After a year and a half of work, my second book, titled Continuing Actions: A Warrior’s Guide to Coming Home, is nearing completion. I’ve just finished the final edits and am turning my attention to interior formatting, cover design, and cover copy. Once those final pieces fall into place, the book will be available on amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats.
When I finished my first book, After Action, I took a deep breath, patted myself on the back, and prepared to do something else. After almost three years of writing and editing, I was ready to put that book behind me and move along. Imagine how happy I was, then, when my writing coach and mentor, David Hazard, congratulated me for completing half the marathon. Half? WTF? I thought I’d done the whole thing and was sipping a beer before the first Kenyan had even crossed the line.
Yeah, not quite. See, writing the book is only part of the work that goes into being an author. Traditionally published authors have to do a lot of their own marketing as well (so they tell me), but as a “self-published” author, everything falls on my plate. Marketing, promotions, blogs, social media . . . all the efforts made to put the book in front of potential readers are my sole responsibility.
After getting over the realization that I wasn’t just going to be sitting back and riding a tidal wave of royalty checks, I got back to work. My efforts at marketing my first book have been somewhat successful and I hope to integrate some of the lesson’s I’ve learned along the way into my marketing efforts for the second.
One of those lessons comes into play with this post–to always take advantage of free publicity. Last November, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing sent a video crew to my house to film and photograph my daily routine. A teaser of the video “Behind the Cover” is going to be released this Saturday, 5/23, through @AmazonKDP and the KDP Facebook page. The full video will be released through the same channels on Tuesday, 5/26.
In addition to the publicity generated by this video, there is another event coming up that I’d be a fool not to take advantage of. Ten months ago, I entered After Action into an independent publishing book awards contest–and promptly forgot about it. Well, about a week ago I received an email from the director of the contest informing me that my book had won an award. I can’t disclose the name of the contest or award until after the official announcement is made in late May, but I’m pretty excited about it. This latest will bring the number of awards After Action has won to four:
Gold Medal in the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Memoir category
Silver Medal in the 2014 Military Writers Society of America Book Awards, Memoir category
Bronze Medal in the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Personal E-Book category
“Soon to be announced 2015 Award”
I had hoped to have Continuing Actions available when the video and awards announcement were publicized, but that just hasn’t happened yet. My best estimate for that book’s release date is now mid-June, 2015. In the meantime, though, I’m working on some blog posts that will explain why I chose to write this second book, who I wrote it for, and how it can help veterans of all generations to finally, fully, come home.
Thanks for reading. And this weekend, please take a few minutes to remember our fallen. Then go enjoy yourself with family and friends. I know I will.