In recent weeks I have been in that pleasant stage of the lifecycle of an author when a book is in the final stages of the publishing process. It is at this time that all of the details that go into making a manuscript into a book have to be dealt with and after months (or years in some cases) of patiently writing there is suddenly a flurry of decisions to be made and minor details to be attended to.
It is at this stage in the publishing process that a manuscript begins to look like a book for the first time. I am an old hand at this business now, my latest book The Sword & The Serpent is number five, but somehow seeing my work being transformed into a product hasn’t lost any of its allure. Even though the cover image was decided upon a long time ago it seems to become official when you first see the mock up cover with the barcoded ISBN in place.
Perhaps the hardest part of packaging a book is writing the blurb. Writing the blurb is almost like putting the finishing touch on a book and it needs to grab the reader and make them want to read it. Along with the blurb are all of the other promotional pieces that are needed to market the book. This means that by the time a book comes out most authors have written several synopses of their volume for things like amazon.com and press releases. While publishers will certainly support their authors the fact remains that if you want to sell your book then you will have to do a lot of the PR for yourself.
When I published my first novel Loot I was so focused on the business side of the publishing arrangement that I hadn’t had time to give much thought to the marketing side of my new enterprise. When I did look into it the whole thing seemed overwhelming and in the intervening time I have learned what works and what doesn’t.
Experience is the best master and now, on book five, I am looking forward to plugging The Sword & The Serpent and all that comes with promoting my latest work. Of course the process is much simpler now because I have developed a following of readers (you know who you are) and my network is much broader. Even so the strange mixture of uncertainty and excitement that I felt at this point in the publication of my first book persists. Somehow I don’t think that the novelty of launching a new book upon a world of unsuspecting readers will ever wear off.
For those of you who are curious I have included the blurb from my upcoming book The Sword & The Serpent to whet your appetites.
A Magickal Journey
The Sword & the Serpent is the record of a series of astral journeys taken by the magician AnkhafnaKhonsu in 1996. These travels explore the Paths of the Serpent as they ascend the Qaballistic Tree of Life revealing the esoteric secrets of the Sepher Yetzirah, the ancient Book of Formation.
Esoteric Secrets of Occult Symbolism
The Sword & the Serpent follows the progress of AnkhafnaKhonsu as he ascends through the astral planes that correspond to the Trumps of the Tarot and communicates with the spiritual entities that exist upon them to reveal the hidden natures of these powerful occult symbols. The journeys collectively represent the entire path of initiation into the mysteries of Hermetic Magick.
Angels & Demons of the Astral Planes
The series of visions recorded in The Sword & the Serpent present a succession of adventures taken by AnkhafnaKhonsu as he negotiates his way past the many obstacles relying on his knowledge of the Holy Qaballah and Magick. Along the way we are introduced to the many bizarre, beautiful and often horrendous inhabitants of these astral planes who reveal the innermost secrets of their realms to the magician.