Tag Archives: reviews

Hi Ho, Hi Ho; To Work I Tried to Go…That’s as Far as I Got

Imagine comparing different trades to the world of writing. I, myself, was a carpenter beginning in my late teens, building houses and then moving to commercial construction. construction workerFrom there, I became a superintendent building everything from small businesses to office complexes. Never having considered this before, I can now see the similarities between constructing a building and a novel. First, a plan or a plot is necessary to begin both. Secondly, a carefully thought out process of constructing a solid foundation whether brick or paper is mandatory. This is true throughout the entire building progression until complete.

Of course, there are extenuating circumstances in both endeavors. Construction is wrought with change orders, as writing is wrought with changes of a different nature.

Working on government jobs, strict standards, including safety, must be adhered to. I was an easy person to work under until procedures I was responsible for were ignored. Depending on the day, after an offender had been warned previously, my demeanor was unpredictable. It could surface anywhere between a stern alert to threatening to remove the person from not only my job, but the face of the earth if they couldn’t follow my request. (All done in a sweet, calm, soothing voice, of course.)

In the construction of a novel, more liberties can be taken throughout its building process. For instance, a carefully constructed building maybe smashed to smithereens by a two hundred foot tall, furry, scaly, fanged creature with bad breath and heartburn. These two symptoms (brought on by an overabundance of ingested human body parts) caused such a nasty rampage.

Remember, my yelling at an uncooperative employee? This might have just as well ended in a similar fashion as the people munching creature (even though cannibalism is not a regular part of my diet.)

How about a writer verses a flight attendant? (Even though this is not actually a trade, it bears mentioning.)  Flight attendants take a lot of flak from unhappy travelers-everything from terrorists to screaming babies and intoxicated knot heads. Either the coffee is too hot or the water isn’t cold. So and so won’t come out of the bathroom and such and such reclined their seat too far. I don’t like chicken. Why isn’t there a movie on this flight? I don’t have a magazine. BoBo can climb on the wing, why can’t I? It goes on and on and on and on. I’m surprised when the phrase “going postal” was coined it wasn’t instead “going attendant.”

This, again, is a suitable comparison to the writing world. Authors take a lot of flak when they’re not handing it out in their writing. I’ve been transported to the mountain top with a stellar review, only to be shredded into small strips of hamburger by another reviewer.

Within my novels I’m constantly looking for different creatures to create and at the same time unique ways to destroy my creations.

So you see writing does pair up with other trades and occupations. Now that I’ve written this I feel as though I’ve done a great service for the working community. Exactly what this service may be I have yet to establish, but it must be pretty important because I wrote it.

Hopefully by next week I’ll have it all figured out. If not, it’ll be another one for the ages.

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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, dust bunnycongratulations, 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.

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