My first novel, The Vintage Club, was published one year ago yesterday. I must admit that the experience has been quite different compared to when I published Why Has America Stopped Inventing? With my first book, I did over 50 radio and TV shows, including two days of studio interviews in New York. The book was also highlighted in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
With my fiction book, almost none of that happened, other than a few radio shows. But, the odd thing is that The Vintage Club far outsold Why Has America Stopped Inventing? Why the difference? I think there are two reasons. First is that people enjoy reading thrillers about wine much more than a history of patent law in the United States. (But the media much prefers a story about famous patents than writing about a novel). Second is social media. The single best way to get the word out these days is by posting information on-line. Even though there are hundreds of thousands of authors trying to peddle their books on-line, you can still reach a wider audience than with traditional print.
I was able to get dozens of bloggers to post the book and run contests for free books. Turns out that a good blogger will sell a ton more books than will a mention in The Wall Street Journal.
Which did I enjoy most? I’d say both. I really liked the radio and TV shows on the first go around, especially the ones in New York. But with my last book, I liked interacting at the grass roots level. I met dozens of authors like myself. We read each other’s books and gave comments on our web sites. I discovered that there are some really good books out there that most people have never heard of, just because they are not on the front shelf of Barnes and Nobel.
The local book stores have been really good to work with. The Tattered Cover put my books in all of their stores on the special local author shelf. And, the BookBar had me speak in their store one snowy night in December. I also was admitted into The Colorado Author’s League.
I think the most fun has been people tracking me down after reading the book to say how much they enjoyed it. I’ve had readers from Australia, Korea and the UK call or email to talk about the book. And there have been presentations at book clubs, interviews with reviewers and even some unexpected awards. Overall, it’s been one great year. Definitely worth all the time and frustrations it took in getting it to publish.
And, today we found a bottle of Pinot Noir Grape Juice left over from our book launch party. We popped the cork and had it for dinner. Tasted just like it did a year ago, maybe even a little better.
One final item – my publisher is having a holiday sale. Their ebooks are $1.99 for the month of November. Click here to go to the page on Amazon to get the discounted price for The Vintage Club.