Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lightening Slow

The one thing I have learned is that the publishing world is based on the "Hurry Up And Wait" theory. Much work gets done behind the scenes at a break-neck pace and full of tight deadlines. Edits and re-writes, book cover design, author photos, preparing press releases and media packages, submitting advance review copies to other authors, magazines, newspapers, radio stations, all in the hopes of landing good reviews with sound-bite-like usable endorsement blurbs...

And then you wait.

Once everything is put together and the final copy of the book is decided on, the final text, the final cover, what endorsements to include on the cover, on the inside pages ... and the package is shipped off to press ...

Then you wait.

As the author, now in the waiting period--the work done, the novel at the printers--I wait.

July will be here before I know it. And then, hopefully, I will hit the ground sprinting--selling off as many books as the publisher had printed and force them into a second run.

Just because I am waiting for the actual release of the novel, does not mean--or I am not intending to imply--that I sit idle, waiting.

My work as writer/author is over, for the moment.

But in today's world, a writer must wear many, many different hats.

Today, I wear the hat of a sales/marketing/advertising representative.

My goal? To generate interest in the novel.

If you walk into any bookstores-the first thing you, the consumer, is faced with is ... literally thousands of books to choose from.

Most of these books sit on shelves, spine out.

More than likely, this is where you will find my book--if you are looking for it, that it--sitting on a shelf, in the Christian Fiction section, alphabetically under "P"...

I do not foresee book-dump displays placed strategically at store entrances...That would be awesome. But that type of promotion happens to less than 20% of today's authors. The other 80%+ are like me. Hoping, against odds, that you--the consumer--pass up the well known writers on your venture to the bookstore, because you are hungry for something new. Something different.

And even if you are, why choose my book?

Why, indeed.

So by wearing these hats, everyday I set out to promote my name, Thomas Phillips, and my book, The Molech Prophecy.

How do I do that?

I set up book signings, radio and media interviews, blog tours, myspace site, shoutlife site, blog site ... I lead creative writing classes, teach creative writing to junior high students ...

Not all at once, of course.

But a little each day.

It's all part of the getting ready, while waiting.

July is right around the corner.

Soon, my book will be in stores.

And I will be faced with a limited time period (three months) to impress my publisher with outstanding sales ... that is, if I want to publish more titles with them ...

And since I am a writer, a storyteller, I do want to publish more titles with them ... with anyone.

But sales and name recognition are key.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Welcome ...

This is my first, official blog.

My name is Thomas Phillips. I am a writer, with a first book due out July 1, 2008. I am anxious, apprehensive, but most of all ... excited!

There is plenty going on. The need to blog is now, suddenly, strong. So ... here I am.

I think this first blog will be kind of bare bones. Facts, and some information. May be dry. But I want to lay down some ground work before doing much else. Seem fair?

My novel, The Molech Prophecy, is about former gang member Tommy Cucinelle, who thought he had left his old life behind when he became a Christian. That's why he's surprised when his pastor asks him to use his old "skills"--finding people who don't want to be found--to locate the church secretary after she mysteriously disappears and the church is vandalized. The police don't have any leads.

Tommy's investigation brings him face-to-face with the unpleasant memories from the past that threaten his new identity, but turmoil is soon the least of his worries. A local Wiccan church is at the heart of the mystery, and Tommy's search uncovers a startling prophecy about child sacrifice to the pagan god Molech. When the missing woman's sister--Tommy's newfound romantic interest--disappears as well, the quest becomes personal.

How does that sound? Good, I hope.

Whitaker House is publishing the book. And I must say, I couldn't be more thrilled. They are an awesome publisher staffed with some highly talented, helpful and caring people. I feel lucky to be a part of their family.

Advance review copies of the book have been mailed out to magazines, e-zines, authors, radio stations and newspapers to gather endorsement blurbs and reviews. So far, it seems, readers are enjoying the story I've told. Here are some endorsements for best selling authors that have made my day:

"A fast-moving and provocative thriller. I enjoyed The Molech Prophecy, and look forward to more from Thomas Phillips." –– James Scott Bell, best-selling author of Try Dying and The Whole Truth

“With a confident debut, Thomas Phillips enters the world of mystery. The Molech Prophecy, like its protagonist, starts off with deceptive simplicity but reveals greater depth with each chapter. Phillips mixes the straightforward style of Brandt Dodson with the evangelistic leanings of Creston Mapes and gives us an inspiring, fast-paced story, set against the spiritual struggle of real life.”--Eric Wilson, author of A Shred of Truth and the upcoming Field of Blood

“The Molech Prophecy is a gripping, heart-pounding read with an incredible plot. Thomas Phillips is a fresh and captivating new voice in Christian fiction.”—Mark Mynheir, homicide detective and author of The Void

I have some book signings, conventions, and radio interviews coming up. I will keep you posted. And I promise to write more, and more intimately in the posts to follow.

If you have questions -- feel free to send me an email.

Take care,