Archive for the ‘Storytelling’ Category

What Does Your Indie-Author Platform Look Like?

February 21, 2017

lost-places

Most indie authors seem to know they need a social media platform to talk about their work. Assuming you do, what does yours look like?

If your answer is “Blogs”
That can be a good thing, if you have information to share. Just be sure you do. I find writing these blog articles, sharing what has worked for me (and what hasn’t), has made my blog readership grow dramatically in the past year … and each new follower is a potential book buyer.

If your answer is “Other Social Media”
I know it’s important to connect with potential readers on social media, like Twitter and The Book of Face, but I’ve made it a mandate not to spam people with ‘Buy my book!’ messages. To me, it’s not only annoying, it’s ineffective.

So I ask questions, listen, re-tweet and share interesting articles and quotes. I try to make it cool stuff. Sometimes funny. Often self-deprecating, with occasional dips into promotional info.

The more I study social media marketing, the more I stick to what I learned almost by accident as a young manager in the early 90s:

People Want to be Treated Like People
Shocking, right?

Back in those days, if I walked into a meeting with my staff and simply read them formulaic crap, their eyes would have glazed over (if they stayed in the room long enough).

Instead, I listened to their concerns, got their feedback, and had a very productive relationship.

Social media is no different. If you want them to hang around, treat your audience with respect.

If Your Answer is “Sales Pitch”
To me, most sales pitches are weird, stilted situations, where Person A is broadcasting their message to Person B, who may or may not care. I have a lot of trouble with them.

I find my best success when I really talk to people … ask questions about their interests, discuss difficult writing situations common to all writers, and listen to the responses.

It takes time and effort, but my follower count here should tell you if was worth it.

DO YOU HAVE A PLAN?
That may be the most important question you ask yourself. How many of you have created a marketing plan for a book release? I would bet nine out of ten of you do not, because that’s very common.

If you’ve been in Corporate America, you know all about having a marketing plan … and you probably hate the thought of them. I know I used to dread our quarterly meetings … where we’d sit for hours discussing all the plans the geniuses in the home office came up with for us to try.

Woohoo!

Seriously, despite the ridiculousness of some of those corporate puppet meetings, I did learn that creating a plan, and having set goals, was extremely helpful.

Book marketing is no different.

I know what I need to do to sell books. I change it up often and try new things, but I have basic groundwork I follow for each and every book. Do you?

Once you have a plan, you have the ability to prioritize and focus your efforts. A plan makes you look at what you have and what you don’t. Use what works … research what you don’t know.

See, here’s the thing: you don’t need to have a background in marketing, or an advanced business degree (guilty) to market your work.

Why? Because you know how to read. You can research. You can put the tips you find in my articles (and elsewhere) to work.

But in order for it to be effective, you have to DO it.

So, why are you just sitting there?

Would You Rather Be Smart, or Creative?
Would you rather listen to your muse and write whatever you want, without thinking of things like readership? Without worrying whether anybody is going to like your book?

You can be both, of course, but one usually has to be a priority.

If you’re letting creativity steer the course of your life, you might get lucky. But that’s always a risk, and I prefer to put my creativity firmly in the hands of my goals and plans.

In other words, I choose where I want to go and use my creativity to help me get there.

My creativity doesn’t mind … it’s still having fun doing what it loves … but it’s building content people want, that (hopefully) I can sell.

**********

My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.
 

**********

Visit my web site’s home page to hear the remarkable interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.

**********

If you’ve written an interesting book too, consider submitting it to the Readers Favorite annual contest by using the banner link below. What do you have to lose?

**********

Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

When Are You Too Old to Write?

February 6, 2017

overgrown-truckPhoto Courtesy of Pixabay

Ask anyone if they’d like to go back to their youth and there are some who would jump at the chance. However, I think most would emphatically decline … and a few might actually shudder.

Why?

Despite our glorification of it, youth is often a time full of worries: school; career; relationships, money, kids. A period with no idea of who we are, or what we really want in life. Most of the time we’re out there on our own, winging it, doing our best to cope.

I’ve been thinking about it lately because, Heaven willing, I’ll soon reach an age I used to think of as old.

I’ve lived through the Korean War, the development of the hydrogen bomb, the USSR launch of Sputnik, the assassinations of President John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

I was as excited as every other American when we landed men on the moon. I worried about the draft during the Vietnam War (drew anti-war cartoons for several publications) and watched the news coverage of the Berlin wall coming down.

I saw the beginning of the Internet, and participated in developing web sites for it. I witnessed the horror of 9/11; worried about our troops during our country’s invasion of Afghanistan and wondered at the nonsensical Iraq War (remember the missing “weapons of mass destruction” no one ever found?).

I suffered, along with my friends, in the Recession that began in 2007 and lately have worried about the chaotic coming of Donald Trump.

When I stop and think about it like that, it seems like I’ve witnessed an awful lot already. I had a mini career in advertising, and a major one in public relations and marketing.

Still, I sometimes feel like a kid.

For me, age is not a disability. Every day is another chance to do the things I want to do. Time, after all, comes in one large bundle that includes the good, the bad and the disappointing.

We have to accept the whole bundle, even the tragedies, sad as they are. We don’t so much choose life. It chooses us, and age can be an enormous help to an author.

I can hear you asking again … why?

For one thing, it makes us freer, calmer, better friends with ourselves. My personal likes and dislikes are crisper.

I can recall my first experience with the green of spring, special holidays with family, my unique friends and (unfortunately) all my mistakes. I understand more deeply the people I love.

How can you fail to find something to write about in that?

I’ve written stories my whole life, but I didn’t begin to do it full-time until I retired from the 9-to-5 business routine. I thought at the time I might already be too old. However, I’ve discovered the creative richness and energy of the mind doesn’t care how old you are.

I write every day because I understand really well, perhaps for the first time, the cliché that each moment that passes is gone forever … never, ever, to return … but, as authors, we can be as young or as old as the characters we make up.

I’m working every day on my next novel (Dead End Street). Although I’ve published six books in the last four years, I have a lot of stories rattling around in my head.

So, what exactly does that mean?

I still have writing to do.

**********

My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.
 

**********

Visit my web site’s home page to hear the remarkable interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.

**********

If you’ve written an interesting book too, consider submitting it to the Readers Favorite annual contest by using the banner link below.
What do you have to lose?

**********

Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.


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