My website is vital to my window. Go ahead and jump on over to what I have up right now and you’ll see why. It’s, um, yeah… Let’s just say, I did it myself. I tried to do it myself. It didn’t work. Anyway, the point is that everything I’m doing has to lead somewhere and that website is the “where,” so there has to be a there where I’m sending people.
Now, before you get too excited, the “everything” I’m doing is far less than I know how to do. Like every other indie writer I know, I’m operating on a budget. I’d rather do less and do it at the level of quality I require than do more on the cheap. I tried that with my website; then I opted to pay the experts.
Still, a little done with the right timing is a lot more than most indie books seem to get. Publishing has literally become so easy that people who really aren’t ready go ahead and do it anyway. I see this with such complete sadness because, if they’d held out a little bit longer, they really could have had something. Whether you spend $100 or $100,000, a book that’s published before it’s ready is a wasted investment, not only of the money but of all that time!
Then, there are those little-books-that-could. The authors pour enormous amounts of time into them, because they don’t have the money, and they make it the best little book they can. These books will never rock the bestsellers’ lists, but they’re good books. Even if they don’t make a profit, they’re not a wasted investment because the readers who stumble on them are won over by them. In time, a few little-books-that-could can make a great backlist!
So, timing is important. Quality is more important. If you have to choose, a quality book is always the better choice. If you can have a quality book and timely marketing, that’s even better.
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Breaking News: After hearing nothing from the publisher I had established a relationship with for months, I sent one last notice informing them of my decision to self-publish. Then, I get a response that included the original response that I clearly had never received. So, there’s still a chance that we can work together on this one. If that works out, I’ll be sure to let you know the revised publishing date.