Tag Archives: published
To Write or Not to Write. Whether Tis Nobler to Suffer the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous . . . . oops! Wrong Soliloquy
Fast forward to today. I recently released my fourth novel, “Deadly Reign.” I have two more books in the works. The next in the “Rising Tide” series and a stand-alone novel that revives a character from a previous book used in a cameo role and now as the protagonist. I’ve just scratched the surface in the world of authorism. So I certainly don’t feel qualified to offer any spectacular, over the top, fail proof words of wisdom. If I were to offer any advice, I’d simply say: Never give up, expect rejection, don’t take yourself too seriously, and most importantly, have fun. God bless!
I Thunked it Would be Easy, but is Anything Really Easy? If You Were to Ask Me, I’d Say No, but is Anything Really Easy? Probably Not, but is Anything Really…
Recently, I’ve been stuck on the subject of rejections during the course of writing. I would be remiss if I were to leave out my entire life story while traveling down that wonderful road of rejection.
During my early days immersed in the glamorous spectacle that is writing, I determined my course from reading other glamorous publications that assisted early glamorous writers.
This publication instructed new writers to attempt having their work placed in magazines and other such articles. This would in essence emulate crawling before walking; showing agents or publishing houses that you were, in fact, a published author lending more credence when they perused your best-selling manuscript.
I began in earnest writing short stories in the science fiction and horror genres. I sent these stories to the larger science fiction magazines, confident I would find a home between the covers.
Alas, no one took the bait. I was forced to drop a notch and send my stories to a magazine a few rungs down the ladder. This continued for some time. I eventually ended up trying to publish my babies in on-line magazines that would boast circulations of dang near a hundred readers.
Well, to say the least, I was scraping the bottom of the literary world. I couldn’t really blame it on the barrel, so the only one I could lay it on would be me. Even though I had developed a rather thick hide, I dare not delve into the world of flash fiction or even one word fiction lest I never find my way out again.
I did the only thing a person who wishes to become a writer can do. I took to honing my writing skills and now have three published books to my credit.
If you get nothing more out of this blog post, let it be this: Author friends don’t let other author friends write stupid.
This has been brought to you by a grant from the Lynn Steigleder Foundation, preventing people from writing sub-standard manuscripts since this blog post began…I hope.
I’ve Been Rejected so Many Times I Created a Novel From my Rejection Notices…and What Do you Know, Acceptance at Last.
I’m sure you’ve heard about authors being turned down numerous times before finally finding acceptance. For example: J.K. Rowlings was rejected a dozen or so times before someone found space for “Harry Potter.”
Stephenie Meyer was another author scorned until she found huge success with her ” Twilight Saga.”
Even Stephen King was rejected thirty times before his first novel “Carrie” found a home.
Keeping these in mind, do you ever wonder if the agents/publishers that rejected these stories are still kicking themselves around the block?
I’ll admit the job of an agent having to sort through thousands of manuscripts has got to be a daunting task at the very least; however, sometimes it tickles me to think of a trip around the block motivated by one’s foot. My concept of this scenario would become more evident as my series of rejections increased to a volume that would rival an elementary school’s paper drive.
Once my breakout series is discovered and I sell a few bazillion copies, I’ll think of all of those rejections and realize there’s just not enough time, nor any reason to hold a grudge.
Guess I’ll just continue writing bestsellers and maybe, just maybe, slip a few emails expressing my gratitude for their refusals. After all, that’s one of the reasons I’ll be where I am when I get there.
My latest nove is now available at Amazon and other booksellers in paperback and kindle.
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 inhabitant’s 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 beast’s one step behind and deadly pitfalls ahead, the coalition struggle to finish their journey insuring their races survival.
This book started as a work of fiction. As I began to rewrite I found it remained a work of fiction, but one better suited to line the bottom of the birdcage. So I dug in and made changes. This continued off and on for several years. Finally I broke down and rewrote with such intensity, the novel ‘Eden’s Wake’ became a skeleton of its former self. Not being able to leave it there, I navigated through the book (making changes here and there) before I finally said enough is enough and too much is too much. I did try to sneak in one more small rewrite, then catching myself before the end of the first chapter I averted self-inflicted bodily harm. The novel I began in 2008 became a published work in 2015. Not so bad, I guess when you put a mere seven years against the age of your average rock.
I hope I haven’t driven everyone crazy by over publicizing the upcoming release of Eden’s Wake. Guess what, it’s finally here, although some places are out of stock and will take orders and ship promptly when new stock arrives. E-books are available and ready to be loaded. Thanks for your patience and if you decide to purchase I hope you thoroughly enjoy Eden’s Wake.
Marketing Your Book is No More Difficult Than Balancing a Bowling Ball on a Ten Foot Stick While Standing on a Greasy Slab of Ice
There are literally hundreds of thousands of books published each year. Now if you happen to be fortunate enough to count yourself among this vast number; then, congratulations, you have a book in print. Having a book in print is something most people never achieve. So, you may certainly consider this a boon. Then again, even though you have a book in print, which is something most people never achieve, you may certainly also consider this a bane.
“How,” you ask, “can my masterpiece be both good and bad?”
Having a book among the published is a feat in and of itself… and that’s where it ends. Everything from there on out is to vie for the position of putting your book into the hands of the reader.
“How is this accomplished?” you inquire. ( In case you haven’t noticed, you ask an inordinate amount of questions. ) The only answer I can provide is, in a word, marketing.
Marketing can take on many forms: book signings, book tours, book clubs, social media, reviews and slinging books out of the back of a moving pickup truck. If you can think of it, you can use it as a marketing tool. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should. I believe my favorite form of marketing is word-of-mouth, although this can be fraught with dangers, pitfalls, and the usual lack of interest.
To begin with, there is good word-of-mouth where the reader cannot possibly say another positive syllable about your book. These type of reviews usually originate from the author’s parents, siblings, and close friends.
Then comes the author’s dismemberment and ground to a fine powder stage, the bad word-of-mouth experience. This is where people who may or may not have read the book cannot tolerate the family generated grandiose reviews and must trash your first round of positive opinions. These reviews will not only bring you back down to earth, but attempt to bury you, if you allow it do so.
At some point you will begin to receive truly unbiased opinions on your first novel. They won’t all be good nor bad, but a mixture of good, bad and everything in between, and isn’t this what you truly want?
You will most certainly include an email campaign within your word-of-mouth marketing strategy. This too can bring about good results or suck you down into the pit of what I have deemed “no sale retail.” The problem with email is if people don’t know you, they will more than likely delete your book pitch from lack of interest or fear of a virus.
I’m finding that consignment stores are a great place for your book to collect dust. You see, by introducing your novel to different types of dust bunnies and the like, you expose it to a more diverse group of dirt, than the limited types at home.
Hopefully, you get the idea of how to begin your own marketing plan, but be sure to put this plan into motion at least six months before your baby hits the shelves.
Let’s delve into a more unorthodox but effective way to sell your book. Being a new author, the brick and mortar stores are less likely to carry your book, so you’ll need to purchase a goodly amount from your publisher.
Walk into your neighborhood mega bookstore, carrying your box of novels, a chain, padlock and baseball bat. Chain the front door shut and threaten anyone who does not purchase one of your books with bodily harm. Of course, your bat, being made from foam, will cause no injuries unless your customer base discovers this to be true, then a prudent getaway plan should already be in place.
As you can see, with a small amount of thought you too can discover (along with established marketing methods) new and exciting ways to market your book.
It is true that some of these methods may land you in places you’d rather not be, such as in front of a judge or even in jail, but remember any publicity can be good publicity.
…was how the spider introduced herself to Wilbur in E. B. Whites’, “Charlotte’s Web,” that along with, “The Enormous Egg,” was my introduction to the wonderful world of literature… oh!…and I mustn’t forget, “James and the Giant Peach.” Now that I’m older, my literature preferences have changed but my passion still remains and even that has taken a different direction. You see, I went from a carpenter to a published author………………………(I’m pausing so that you can fully appreciate my accomplishment)………………………………..Okay. I’m done, now back to my introduction.
First I’ll tell you a bit about myself. I’ll skip the first forty-some years and get down to the good stuff. In 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. As if that wasn’t enough fun, two months later, I was informed that my department was closing and I was losing my job of sixteen years. In the months that followed, I began a drafting business that was going gang-busters. I was working fourteen hours a day. When the economy tanked, so did my business. ( Side note: if you really look for good stuff, you can find it anywhere.) Thank God for a sense of humor! It will get you through some of the darkest times.
On a fishing trip with my son, he made the off-handed remark, “Dad, why don’t you try writing?” I had written several short-stories years before. He was in high-school at the time and into creative writing himself. Something clicked and I began penning short-stories after we returned home. (In case you were wondering, we didn’t catch any fish.)
Now you have to understand, I have the patience of a beer guzzling monkey with a three-hour wait at a port-a-john. So when I begin a story, I wanted to hurry up and finish it. That’s why the thought of writing a novel never crossed my mind until the idea of “Rising Tide,” (which is the name of my first published novel) popped into my head. It took me four months to write, about eight months or so to edit and re-write, all with the help of my (lovely) wife who is typing this for me now.
When you have delved into the world of writing and publishing and marketing, not to mention agents, it’s enough to send you running and screaming in the opposite direction, but since I can’t walk anyway, I stayed there against my better judgement. You see most publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Which means now we get to throw another pile of castings into the can of worms by trying to find an agent. Now to make things even more interesting, most agents do not want to represent writers unless said writer has been published.
Exit to my saving grace……..I found a publisher who was more sympathetic to first time authors (I say sympathetic because by this point, sympathy is needed with my sanity hanging by a thread). This publisher receives thousands of manuscripts a year but only accepts a few. I submitted my manuscript March of 2008 and against all odds had a contract by May of that same year. It took a year to edit, develop front and back covers, and interior designs. “Rising Tide” was finally released April 2009.
So that’s my story up to this point; or at least part of the story, since I’m now working on my forth novel. I’ll be using this blog to tell the rest and create more in the weeks and months ahead. I look forward to making new friends and having some fun along the way. I invite you to share with me as well.
Your buddy, (even though you may not know it yet)