hit tracker Dave Shields Author Blog: The Source

A journal detailing my efforts to launch my career as a novelist. The goals are to share info about succeeding in this field with other aspiring authors, to provide updates to the many supporters who have asked me for them, and ultimately to build the momentum necessary to assure success in this venture.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Source

I've mentioned before that I could never have written "The Race" without the help of Marty Jemison, and the same holds true for the sequel. He gave me four hours of his time yesterday, having read an early draft of my new book, and his input was as flawless as always. I only wish I could convey the intensity of life as a pro cyclist as thouroughly as he does in everyday conversation.

Within the next week I'll be entering the new manuscript in its first Noveldoc clinic. I can hardly wait for the intense fleshing out that group will do for me. By the end of this month the book should be well on its way to becoming publishable (though there will still be significant work to do, including a research trip to Europe).

In my previous post I described how and why I received reviews from the Daily Peloton. Strong reviews are like gold to authors, but getting that sort of review from credible sources isn't easy. They are innundated with books in an almost unimaginable stream. With the biggest review sources, you can practically hear the forests topple as their daily mail is delivered.

Like all publishers, I sent out hundreds of books, both galleys and finals. We turned our basement into a makeshift mailroom, and for more than a month it was a busteling enterprise trying to keep track of all the books going in various directions and to follow up on each one appropriately. It's a delicate balance between being too pushy and not aggressive enough, and every publication seems to have their own version of what sort of author follow up is expected.

For most authors, only a fraction of their review copies ever result in anything positive. Some of them show up on Amazon and elswhere, actually deducting from an author's income. In my case I got a very good return from publications with a cycling related audience, but didn't experience nearly the success in mainstream publications. That was to be expected, but I'll never give up the belief that this title can eventually go mainstream. I'm constantly receiving e-mail from readers who see it the same way. The trick is to figure out what I must do to capture their attention. In my next post I'll detail some of the things I've tried, and I'll share the results.


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