Tag Archives: marketing

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief, Even Might Find a Little Time to be a Thief . . . Probably Not

Several years ago I began writing a humorous piece on a couple remodeling their home. They were not performing the work themselves, but moreover acting as the general contractor.  

This is something that has become the norm, especially since all of the D.I.Y. programs have appeared across the stupid screen. Please don’t take this as an insult, for the one penning this blog absorbs entirely too much of the screen of stupidity himself.

However, I can say that I have one up on the weekend home-improvement guy. My father was a carpenter. My grandfather was a carpenter and my uncle was a carpenter. So guess what I decided to be when I grew up . . . you got it . . .  a carpenter, and graduated from high school a year early to participate in this noble profession.

I cut my teeth after school and on weekends, when I was fourteen learning how to remodel homes and then moved into new home construction, From foundations to roofing. I built everything from the simplest rancher to four thousand square foot homes, in the ritziest of neighborhoods.

I then moved on to commercial work,  finding it offered so much more. By the age of twenty three I began my first superintendent’s job, albeit small, to me I was raising the Empire State building.

Years passed and jobs in size grew, until I abandoned it all in my early thirties for a position in a trade show fabrication shop for a pharmaceutical company.

Here I learned how to build cabinets and some of the wildest displays you could imagine, not to mention traveling the length and breadth of the United States.

Due to health reasons I left this line of work after sixteen years and of all things, chose writing as my next attempt at a career.

So far things  are going well, at least they look good on paper, (no pun intended) but not as good as I would like as far as lining the wallet goes. I’ve published four novels, with a fifth on the way.

What I have learned from this lifelong experience is, never give up!

As far as being an author, I don’t believe I could have chosen a more enjoyable vocation, but if you don’t get your books in front of eyeballs that will read them, you may as well scribble on paper with a crayon. If you want to be a successful writer, then remember these three words…Marketing! Marketing! Marketing!

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If You’re Fortunate Enough to Get There, It Ain’t Gonna Happen Fast. So Get Ready For a Long Slow Ride

A thought entered my cranium this morning. If I could change anything over the years of writing, what would it be?

The many short stories I penned with the intention of submitting them to magazines? Having published works would give me more credence in the eyes of publishers and agents once I completed my first novel.

Learning how to write the perfect query, so my pitch would not be trashed before the first paragraph had been read?

Maybe the thousands of emails I sent to perspective agents, even though literary agents received thousands of queries each year, accepting less than 1% of what they choose to read?

The endless search for a small press, who would accept unsolicited manuscripts?

Perhaps the writing of a novel along with the endless rewrites and edits taking more time than the writing of the original manuscript?

Then there are several rounds of rewrites and edits once it reaches the publisher.

There’s artwork to consider, back matter, acknowledgements, dedications and finally a finished product.

And now the work begins and I can sum it up in one word: Marketing! This, in and of itself will require your constant attention as long as you continue to write.

Looking back, is there anything I would change? . . . Nah!

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The Saying Used to go “If you want to write, write.” Not If You Want to Write, Write, Re-write, Edit, Market, Market, Market

As I begin my blog, we are experiencing sustained winds of 30 mph gusting to 50 mph. Trees are falling and power outages occurring around a good part of the state. In case you’re wondering, I live in Virginia. Fortunately, my power is still on, and no, I didn’t knock on wood. I hold a firm belief that if rapping my knuckles against a slab of tree (albeit finished) makes one iota of difference in my life, then I need to rethink my entire existence.

I’m working on a new science fiction/fantasy hybrid that is becoming extremely frustrating. Not because of the manuscript, but my inability to spend time working on it. Here’s where the irony rears its ugly head.

The time I need to write the book is spent on another necessary aspect of the writing biz, namely marketing. It’s not my intention to sound like a broken record or beat a dead horse, but something must be done about this travesty. I have spent many sleepless nights and grueling days pondering this conundrum. After many years of searching, I now have the perfect solution.

All we need do is lengthen our days. It would be a simple task. Change our present calendar to reflect six months instead of twelve, forty-eight hour days and a ten-day workweek. Aside from a few minor tweaks, I believe this would solve all of our problems. Just think, finally enough time to finish manuscript after manuscript, without the marketing beast hoarding every minute . . . at least I think so. What if marketing expands to meet or even exceed the percentage of time it demanded before the change? If this occurs, we’re right back where we started, only with twice the marketing.

Best leave bad enough alone; I don’t want to experience worse.

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Marketing is a Necessary Necessity That Will Unnecessarily Necessitate My Necessities

“This is probably the most mature, astute novel of the last half century that I’ve just finished. Me want ice cream.”

Ifin I had my druthers, I’d write all of the time. Alas, knowing this is a virtual impossibility, I’m bound to taking care of all the other stuff that pops up. Of course, I’m speaking within the parameters of writing and its many aspects.

I spend an enormous amount of time on marketing. When I published my first novel, I didn’t realize this milestone was the easy part. With a thousand or so new titles jumping out each day, how do you get your work before the eyes of the public without this valuable tool?

All right, so I know I have to market . . .  what does this mean? Sometimes I wonder if there are as many ways to market a book, as there are books? I know I’m being a bit facetious but there are many methods to employ into your marketing scheme.

My day goes something like this:  In the morning, I’m ready to play. What’s the first game?  Marketing for Money. I try to limit my time to several hours in order to promote my books each day. What’s the next game? Depending on the day, it could be “What’s my Blog” or to keep my website interesting there’s always, “Name that Newsletter.” Every once in a while I’ll slip in, “Support my Short Story.” Then comes the time of day I actually get to work on my latest manuscript. I call this, “Recess.” When done, I usually find I’m satisfied with the day’s work and fired up for tomorrow.

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Book Giveaway

TERMINALCORE FC“Terminal Core” my latest science fiction adventure novel is now available as a giveaway on Goodreads. Follow this link   https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/198358-terminal-core    and enter to win a copy. Joining any social media sites is not required to enter.  Contest ends September 9, 2016.

Aon, a solid core planet made from the priceless and most dense element in the galaxy, caladium, is under silent attack. Plans are made by off-worlders to dissolve the unbreakable core using crude oil obtained from 19th century earth. Once the oil is refined, the byproduct, gasoline, will soften the caladium, allowing it to be collected. It is soon discovered the core is made from living beings created from caladium itself. The off-worlders employ a band of corrupt inhabitants to carry on this work. They find themselves in a constant struggle with a small coalition of Aonians bent on saving their home world. Both factions clash with the indestructible core creatures. With horrendous beasts one step behind and deadly pitfalls ahead, the coalition struggles to finish its journey, hoping to insure their races’ survival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Did You Say, “Do It Again.”…No!…Anything but That…Will You Ever Learn?

writing-a-novelConsidering my last four blogs, I see the first three find me whining about the insidious woes of having to write, rewrite, and edit my books over and over again. You would think I was the only author who had such a burden to carry on my poor little shoulders.

Well, maybe I am. I may be the first author in history to have had such a challenge on a novel that was challenging to write, challenging to rewrite, challenging to edit, challenging to rewrite again and challenging to finishing editing. It was also challenging to read it the 30 or so times that I was required to read said novel, ensuring that all was properly done. I should add this was accomplished with the help of a competent publisher/editor.

In my fourth blog, I reveled in the completion of this challenging novel.

Quite a feat, don’t you think? Of course you do, if you have the same high opinion of me as I do…now let’s take a moment to sort out my recent comments. If this was really me and the delusional financial strategy I have simmering in the recess of my brain even possible, I’d have it made. I could buy myself for what I’m worth, sell myself for what I think I’m worth, and realize enough profit to purchase a professional sports collective.

In truth, my last novel was a bear to bring to print as I’m sure you, too, have experienced. But obviously, we’re gluttons for punishment, because you know what we’re going to do?…that’s right…turn around and jump smack dab right into the middle of the fire, again.

So sharpen your pencils and grab a chunk of aloe plant, cause here we go!

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Frustrated With Your Computer? Valium, Water, Swallow, Repeat. If Frustration Returns, Go Heavy on the Repeat .

frustrated-writerI don’t know about you, but to me marketing is a dirty word. So filthy, in fact, I should ban myself from using it in my blogs.

Have you ever become frustrated when trying to…I don’t know…let’s say for argument’s sake, post a picture along with your text? Simple, right?

Of course, I’ve done it a thousand times. You simply place your text on Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail or whatever social media you are using, add your picture and post. You’re now free to continue spreading the word about your latest novel…wait a minute, where’s the picture?

You’ve loaded this picture many times prior to this; now suddenly, it has disappeared, not from one location but several…wait a minute, I found it. Unfortunately, it’s in a place that makes it difficult to retrieve. No matter, since when does an inanimate object stop me? I’ll simply “save as,” and place it in another folder where it will be at my disposal.

Dum-dee-dum-dum-dum, I happily hum away waiting for my picture to appear. Katie Bar the door my picture isn’t here!

It was there. I saw it there. I know I saw it there. I even said, “There it is,” but I need it here and here is the place that it’s not!

I check the original e-mail from my publisher and cannot locate the download. I even make a copy of the book cover picture (the one that was there and not here) and attempt to paste this frustrating collection of digital dots onto my marketing document. Naught comes through but the text denoting the name of the picture.

I spend close to four hours trying to include this ready-made stroke along with my marketing text. Alas, it throws me to the ground and stomps my poor little self into submission.

That’s when I reach for my blog. The one thing I can count on in this literary world fraught with danger, despair, defeat and an all-around lack of niceness.

Worry not; tomorrow, I will be on the trail of the elusive “Rising Tide” book cover image…AND I WILL FIND IT!

Truth be known, the real reason I quit searching was to save my computer hardware from destruction by my own hand.

See what a single little picture can do to a grown man? Hang in there till next week and remember, a hard drive is a terrible thing to waste.

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