State of Writing

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So I’ve been a little out of it last week. The annual BBQ contest that I run was last week. While I didn’t keep my blog up to date because of that, I did find some time late last Monday to complete the second part of Fear in a Land Without Shadows and begin some of the final edits/tweaks my publisher wants for Wolf of the Tesseract. I’m about a week behind the schedule I’d like to see, but that’s on point with the extra work of this event and the fact that I spent some time in hospital after having been set on fire in a freak accident.

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State of Writing

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I’ve been so busy with work the last week that I had difficulty getting to my blog and barely kept up to date on my writing goals. there I was late on Sunday evening, tired and ragged but putting words on paper. I met all my goals, did all my work, etc. I even powered out a new promo campaign, but I was out of gas at the weekend. Sometimes you do what you committed to even if it feels forced or if you didn’t feel like it. I feel like there’s a lesson in there somewhere

Groups, Social Networks, and Sales

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I see a lot of indie authors promote stuff on pages for authors. good job. you did it. handclap emoticon. you wrote a book… yay. A lot of those posts just seem downright “salesy.” That’s cool. But I’m probably not going to buy your book. Most author groups I’m a part of are there to give support and feedback (and that’s kinda what this article is meant as) to fellow writers.

Let me do y’all a service and remind you that promoting exclusively in author circles is probably gonna leave you with a pretty low glass ceiling for sales numbers. Lots of support and love… muchas reviews, yes. cash money? probably not so much. Remember, those authors are all doing looking for their own sales and promotions avenues, too.

Personally, I have a promo plan I follow every week in order to grow my platform and network with others–this isn’t sales exclusive. I know I’ve lost that focus in the past and that lack of proper expectation can make me feel like I’m spinning my wheels in the mud when I expect something to happen (usually either sales or people reading or providing feedback) and it never does.

I’ll be blunt. If you only post in social, authors’ groups and expect you’ve met some kind of social media marketing mandate in doing so, you will only sell a limited number of copies and your networking will fall flat. Those sorts of groups want to get to know you first, and then learn about your book. You’ll maybe sell a couple books, sure, but those numbers are a false positive and you’ll eventually hit a wall and not know why because “it worked before… why aren’t I selling any groups in The Stay-at-Home Mom Fellow Authors Group, etc?”

These groups are a bit like real life relationships. If you’ve been invited to a a regular coffee gathering and every time you speak you bring up Amway, ItWorks, or some kind of multi-level-marketing thing you’re involved in, the group might just change their meeting time/location and never tell you. I know they say “always be selling,” but it isn’t always appropriate to sell the product. Sometimes, in some places, you have to sell your self first in order to keep that door open. It’s called human interaction or building relationships.

Groups like this are one leg of a multi legged stool. I’m just cautioning against it being someone’s only avenue (or only posting when trying to sell–that’s a good way to become a tiresome nuisance to those who use the group to interact and network.) There are also some groups exclusively used for selling–it’s a whole different mindset and both have a different purpose. One is for authors, the other is for stories. Remember which is which and use them properly; these ideologies are kinda like an Offspring song: you gotta keep em separated.

State of Writing

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Monday’s report: full speed ahead.
I hit all of my writing goals for last week and gave myself some new ones: a chapter a day in audiobook to get my audible version of Wolf of the Tesseract released within 2 weeks of launch date next month. I’m pretty sure I can hit that mark.

I’ve also been working on a new cover design for The Kakos Realm: Grinden Proselyte. I was never happy with the original, but assumed the small publisher I worked with new best… I no longer make those assumptions and would rather force certain creative control decisions when it’s necessary for high quality. It’s only a few more tweaks away from being completed.

 

Writting Advice from the King

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I’m sure this has been blogged about a thousand times before, but it really hit me in my brainpan. Steven King is one of the all time greats,even if I don’t typically rush out to read everything he’s written (our styles and content are so similar) I do enjoy many of his stories (especially fond of Dark Tower). Nevertheless, King is recognized as master of his craft.

Here is a link with some of King’s top advice to authors. http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/stephen-kings-top-20-rules-for-writers.html

I remember being asked how long it takes to write a novel. Having written several, its true that each one is different.  King mentions it should never take more than three months. Some people balk at that; I did the math. You can write a 95,000 word manuscript in 3 months of you write about 1,000 words per day, or two pages, single spaced.

He’s got so much great advice, distilled into a simple, succinct list. Remember his advice: the magic is in you. Turn off the tv and write… you can do it.

Recommendation: The Buried Symbol

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I found The Buried Symbol to be a real page turner! The pacing was wonderful and straight from page one the author does a great job of “world-building.” While some of the setting might feel like a trope that has been done before, some of us really like that. As an old RPG gamer I immediately felt at home and saw the beginnings of the party develop when Brock picks up his buddy and saw interesting traits that my mind categorized as “rogue” characterizations. Not enough stories come from that point of view–everyone is consumed by the glory of a fighter or the mysticism of a wizard, so I appreciated the difference in nature. They are not one-sided characters, though, and you can see/feel the emotional impetus and gold-hearted, heroic aspects that motivate even those acts that cross the law. Pick this one up–just be careful…you might not be able to put it down!

You can order it on paperback or ebook here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FE1MMYQ