We Are Mars is off to a running start out there is Book Land. I gave it as good a shove forward as any doting parent should. Now we shall wait and see if it will fly on its own. The marketing continues, but all the hard, ‘getting off the ground’ stuff is behind us.
The book launch celebration saw friends and interested readers come and go in waves on Friday evening, stopping in to congratulate, catch up, get their copy of We Are Mars signed and wish us all well before heading off again, books tucked into the crook of their arms. It was great to get the event in the rearview mirror, because it was a milestone that had been coming for a while. Since the official release of We Are Mars in May, I’ve been working to build up the brand, both online and off. I am happy with where my very young book is at today. I find that as a new author – new to the game of book marketing too – I’m not hindered by preconceptions of what I should or shouldn’t be doing. I just do it. I have years of advertising and marketing experience that I have employed to successfully launch We Are Mars. I feel the book is as much a product as any of the magazines, brochures, advertisements and calendars I’ve produced over the years. It gets the same treatment as anything else from our media shop, and maybe not having a writer’s hangups about whether its good enough is part of why We Are Mars came out the stable so early and at such a brisk pace. I have faith in my product. The book is good. There will be some that don’t agree, but the same can be said for every product out there. Not everyone likes chocolate ice cream, and so, I have accepted, not everyone will like We Are Mars. I’m ready for it.
Book signings are an interesting experience. People’s reaction to realising I AM THE AUTHOR is quite fascinating. Not too many folks in my part of the world have ever met an actual author before, so that is usually the first thing they mention. It’s an interesting experience, suddenly being held in much higher regard, because of this new perceived status their realisation has awarded me. I’m more comfortable with playing it cool in the background and blending into my surroundings, so to be standing next to someone who has a look of awe on their face – and it’s directed at YOU – I’m inclined to want to look over my shoulder and see who they are looking at! Nevertheless, I enjoy putting a short message in the front of my book for them and hoping like crazy they enjoy reading We Are Mars!
As I move from launch phase into brand expansion, I am looking forward to quiet library readings, book group socials, indie bookstore signings, warm market evenings and a few more events that I have yet to imagine. I am happily steaming along with We Are Mars’s sequel, Storm At Dawn. It is going to be the best part of the saga and, maybe, the end of it. My characters will let me know when their story is all told, and I’m confident, when we throw open the stable doors to let this young filly bolt free, Storm will be as excited and as fast into Book Land as her older sister.