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Discover my commitment to...

Updated: Apr 2

Welcome Friends,

Come on in and let me explain this adventurous journey. I started in the Fall of

2018 when The Knock was originally published with a small, local company called

Back Channel Press in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Nancy Grossman and I met

for coffee, and she became my mentor, and a friend, guiding me step-by-step

through the initial publishing process. She helped me organize the illustrations and

did the graphic design for the book. She got me my International Standard Book

Number (ISBN) from the Library of Congress, which shows I own the rights to the

book. I was so green I didn't even know what copyright meant! She found me an

offset printer with a great price. Finally, the moment came when I got to hold my

own book. Oh, the excitement of seeing a dream come true! I was a published

author. But it never occurred to me to have a business plan. Now the job of selling

became mine!

You see, so many people say they want to write a book, but very few follow

through. Now I know why. To begin with, it’s a ton of work and it holds financial

risk. You start this journey not knowing how well your book will be perceived with

readers. I learned very quickly that writing the book was the easy part. It’s

marketing that takes up most of my day now. I calculated that writing is only 10%

of my day, 20% is education, and a whopping 70% is social media. Oh my! Let’s

pray that’s it. Who would have guessed that authors must become marketers? Of

course, you can spend a gazillion dollars with professionals, but I didn’t want to at

the beginning. I googled every article I could find to learn as much as I could. I went to our local library, the museums, stores, basically any outlet I could think of to get my book in the hands of the public. Sitting at home wasn’t an option; I had a book to promote.

Every penny I earned at my day job supplemented my aspiring writing career.

One of the articles suggested entering contests to gain credibility, so what do you

think I did? Yes, that’s right. I entered every contest that would accept my book.

That was expensive, but I was determined to gain credibility. Of course, I had no

idea what I was doing. My first and the most meaningful contest was the

Chanticleer International Book Award (CIBA). I entered the picture book/early

reader level wondering if the book really fit that category. Nine months later (when

I remembered that contest) I googled the CIBA website to find my name at the top

of the list as a semi-finalist. I was in shock. Next came the congratulations email,

an invitation to attend the conference, and the award ceremony. I went to

Bellingham, Washington and learned so much about this business. My head was

swimming and most of the information was way over my head. But what it taught

me was how little I really knew about this industry, how competitive it was and

how much I had to learn. Can you imagine how lost I felt as a first time author!


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Patricia Hoyt
Patricia Hoyt
7 days ago

Carolyn, as an author we are two peas in a pod. Yes, I totally agree there is so much to learn and yes, marketing is a huge part of our journey. I too have learned a lot through research. I have not thought to apply for an award but maybe I should try that. I probably would have to wait for my next story to do this, right?

PD Hoyt

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