Writing about writing
I’ve got great friends. Not that many, I’ll concede, but I’ve worked hard to be a prick for most of my life. Anyhow, I truly thank those friends who’ve been supportive in my writing endeavors by actually checking out my stuff and letting me know if they liked it (or not).
Sadly, being a successful writer requires more than just a handful of friends and family that are supportive or helpful. Sure, it requires that the stories don’t suck, but I believe I’ve received enough unbiased feedback from people to believe I don’t suck at writing anymore. Plus I’ve been published by people who I did not know an did not offer any bribes to.
So how does an author, once published (or self-published) get news of their work out there in the world? I’m still working on that. Word of mouth is a huge tool, but it’s usefulness is bottle-necked by the number of people talking about it. Nonetheless, if you’ve read my stuff and liked it, talk about it and tell others to try it out….please?
Of course there are other ways. Writing blog posts, for example, and trying to get people to check them out and decide they should look into my books. Difficult though, to be sure. But who wants to read a blog from some random guy when you don’t know anything about him? I know I don’t. So the trick is just that, using tricks to get people to read the blog. Sneaky, but by writing up tasty and (knowing me) darkly humorous pieces on current affairs or by using images people might like to look up I can hopefully lure people in to check things out. Most will probably close the window, but if I keep 1 out of 10, then I’ve done something right! After all, 100% of the things I do not attempt are 100% certain to never succeed.
So why not throw up some truly titillating pictures on here to pull in some views? Yeah, I used that word on purpose. Boobs! People love them – I know, I’m a people too. Men can’t get enough – heck, the first time a young man sees his first naked breasts he can’t help but want to see all of the rest of them. Even women look at them, thought typically with less salivation and more critiquing in mind. But not to worry, I won’t be showcasing any partially or fully nude women on this. This is not an adult rated blog, nor do I wish to limit my readers by making it so.
All right, so no boobs. What else? Well I recently put up a couple of posts on the Casey Anthony trial. Those were both an experiment and a chance for me to organize my thoughts on the topic into something more easily coherent. That and by blogging it, I can file it away and let it slip from my mind. I’ve got a busy schedule, you see, and I need those brain cells available for more current and future items. Anyhow, those Casey Anthony posts did bring in some extra attention.
But that’s not all. I’m forcing myself to become a Twitter junky. It’s a slow process, but I’m learning it and growing my followers. Every blog post goes out to Twitter, and perhaps that’s drawing in some readers too?
But social networking is about much more than just those limited items. Message boards and websites designed for writing and reading must be my friend. I can raise awareness by posting on them and advertising my “stuff.” For example, I’m on a site called Goodreads that does a bang up job of organizing authors with their books and helping readers find them and talk about said books. I’ve been putting up info there about the next advertising topic I’m going to mention…
Book giveaways and special deals! Goodreads offers up printed book giveaways, and I’ve enrolled five copies of Voidhawk in one. Over 200 people have signed up for it so far. Maybe that’s not many but damn it, it’s my first and I’m impressed by it! But what’s more is that Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter give me an opportunity to broadcast a special summer sale going on through the month of July where some of my ebooks can be had for free on Smashwords and others are available at a discounted price (50%). Go to my Smashwords page if you’re interested – the coupon codes are displayed on the product pages. See how I slipped that in? It’s almost subliminal.
What else is there I can do? Well I could spend money on advertising, but you have to make money to spend it. I’m trying, I really am, but the income hasn’t been FU money levels yet. In fact I’d say I’m a long way from reaching that kind of sales volume. 20, 30 years maybe…if ever. Getting reviews is another way, but even the best of reviews only helps when people are made aware of it, which goes back to the distribution network of my social media.
Blog interviews, samples, and even contests are another means of achieving fame. Sadly I’ve only had one blog interview that I can remember, and the samples are just as limited as the social network I employ. Contests? That’s grouped under needing to make money to spend money. I’ll get there, it’s just not happening nearly as quickly as I’d like it to.
One day I’ll get there though. I’m determined and unstoppable, even if I’m moving at a glacial speed. Any tips or suggestions of venues for PR I’m happy to receive as well. As I always say, don’t be shy! If you’ve got suggestions, critiques, or a desire to flame me for looking like the guy who knocked your sister up, go ahead and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and incidentally only 3 men have the right to give me any comments about knocking their sister up – fortunately she’s my wife and the kids are great.