This blog is meant to chronicle the publication of my first book. Of course, I should have probably started writing it back when I started working on the book, so you could follow the progress all the way from the beginning, but I didn’t think anything about it. Besides, I was busy putting all of my writing efforts into the book. Some writers like to blog when they are stuck on their books because it can sometimes open up new ideas. And—so I have heard—it’s a good idea to write something—anything—just to keep in the habit of writing. It’s the old idea that if you write enough, something good will come out. Or was it if you had a big enough room full of monkeys with typewriters, they’d eventually write a novel simply by banging on random keys? The principal is pretty much the same, either way.
At any rate, my book is written and I didn’t have to resort to writing a blog during the middle of it to procrastinate. This book has been in me—in some shape, form, or fashion—for a long time now, and when the heavens were finally properly aligned, it spilled out. I worked on it for hours at a time, days on end. My husband—who didn’t know I was writing it—asked me what I did with myself all day, because it was clear I wasn’t doing the laundry or the dishes. It was like an obsession. I didn’t have to make myself write on it a little bit everyday; I wrote on it compulsively. To not have anything to write for it one day was almost a relief.
I started writing it in November, as part of National Novel Writing Month. I did my 50,000 words in November, plus some. Then I did another 50,000 words in December, plus some (that’s on top of making Christmas presents and having holiday stuff to have to do as well). After that I quit keeping track of the word count because I started editing almost as much as I was writing, and things were coming in and going out, and total word count was no longer a measure of what I had accomplished.
I did set eventually set myself the goal of having a proof copy before the end of May, and I actually got it ordered at the end of April. I then read through the proof copy and made some proofreading corrections, then gave it to my husband to read. He’s almost done with it, and while he has had some comments about things I need to change—some of which I will actually do—he has said twice now that he has actually enjoyed reading it. Which is saying something, even if he is my husband. Because if he didn’t like it, he’d tell me that I really should spend more time looking for a real job. He wouldn’t tell me it’s good if it wasn’t, just to be nice. He’s not that kind of man. And he’s also not the sort to read cheap, throw-away Westerns (the man’s equivalent to Harlequin romance novels) and think they’re good. So his thumbs-up is a good sign. We are both agreed that we’ve read worse, so surely if worse can get published, I can too.
So, now that the book’s written, why blog about it? Surely the writing of a novel is the interesting part and everything else is just a footnote? Maybe, but I don’t think so. For one thing, I watched Julie & Julia last night and I became all inspired and hopeful. She started blogging about her cooking project and ended up having editors and agents beating down her door. I need some of those people beating down my door, so I thought maybe I should blog. It’s kind of backwards logic, which may mean it doesn’t work, but what the heck? I’m still looking for a real job, and I have some time on my hands, so I might as well. Besides, now that I’m done writing my book and I’m waiting on comments to come back so I can make my final edits, I probably need to get in the habit of writing something—no matter what it is—everyday. Not including Facebook posts.
The other reason I have behind starting a blog is that I want to get the word out about my book. Something I found out when I made a business website is that things need to exist on the internet for a while in order to gain street credibility—as it were—with the search engines. The longer something exists, the higher it tends to show up in the search results. Also, the more occurrences of the business name (or book title or author name) that get out on the web, and the more links to a particular site from other sites, the higher it tends to rank. That, my friends, is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in a nutshell. What it means, however, is that you need to establish a web presence before you need it. Or, to simplify even further, start selling your product before you’ve finished making it. Because, I assure you, if you wait until you have a product before you get on the web, you will find that your web business (or whatever) will languish for ages and you won’t sell anything because no one will find your business online.
So, with that idea in mind, I have decided to blog about my book and saturate the entire blog with keywords (not really; I can’t write like that), so when it gets published (note the confidence; I figure that ego is a necessary thing in anyone who wants to be even mildly famous), I’ll have stuff out there on the web ready and waiting for ravenous hordes of fans to descend upon it and eat it up. That way I won’t be left scrambling to do stuff on the web while trying to schedule appearances at fan conventions and book signings. I have this all planned out, you see.
You know, having gone on for a page and a half about my book and how this blog is going to be about my book, I might ought to tell you what the book is actually about. But I think I will actually wait and save that for tomorrow, because I get the impression that people’s attention spans on the internet are short, and I’m probably really pushing it already. And these paragraphs are probably too long. Of course, if you can’t handle this, you won’t ever make it through 387 pages, including thirty-three chapters, a prologue, epilogue, and appendix on how to pronounce the vampire language. Oh yeah, I’m ending this post right there.