Today we finalized the dimensions of the book and received the final page count to Necromancers’ Pride – Quest for Elderstone! Yes, indeed, it is the start of a great week! D.W. and I have belabored every point in the creative process, checking and rechecking, just to make sure that the launch of the book is as successful as possible. It is about giving you, the consumer, the best possible product. At first, I thought that delivering a great product was relegated to that which could be found on the printed page. I figured, hey, write a good book, nay … an OUTSTANDING book, and the people will come flocking.
D.W. said, “No. More to it than that.”
To which I said, “I think you’re wrong, dummy. The product is the thing.”
To which he said … well, this isn’t HBO, so I cannot really repeat what he said. Suffice to say, the words were choice and delivered with gusto.
So, after I washed my ears out and began to feel a little better about myself as a man, I conceded his point and realized that he was right. Without the proper marketing and advertising, networking and social outreach, there will be no flock. Indeed, no one will give a flock about you if they do not know you exist.
I think that is the hardest part about being an artist in today’s society, no matter the medium. In order for you to be successful and viable in a world where content is so readily available, you have to be as much businessperson as artisan. I used to sail under the banner of being solely an artist.
“No, man, my thing is the creative process. I leave the details to the suits.”
It is unfortunate that sailing under that banner does not bring in enough cash to hire the suits I needed to handle the details I was leaving unattended.
I was captain of the S.S. Broke-ass.
Oh, I had plenty of creative control, but you can’t race a life raft against speedboats. I don’t know why I am using all the nautical metaphors. I just got stuck on a theme. Anyway, I know now that the product itself is not the thing. Well, not the only thing, at any rate. The zeitgeist of today dictates that the total package be comprehensive and compelling, otherwise, every other speedboat will pass your little artistic raft by (Ok, no more metaphors, I promise).
Don’t get me wrong, you must have great content. If you do not, people will see through your smoke and mirrors soon enough. However, having great product is not enough, not anymore. There is so much that goes into releasing a new product, especially when you have to go it alone. By alone, I mean without the financial backing of an established publisher or advertising agency. You are forced to be more than your own content creator. You are now head of marketing, sales and quality control, and each job must be given the same import as the creative development. I know that sounds horrid to those of you who, as I once did, feel that you are solely an artist. It is the truth though, so you might as well stare it right in the face and say hi.
Do not be discouraged. I just want you to learn from our mistakes, so that you can go out and make all new mistakes on your own. Do not let the market, the nay-sayers or the amount of work involved keep you from seeing your dream of creation come to fruition. It takes more than product. It takes initiative, creativity and imagination.
Hey, those are all traits that artists have in abundance. Huh … isn’t that interesting?
What hats have you had to wear that were not what you had originally intended? What have you had to do to see your dreams become reality?
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