Tag Archives: marketing

Write A Novel? Yeah Right, You Write First, Then I’ll Write, All Right?

When I set out to write my first novel, I admit I was a bit apprehensive. Being used to pinning only short stories, you understand my hesitancy. Once I began and discovered the difference between the two was not as astronomical as I had originally feared, the process smoothed considerably.

After the book was written, it was edited with the help of numerous people more adept in the ways of  blah, blah, blah, yackity schmackity grammar type things.

Having a completed manuscript in my hands, I began the search for a publisher (grueling search ensues), located a small press, and they agreed to publish my work.

Fast forward a year, I am holding a finished novel in my hands. It’s got all the great stuff: title, cover art, back matter, teaser, acknowledgements, dedication page, and lots and lots of words that I personally wrote.

I stare at the novel cover. With 800 new titles released each day according to one statistical estimate and 4500 according to another source, how do I get my book in front of the many eyeballs that I need to read it? Looking at it through my eyes that’s a lot of books released every day.

The answer  . . . MARKET! MARKET! MARKET! When you think you’ve done enough, that’s when you know you’re just getting started!

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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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Keep it Stupid Simple so Halfwits Like I is Able to Understood. Thank You

new-blogger-fontI’ve said this before; however, I think it bears saying again…on second thought, as important as I believe this statement to be, I will save it until the end of this post.

I have found when writing a blog all forms of what one would consider “normal writing” fly out the window never to be seen again.

Blogs require (in my opinion) something to keep the reader captivated. The subject matter doesn’t matter unless the matter is mind-numbingly dull. Now, that matters.

As I write my blogs, I like to stay within the boundaries of writing. Since I consider writing to have no boundaries, I have free reign or free range like the chicken of the same name.

When you look into “free range” chicken, you learn that a chicken can be labeled “free range” as long as it has access from its coup for 30 minutes or less each day. Since this is totally unacceptable for my definition of “free range,” we will stick with free reign.

You may structure your blog post around serious subject matter or important current events. You may base your post around historical or political incidents. You may choose to pen your post around a pillar of nonsense (which I find works well for me) since it allows you to maintain a certain level of humor along with any pinch of truth you may want to include.

Once you draw your readers in, you may do with them what you will. If you can pull them into your web, then you have accomplished what every writer strives to do.

So, continue to write your blog and find out what works best for you and your audience…oh, and that revelation I was going divulge at the end of the post stemming from the first two sentences…

I need a bit more time to mull this ultimate disclosure over just to make sure you are ready to receive it. I’m not being condescending; just very concerned for your safety.

Until then, take good care and have a very Merry Christmas.

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My Kingdom For a Marketer. My Kingdom For a Marketer. Oh, Loathe The Nasty Bugger, My Kingdom For a Marketer.

writing-man-geeze485x244I have written numerous short stories, a weekly blog and am in the latter stages of publishing my third novel. Even with this small amount of success, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the writing process.

If I were to break the process down as I understand it (taking the word understand with a grain of salt) then happy is the day I actually begin a new book. This sense of elation stays with me each morning as I arise just chomping at the bit to get started.

Once the book is complete, I move to what I call a continuity edit. That’s where I make sure the first half of the book jives with the second half of the book. For instance, if Hank marries Ramona and has a boy named Lucius in Chapter Three, then Hank dies in Chapter Fourteen, we can’t have Hank and Ramona returning from vacation with a daughter, Lucy, in Chapter Thirty Two. I realize the last sentence was three times longer than it should have been; however, you must remember this is my blog and I do what I want to do. Anyway, you get the jest of the continuity edit (which if I haven’t mentioned, I don’t particularly care for).

Next comes one of my lesser favorite parts of writing, even more so than the continuity edit, and that’s the line by line edit. I believe I would rather have someone set my head on fire then edit a book. Nuff said.

Then comes my absolute nemesis. The period of my life where I turn from Dr. Jekyll into the hideous Mr. Hyde and this little labor of love we refer to as “marketing” begins. With the mere mention of that accursed word (marketing) I feel my blood pressure rising and a wretched anger building from the bowels of my soul.

So with that, I shall drop an adequate number of Valium and make for my happy place.

So long until next week when we will explore…I ain’t figured it out yet, but I’ll throw something together, hopefully for your enjoyment.

The Valium is starting to kick in, so I’m off to my happ……

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