For this Sunday post, I thought I’d tell you some interesting facts about me and my experience of writing and publishing my book “Back in the rain”
A tormented history
- I started writing Back in the rain in Florence, between September and October 2015, right before graduating my Master course in Translation.
- I dropped it at the end of November 2015 (I had written just a couple of chapters), when I moved back to my hometown after graduation.
- I restarted working on it in February 2016, when I moved to Florence one more time to work as an event planner. I finished writing it in October 2016.
- I spent all 2017 reviewing it, showing it to friends and family, and finally in December I had it edited for publication.
- The book finally came out on February 18, 2018
A mammoth manuscript
When I started writing Back in the rain, I had just a few things in mind:
- the beginning of the story (Shallie’s death and Drew’s motivation)
- Dan’s backstory (I won’t say much because of HUGE spoilers)
- the ending
Between point 1 and 3 there was absolutely NOTHING. I literally spent a year developing the plot that would finally get me to the ending, and I wasn’t expecting the manuscript to become so big at all (it was something like 180,000 words).
When I finished it, I looked at my word count and just went, “Oh.”
In the year I spent editing I deleted a looot of things, but in the end the book turned out pretty big anyway.
Don’t get scared of the size, though! We’re talking about 175,000 words of awesomeness 😉
Is “gay thriller” even a genre?
Well, yes. That’s what Back in the rain is. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a murder mystery, plot-twists, betrayals, heartbreaking flashbacks, love, angst, a depressed/badass main cast and tons of sex.
If there’s a niche for this kind of book, it’s so tiny I haven’t found it yet.
Also, I am a total marketing noob.
Cover – unpopular choice I don’t regret
You’ll see it already looking at the cover; Back in the rain is different from the other books of its genre. Covers for MM romance books are usually easy to make: go for “hot naked dudes” and it’s done. But my book’s not only a MM romance, so I thought that kind of cover would be misleading.
I didn’t want the readers to get my book expecting a light-hearted “yeah, let’s fuck while we solve some b-rate crime” and finding themselves dealing with “dead girlfriend, corrupted politicians and a damn massacre in a villa”.
So I wanted a dark cover that would make the reader understand this is also a thriller. I browsed hundreds of thriller covers and none of them were what I was looking for. Back in the rain is a thriller, but it wasn’t inspired by other book thrillers. It’s more the result of 15 years of reading mangas and doujinshi and playing videogames. So the cover had to be a drawing made specifically for my story. Yeah, it’s different, it’s special and I love it!
Marketing – a series of bad choices I regret very much
I never studied marketing, but I did read an awful amount of articles, books and tips before publishing. A few months passed and I can say that it was completely useless. All the notes I took about book marketing are perfectly logical and I’m sure they are good tips for authors who actually know what they’re doing, but when you’re a total noob like me, you won’t get it right anyway. It’s easy to write in a blog post to “find your niche audience” but doing it is a different thing, especially when you’re publishing under a pen name in a genre so “particular” not even your most intimate friends want to read what you write.
In the past six months I tried a few strategies that failed miserably, and it’s a hundred percent my fault. But you know, trial and error is a fundamental method of problem solving. I’m already thinking of new strategies and doing some research, so I’ll get there, somehow.
Maybe in 5 years I’ll be the one writing blog posts on “how to market your book in 10 steps” and things like that.
Lots of love,