Monday, August 7, 2017

What's BSP?



Someone asked me how I feel about having another book out and, believe it or not, the question surprised me. I’ve actually had two new books released this year: Black Butterfly – A Bogey Man Mystery, and Entrance to Nowhere – A Sandi Webster Mystery. This amazes me because I now have seventeen books out, and I still feel like I did with the first one.

How do I feel? Like I just gave birth to the oddest-shaped child in history (think book). A child that I slaved over and created to my own specifications. A child that will never change, nor will it grow. The child will be around as long as someone takes care of it, which could be a few hundred years under the right conditions. (Okay, let me fantasize.)

I’m obviously getting carried away here, but authors care about their work. We do the best job we can, and then we work to get the word out there. Once the book is available, we feed it by marketing and promoting it, but thankfully we don’t have to change its diapers. We do hope it will win the “cutest child” contest, figuratively speaking.

There’s an acronym writers use – BSP. This means Blatant Self-Promotion for those who’ve never heard the term. Many of us have been accused of blatantly self-promoting our books, but that’s how the word gets out there when there’s a new book in town and it’s looking for a home. We do need to be careful about where we do our BSP. There are places that it’s not appropriate, but many more places let us sing our little hearts out about our story.

When I have a new book released, and after my feet come close to touching the floor, and when I find I can sit in my chair without bouncing up and down, I alternate between wanting to laugh, cry, smile, do a cartwheel, worry that it won’t sell, do some more laughing in the hopes it might do well – and then the dog barks at me and brings me back down to earth. My daughter asks me what’s for dinner. I realize that I haven’t dusted the furniture in weeks. I (ugh) need to clean the toilets. Life must get back to normal. Uh huh. Like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

I order my copies of the new books. When they arrive, I’ll take the first one out of the box and stare at it. Then I might sigh and open it – carefully though, because I don’t want to crease the cover. I’ll sit down and I’ll smile, and I’ll continue to grin like a fool until my jaws ache.

When the first book I ever wrote came out, I cried like a baby. Seeing it in print was indescribable. The price for it was blood, sweat and tears. Okay, so I’m exaggerating, but that’s what it felt like. I reveled in the miracle of the book’s birth. Shoot! I wasn’t smart enough to write a book, was I? And yet, there it was in glorious black and off-white.

You’d be amazed if you could read an author’s mind each time a new book comes out. Some will be absolutely sure of its success, and others will moan and groan, feeling so unsure in their heart.

So to every author who’s ever had a book come out, I want to say Congratulations! You may not feel the same way about it that I do, but you’ve accomplished something wonderful. You have a new book and my admiration. Awesome!

If you’d like to share the title of a new book, or how a new book coming out makes you feel, please do.

Until next time, if you pick up a book this week, remember that some author is bouncing up and down in their chair and possibly inviting a concussion from hitting their head on the ceiling.

CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw's website
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com

 

16 comments:

  1. Marja, I think you "nailed it." The first time I held "Mixed Messages" in my hands, I felt like I was dreaming.
    I can picture the scene as if it were yesterday.
    I met my publisher at a local coffee house where he handed me a check for my advance and gave me my five free copies. I was beyond ecstatic!
    And, like you, whenever one of my books is published, I do the dance of joy! (So far, I haven't hit my head on the ceiling. LOL)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no feeling like it, is there, Pat? It's an emotion that never quite goes away, and it's a dream come true. Thank you for commenting!

      Delete
  2. Marja, it is exciting when holding the first book or the latest. The thought that runs through my head each time is "I did it! I really did it." Right now I'm struggling with writing short story sequels of a sort to my three Wings romance novels. In other words I'm giving "life" to barely mentioned characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you know how it feels, Pat. Best wishes with your sequels. Sometimes barely mentioned characters can become the best characters. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete
  3. Wow! Seventeen books! I hope I'm able to get to that point someday. When one of my books comes out, I feel a sense of relief, of hope, of apprehension, and of eagerness to keep going. It's an exhilarating feeling like no other I've experienced, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You described the feeling quite well, Amy. And it encourages us to keep going, especially when you see that first sale. Seventeen seems like a small number to me when I see people like Marilyn Meredith's numbers. She's quite prolific. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete
  4. Ditto on what everyone has said, and more eloquently than I could manage on a Monday morning! Yes, there's no feeling like having a new book out. 17? Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Monday does make a difference, Maggie. It's taken years to reach the 17 mark, but it sure has been worth it. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete
  5. I was born self-promoting. Can't help it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I was better at it, Dac. I should talk lessons from you. : ) Thank you so much for stopping in!

      Delete
    2. I remember when I opened my first box of Darkness at Foxglove Corners from Five Star. I couldn't believe that jottings in a notebook could culminate in a beautiful hardcover with a pink foxglove on the cover. For a long time it stayed in a prominent place in my living room. When my latest, Shadow of the Ghost Dog, arrived, the feeling was still there. What started as an idea, a first sentence, an opening paragraph, turned into a book. What a miracle!

      Delete
  6. You're right when you say there's no feeling quite like it, Marja. It's so hard to describe, but I think you did a great job. Congratulations on having written seventeen books—each one a gem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Evelyn! One thing I didn't mention is that when I have the book of someone I know in my hands, a friend, there's another special feeling. I guess you'd call it pride in my fellow authors and friends. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete
  7. I know just how you feel, Dorothy. The feeling never goes away. Like I said, it's like having a new baby. : ) Thank you so much for commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well said, Marja. And, how else are people going to know about a book unless they're told? Sure, like anything else--BSP can be overdone. So we try other, more creative ways of getting the word out. And hope. And hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, John. Our goal isn't to get on people's nerves with BSP, but to get our books read. And hope. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete