Sunday, December 10, 2006
Recently I went to a book-signing in Orange for a friend of ours. Sally Honenberger has been writing for some time, and her first novel “White Lies” came out November 30.
While this book is being brought out by a small publisher, there’s a good chance it will find its audience. Why? The Internet.
In the bad old days an author with a small publishing house could expect to sell a modest number of copies (with more than a few to friends and family), but that would be it. Chain bookstores only order from distributors, and distributors only carry the offerings of the established publishers. And there was very little possibility of creating any kind of a buzz. At major papers editorial space is tight, and the big releases from major publishers usually get that space.
So Cedar Creek has put out Sally's book, and she’s established a presence online. “White Lies” is available at the world’s largest bookstore -- Amazon.com. There’s a dedicated website for the author, with excerpts from the novel and some of her other writings – as well as a blog. The Amazon page already has some reviews – watch for more as the book starts selling. Expect to see some conversations started on her blog as well.
In the past, only the folks in Orange would have known about Sally’s book. Not now. Google her name, and you can quickly find out more about her and what she's doing. For example, you’ll see that she’s slated to be a panelist at the next Virginia Festival of the Book. Anyone in the world can discover Sally, read an excerpt of her book, and order a copy if they want to read the rest. More importantly, they can also leave feedback, write thier own reviews and participate in conversations with the author.
I’ve watched the traffic to our blog grow steadily over the months as more folks discover it, and I expect something similar to happen with “White Lies.”
Granted, this kind of gradual grassroots growth is nothing compared to the big push a publishing house could give it, but that's OK. "White Lies" is a book that -- through the Internet -- has the potential to reach all of its audience.