A Novel Release During A Novel Virus Pandemic

Close your eyes and imagine – no Internet, no Google, only dial-up email. There are two generations of individuals who may not remember such a terrifying vacuum. Even if you were 10 years old in 1996, you don’t understand what “dial-up” felt like. We thought it was slow before we had a clue just how truly slow it was.

Back then individuals who wanted to be published had to send their queries and sample chapters by snail-mail in large brown envelopes to agents and/or editors to review. In fact, one really needed an agent, because most editors would not look at unsolicited or un-agented works. Writer’s Market was a source for potential publishers/agents, but writers could also pitch their books at conferences.

Selling one’s work has always been, to a great extent, the responsibility of the author, through book signings, conference attendance, and word-of-mouth. Since the mid-to-late 2000s, the internet has provided additional tools: an author platform (website or blog), Face Book, Twitter, Goodreads, among others. But, while these social media sites help, they are not the easiest applications to figure out, especially when you were born before Eisenhower was president of the USA.

In 2019 I began a series of postings about seeing a novel through the publication process. I’d posted articles about renewing my search for and finding a publisher, considering the offer, and working with the editor. On March 2, 2020—seven days before my book was to be released—I was working on a blog regarding marketing the work (see above paragraphs). But by then COVID-19 was inserting itself into the lives of the citizens of Planet Earth.

I’m not going to relate in any form what happened during the pandemic. We all lived through the months since March 2020. In fact, we still exist in a COVID-19-centric world.

But we have begun to move forward.

In that spirit, I’m pleased to say that the first two books in my Kate Starling Mysteries series have been released. Mistaken Identity was released on March 9, 2020, and Connections was released on July 6, 2021.

My marketing activities are gradually resuming although they are still somewhat limited. Many of the conferences and writers’ group meetings have been cancelled or simply “Zoom’d” thus far in 2021. In addition, many book stores and other venues were reluctant to host book signings during the pandemic (until recently). But the good news is, unlike in the 1990s, we have social media platforms to help.

Please check out my Books Tab to read information about the series and the first two books.

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