Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, January 11, 2013

Resurrecting a Book that Never Got Promoted

A silent resolution I've made for this year is to promote my book, Night Watch. For many reasons, this mystery/adventure/ romance never got promoted when it was released more than two years ago. The major lesson I learned from this failure is that it is always up to the author to create the necessary promotion for every book. It is the author's responsibility unless he/she is with a major publishing house with a huge budget for marketing.

Night Watch came about because of a trip my husband and I took to Trinidad a few years ago. Before we left, I connected this island nation off the coast of South America with the old movie, Casablanca, starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. Of course, this World War II era movie was set in North Africa, so I'm not sure why I made that connection. But I did.

I began thinking about the glamorous Ms. Bergman and how she dressed in that movie. Wouldn't she travel in a white suit to her destination? Of course, she would. I bought a white pantsuit for our trip and wore it for our airplane trip. The suit was fine for that part of our travels. However, I hadn't counted on what happened after we arrived at the airport.

We were met by two not so well-groomed men who threw our luggage into a very beat up old car. We were booked in a timeshare resort located on a small island off the coast of Trinidad. These men were wearing T-shirts with the name of that resort emblazoned on them. That fact was the only semblance of confidence I had that we were not being kidnapped.

In this ramshackle old car, we flew down a dark and bumpy highway. From time to time, one of the men stuck his hand-held radio out the car window, calling "Gasper Two to Gasper One". It got a little creepy.

Eventually, we reached the waterfront where we saw a small rowboat with a motor on the back arriving at the dock. The two occupants, both wearing yellow slickers, met us, a flashlight in the hand of one. As we motored past huge ocean-going vessels, it was evident my white suit was a very poor choice for travel attire.That was especially true as water began filling the bottom of the boat, and they started bailing it out using tin cans.

We spent a week at this Trinidad island resort and every moment was an adventure. Night Watch was born from things we actually say that happened. I embellished all the facts with my imagination. Because of a relationship with art theft, I used the title of a Rembrandt painting for the title of my book. I wish now I had made the title, Night Watch: A Case of Mistaken Identity. Two many books and other things bear the title, Night Watch, which also caused a problem with promotion.

Promoting this book is a resolution I intend to keep.

--Mary Montague Sikes

10 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think I would've asked that they turn that boat around! You were brave to keep going.
Good luck with promotions!

Bob Sanchez said...

Monti, good luck with your promotion. You're right that if you want your work promoted, you have to make it happen.

Donna Hosie said...

Good luck!

I knew an author who published with Simon and Schuster and they did no promotion whatsoever. She didn't do any herself and the book died a death. I learnt then that regardless of how you publish, you need to know how to promote.

Monti said...

We were young and more foolish then. And more trusting! It was before 9/11, Alex, when the whole world changed!

Monti said...

Bob, thanks for commenting. In this case, someone had promised to sponsor a launch party. I waited and waited, and it never happened. My fault and bad decision!

Monti said...

Donna, I have finally discovered that while it's good to have the talent to write, marketing is far more important. A not-so-great writer with marketing skills is better than a wonderful writer with no promo skills!! Sad to say...

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Glad to read Donna's comment. So many people think the way to fame and success as a writer is to get an agent and go with a big publisher. Myth. Especially now. Good luck with promotion, Monti! If you'd like to do a guest post on my blog about your experience with Night Watch, let me know!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Good for you... ALL THE BEST, MONTI...

IT's so true, we ALL have to promote ourselves no matter what the venue...

The story sounds very intriguing...

Monti said...

Thanks, Karen! I would love to be a guest on your blog. Just let me know details.

Monti said...

Thanks, Michael! Trinidad was an intriguing experience!