25 January 2012, Publication - Topics in Writing
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, go to my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
Here is the list of ideas for advertising--there are more and I'll add to the list as we go along. I'm certainly not an expert in all these, but I've dabbled in all of them. I'll try to relate my experience and the degree of that experience to you.
1. Have a website for your novel.
2. Write a blog.
4. Literary awards.
5. Book cards.
8. Blog tours.
9. Press releases.
10. Speaking and teaching.
13. Book signings.
14. Book trailers
This is a short segway on expertise and topics. I've read many novels where the writer didn't have a clue on their topic. You might be able to fool some people, but you won't be able to fool those who have much knowledge of the subject. The worst I've seen is those who write about flying. This is why I should probably write some novels about flying. I haven't, but I should. On the other hand, I have become (or am) an expert in the topics I cover in my novels. To be able to write The Second Mission, I spent two years studying ancient Greece. I read every extant work I could find from the period. I read the major histories on Greece and ancient Greek culture. I'm still learning and reading.
To write my science fiction, The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, I studied engineering and Anglo Saxon culture. I loosely based the culture of these novels on Anglo Saxon culture. It helps that I had already spent years in reading and study of this culture. The science in my science fiction novels is accurate and believable because I'm an engineer. Additionally, in these books, I predicted and described the electronic book over 20 years before they existed.
Likewise, to write Centurion, I studied translated Latin documents and ancient Greek documents for over two years before I began to write. Centuruion represents the most accurate compendium of information we have about the training and organizational methods of the Roman Legion in the first century. I accomplished a similar level of study before I wrote Aegypt. For example, I read every primary degree source available on ancient Egyptian culture and literature (The Book of the Dead, etc.).
If you want to write a good novel, you must be an expert in your topic. Don't even consider writing until you have some level of expertise and experience. I'll give you concrete examples of how many authors go wrong especially about ancient history.
I'll write more about ancient history and expertise tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.