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Mission impossible 5, I may as well call it. It’s like training as the hurdle runner for Olympics only not the sporty kind! But the task is the same: sprint as fast as you can, after all, life is no less than a race, and when you come to an obstacle, or a ‘hurdle’ jump over it with as much gusto and strength, forever keeping ahead of others. However, much like in the game, the ‘art’ of clearing one hurdle after another is down to practice, practice and practice. That’s what I feel like at the moment, a hurdler, jumping through, or at least trying to, but more often than not smashing right into the obstacle and staring at it in daze and dismay.

Why do I say this? You’ll see. I got over the hurdle of language initially, and was met with the next hurdle, distraction of a student life. After that was done, some years later, the next hurdle come of holding onto a paying job, which meant writing took a back seat, then when that problem stepped aside on its own, the hurdle became the pursuit of publication. Many hurdles simply stood their grounds during this that I eventually went ‘you know what’ and took matters into my own hands: I walked around the hurdles and self-published like a silly bird.

What ever could be the hurdle now?! Marketing! It’s not simply a hurdle, no. It’s a fire-breathing dragon that’s guarding the literary world like a jealous viper from those of us just wishing and hoping for one chance.

It doesn’t even help that I have already done majority of the hard work and am offering a simple handshake so that the process can organically continue at a faster rate. And once again I am facing a hurdle the size of Mount Everest: how do I get the information out there that novel is in print? That people can buy it for their collection? That I’ll even sign on the inside decently (’cause I totally haven’t been practicing or nothing).

Suffice to say I’m still training to become a sufficient hurdler in life, and so far, life has the upper hand. Let’s see how I can possibly get around this wall. I was never strong at marketing.

At the moment, my marketing strategy for my printed novel has only been through FB, almost hijacking family and friends to become a sales rep at their work or outer circle, and approaching a book exchange to see if they are willing to keep a tiny section in their store.

I guess the truth of the matter is that nowadays an author mustn’t just be the writer of the book but the marketing strategist and sales rep. The sales rep part is okay, and is expected I guess. I mean if you can’t talk people into buying your book then who better? But this marketing strategist and implementer is a whole new ball game especially for a self-publisher.

See what’s wrong with that last paragraph? It’s a whole DIY situation in there: you write, you publish, and you sell. And this situation has suddenly come about over the last few years. You can’t blame a writer for not knowing the ‘publishing’ business as much because till just about a handful of years ago, this avenue was monopolized by big print/publishing houses only. Till now, that monopoly stays somewhat. I mean I was approaching couple of smaller distributor just a day or so ago and what reply do I get? ‘Sorry, we only distribute in house books, but good luck.’

So it’s a scary world out there. Having to learn on the go how to market&sell your books without the expertise and guidance of those who have been doing it for decades if not century.

I wish I could kidnap a publisher and pick their brain! Lol. Not that anyone walks around with ‘I’m a publisher’ written across their forehead, probably for the same reason I want to have a chat to them.

Ah well, DIY it is.

So how about I plug my book write now?! As good an opportunity as any.

So if any of you are in Australia and would like to support me by buying a hard copy of my novel, In Strange Company, then please drop me a word in the comments section. Or if you’d rather approach me privately then write to papermashed@outlook.com.

$15.95 plus $3.00 P&H — Total: $18.95

For international postage, please enquire as I will have to find out myself. All I know is NZ is about $10 P&H whereas USA is $15.50ish.

Also, it might help you to decide if I mention that I’m aiming to write/produce/direct a cross cultural feature film focusing on third world countries and their need to educate women and children, or any male afflicted, against abuse of all kinds. It’s a cause worth talking about. The money raised by the sale of the books will go towards funding this film.

Thank you very much, and have a wonderful weekend ahead.