Hop! Plop! hit the bookstores on April 4, 2006. (nearly three years after getting our contract) Up until this point, pretty much everything went well. There were some minor glitches... oh, such as losing two editors along the way. But for the most part, we were pleased. Walker had given us a double page spread in the Spring catalog and we had received favorable reviews in all the major journals. We were sure we'd fly off the shelves.
When it came to writing, we had good instincts. When it came to submitting, we had the necessary knowledge (from simple research). When it came to marketing... we had zilch.
We had no skills and no clue what to do. I also, due to two very young kids and a recent move, had no local contacts and no time. So, essentially, we just did nothing and hoped for the best. For those of you with a book coming out, let me tell you, "This is NOT a good strategy!"
We sold 5000 copies in the first three months! We were ecstatic. What we didn't know is that after three months, bookstores return all unsold copies. Even if stores sell out, they do not reorder. Our sales ground to a halt.
Publishers are not kidding when they say that it is up to authors to promote their own books. If you are reading this blog, hopefully you also visit resources like Market My Words which are full of info and ideas on how to generate book buzz. If not, start now!