It’s been almost a year since I self-published my book, Life-Line: Origins through FriesenPress. The whole process was amazing. Since then, I’ve been focussing on marketing my book. I had a book launch here in Nova Scotia in May 2023 that went over really well. I’ve joined Reedsy Discovery, GoodReads AllAuthor and BookBub. I’ve posted a lot on my FaceBook and Instagram pages as well. I went to two book fairs here in Nova Scotia and made some great contacts.
The thing that I find the hardest about promoting my book is the sheer number of books out there. One area that I found the most curious was M/M romance books (male to male) - many of them are written by women for women. Even the LGBTQ sites seem to lean toward romance novels filled with m/m sex. I listed my book as a gay science fiction romance. It is a science fiction story first, but has a major romance between the two protagonists. How does one get the word out to the world that gay science fiction is something worth checking out?
I recall having a conversation about gay sex in a science fiction novel. I asked my editor if I should tone it down for the heterosexuals who might read the book. She said absolutely not! It made me realize that I still had some internalized homophobia about not being worthy - after all, as a gay man, I’ve had to fight hard to be accepted.
I have been asked by a straight science fiction reader why they should read a gay science fiction novel. I had a clear answer. For most of my life, I’ve read many sci fi novels and virtually all of them contained straight characters. I was in it for the story. I guess it comes down to the question: How does one challenge a potential reader to have a go at a gay science fiction romance?
As most writers would say, I am very proud of my book. So how do I get the word out there? I’ve followed a lot of the sales information from FriesenPress and more. My FaceBook page has a little over 500 members, but it needs to grow. I get better results on my personal FaceBook page. Instagram seems to be doing well. My website visits are up over a thousand now, which is due to AllAuthor and Reedsy Discovery.
The biggest negative that I’ve encountered are the hundreds of “book promoters” that have contacted me. For some strange reason, Nigeria seems to be filled with book promotors. Curious! I’ve had so many contact me, but virtually all of them are unable to tell me what their plans are, where their portfolios are and what is the clear cost.
I am currently in the process of editing my second novel in the series, Life-Line: Diversions (the working title) and I am excited about it as well. The big question is, how will it be marketed? How will I get it out there?
I love to write, but the marketing tends to take a lot of time away from my writing, as I am working full-time as a teacher as well. Here’s to hoping that I will find a balance and move forward.
So I’ll say Carpe diem and onward I go!