Last week, my second novel, Baseball Girl, took home the Honorable Mention Award in the Annual Readers’ Favorite Book Awards contest. It’s an honor to receive a second nod from Readers’ Favorite. Additionally, as this book was a labor of love and loosely based on what it’s like to work in baseball, I am thrilled that people are enjoying it.
One of the things I’ve had to come to grips with lately is that if you have created something that is independently yours, whether it’s in the role of author of a book, director of an indie film, or maker of lovely art, you will always be working, always promoting. Additionally, you have to believe that you are your own brand and must act as the innovator, marketer, branding expert, and salesperson of the work you have created.
That’s a lot of responsibility to put on one mere person who probably can’t afford to do this craft without another full-time job or source of other income.
So those of us in this arena must learn to be our own best marketers and promoters, similar to P.T. Barnum, that harmless deceiver of the circus all those many years ago. “Without promotion, something terrible happens—nothing!” he mused.
He also said, “Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring a single hour that which can be done just as well now.”
The truth of the matter is, once you’ve created something that took you years to finish, you actually do want someone to enjoy it, read it, watch it, love it. The problem arises with promotion—how do we get someone to read our work, see our film, admire our art? And furthermore, how do we hope those people will spread the news?
When I launched Beneath the Mimosa Tree three years ago, I found myself rather on the ball. I wrote press releases, sent the book out to local media, made phone calls, donated complimentary copies, and promoted the hell out of it on Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest,Instagram, and this lovely blog. Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly busier, both at work (and writing a textbook) and with my family, especially my children who are involved in many sports and activities. There are only so many hours in the day. There is only so much time I can devote to spreading the word about Baseball Girl.
You probably feel the same way if you are similarly an independent artist. It’s exhausting. I sometimes scratch my head and ask myself why I do this? Why this hobby of mine so important? Why I want people to read my work and like my stories?
P.T. Barnum was also known to have said, “Literature is one of the most interesting and significant expressions of humanity.”
I think he may be right.
I can’t explain my need to do what I do and exhaust myself in the process except to say that both my novels were my expressions and they were made with love.
This website, which was intended as my author website, has been rolled into Steph’s Scribe, which is now my official website. Please visit me there. There is information about book talks and how to contact me directly, along with blog posts, recommended reads, poetry, and stories. Join me, won’t you?
Readers Favorite announced today its selection of winners in its annual Readers Favorite Contest. I am happy (very happy, in fact!) to report that BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREE earned a Bronze Medal, which, believe it or not, appears to be tops in its category. It’s based on a points scoring system, so you have to understand the official way the contest is judged, which is as follows according to the Readers Favorite website:
Nevertheless,BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREEis a medal winner in the contest whereby somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-70 entrants were judged in each category. I’m so proud of this book, and I’m immensely grateful to all my friends and folks I’ve met over the year who’ve been amazing about spreading the word about this little novel; thanks to you, BTMT has a little life of its own.
Michael and Annabelle will be so pleased to hear the news.
Thanks for stopping by and visiting my website. I’m so glad you’ve found your way here.
My name is Stephanie Verni and I’m about to release my first independent novel into the world. To say I have the jitters would be an understatement. It’s been an interesting ride, and I can’t wait to share what I’ve constructed as my first novel with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed crafting and writing the characters and their stories. I’ve enjoyed the writing journey. It’s been a great experience.
I’ll let you know when my novel is officially for sale. It won’t be long now.
Also, if you feel so inclined, you can check out what I’m chatting about on my blog or read some of my sample writing, including a short story I’ve written called “Smashing Pumpkins” at www.stephsscribe.com. I’d love to see you there!