The key I most frequently use
This has been an especially busy winter season for me. Most have been very good. Some … Well, there’s always some rain to make you appreciate beautiful sunny days.
As has to be apparent, one of those rainy day events has been my inability to post to this and my other blogs. To compound the problem, I found in the six week period of time between posts, WordPress decided to make everything I knew about getting into to post obsolete. It was changed, or gone, or I simply don’t know. I’m still not able to post, but this will be my first one when I finally can get some help from this organization.
Technology is a good thing? Certainly … in many respects it is. But, I sometimes wonder if many changes in technology are made for that sake alone. Some require us all to relearn what we do when the changes are unwanted and in lots of cases less than useless to many users. Hopefully this post will find its way to the I-net sooner than later.
As a friend once said, “Oh, I long for the days of the slate, chisel, and hammer.”
It is amazing how different folks can look at the same object and have an entirely different view point on what they’ve just seen. A good example of that is what you hang on your wall. Salvador Dali appeals to some folks, Van Gogh turns on others, and Monet pushes peoples buttons. I’m a “Dogs playing poker,” kind of guy.
My experience at the Florida Heritage Book Festival told me that paintings aren’t the only thing that we see very differently. Talking to some of the participants and attendees at this book event told me it inspired highly differing opinions. I’ve selected a few that vary a bit.
“I rode around these one way streets until I was seasick. I really thought I’d run out of gas before I found a spot.”
“Wasn’t parking easy? I just followed the map and zap.”
On the facility:
“What a disappointment! Blah! Blah! Blah! I thought the room we got put in was like a slaughter house holding pen.”
“There was plenty of room for us and the visitors, it was clean, and the temperature was just right.”
On what was provided:
“We sure didn’t get much for our $XXX.”
“I’m glad I didn’t have to pay extra for electricity.”
On the same speaker:
“Damn, that guy is a long winded, self impressed turkey (substitute wording). He was doing Willie’s Much Ado About Nothing without being funny.”
“I really liked XXXXXXXX’s talk. He provided enough detail to understand his presentation.”
On St Augustine:
“This is an old creepy place.”
“Can’t you just feel the history here? I could spend days walking around and soaking this place up.”
On customer’s roaming the book tables:
“The young ones don’t have any money. The old ones look like they smell a fart and all have locks on their wallets and purses. Selling was mission impossible.”
“Wasn’t the crowd great? They were talkative and wanted to exchange ideas. And they bought books!”
Did we all really attend the same event? Let me enlighten you on some possible reasons why each person had different opinions for each issue.
Parking/one person looked at the map provided; the other didn’t keep his paperwork. Facility/one person brought a box of books (not even a table cloth); the other had a display, table covering, and handouts. What was provided/one person borrowed money for lunch from me; the other offered to buy mine. Speaker/one took notes; one didn’t. St. Augustine/one was playing “Candy Crush” on a cell phone; the other spent time talking to potential customers. Customers/One sat with arms folded and didn’t say much except to comment on the size of a rump or other body parts; the other fellow tipped his top hat and took a real interest in those who passed.
Could the possible difference be what you put in, you get out?
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Underwear Authors Association
Hopes for a Successful Book
Question from an individual in one of the internet groups to which I belong: “Now that my self-published book is published, do I need to promote it?”
Answer – “Only if you want to sell it!”
With hordes (not an exaggeration) of people deciding that anyone can write a “book” … that’s true … publish it … that’s true … and that the Brinks trucks will be lined up outside their doors delivering unlimited amounts of cash … that ends the fairy tale … disappointment looms. These folks are destined to join what I like to call the “Underwear Authors Association.”
For just a moment lets assume that our new “author to be” IS endowed with the necessary requisites to produce a creditable book. Not just some, all of them. Despite what the “let me take your money so you think you have a chance to be an author” industry would have you believe, people that have all these capabilities aren’t that common. They are:
- She/He has a message or story that is of interest to her/his target market.
- She/He has the imagination and cleverness to craft a story or present factual information in a way that will capture her/his target readers interest.
- She/He has command of sufficient writing skills to clearly communicate what has been devised.
- She/He has the patience and determination to finish what they start.
- She/He has mastered all the production arts required to get the book in print (From cover design and editing to formatting and selecting a printer) or has found someone to publish the book and do most of those things for them.
That’s not easy. But for many new authors, a shock awaits them. If you don’t promote the book, it won’t sell … Unless you have bona-fide name recognition from some other source other than writing.
The members of the Underwear Authors Association believe in the field of dreams, write it and they will come. “I can sit home in my B & P or skivvies and the world will hasten hither.” Does it ever happen? Yes, but one in a million are’t favorable odds.
My advice is that if you aren’t willing to work HARD promoting your book forget it until you are.
Be prepared to do the following plus a lot more not listed here.
- Establish an Internet presence. Web-page, blogs, facebook, twitter, linked-in, plus.
- Be unrelentingly active on your sites.
- Actively seek Internet outlets, groups, clubs, that will get your name recognized and continuously participate.
- Join groups like Goodreads, Library Thing, there are many others, and learn what the keys are to your participation in them and getting coverage.
- Actively court local news media (that’s persons) and find out who will engage with you. Newspapers, local mags, radio (talk shows are good), etc.
- Make press releases a way of life – Any time you get a valid excuse, make one.
- Develop presentations you can make to a wide variety of organizations. Civic clubs, book stores, libraries, schools, society’s, book clubs.
- Develop favorable relations with local book stores, find out what you have to do to get your books on their shelf, do signings, etc. Help them help you! Continually expand this “territory”.
- Attend local events, fair’s of all types, that present an opportunity to sell books.
- Introduce yourself to libraries on a county-by-county basis. Find out what you can do for them. Chances are they’ll reciprocate.
- There are seventeen more items on my list. However, if you start with the ten above, you’ll pull your promotion vehicle out on the highway.
You have to invest in yourself and your work BEFORE you can expect others to invest in what you write. If you have a small publisher, for example, approach each book as a joint venture. REMEMBER, IF THE PUBLISHER ISN’T SUCCESSFUL, YOU WON’T BE! Invest the time, effort and finances required to make your published book a success.
Is that work? It sure is! Does it take planning? It absolutely does! My next post will be on some planning you should do before you start writing your next book.
Appearance note: I’ll be speaking at King’s Gate Center in Port Charlotte tomorrow at eleven. Unfortunately this is only open to members. I will be on the East Coast next week at Daytona and other locations open to the public. I’ll post times and dates later.
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I’m running so far behind on my projects I’ve neglected my blog. I apologize. Guess what one of my New Year’s resolutions will be. I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanakkah, Happy Holidays, please take your pick. Also, accept some wishes I have for you this Holiday Season.
May all your jams be grape or strawberry, not traffic.
When people refer to you as loaded, let them be describing your financial condition or at worst your sobriety, not your underpants.
May your participles never dangle.
May the candy bar you get from the vending machine never have a worm in it.
May you never ask, “What did that sign say?” as you turn in the opposite direction the arrow points.
For my men friends … May your ‘plumbers crack’ never exceed one inch.
For my lady friends … May all you learned in geometry come to mind as you bend over to take a drink at a water fountain … while wearing a mini-skirt.
May you always be sure there are prices on the menu before you volunteer to pick up the check.
May you be fortunate enough to not be a Cleveland Browns fan.
May you get that wish you’re making for this coming year … and be smart enough to know what that wish might bring.
Ladies, when you rush into a restroom, disrobing as you go, you may wish to notice if there are urinals before baring everything. (or vice versa for men)
May you have enough time to visit http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com and read my annual Christmas story.
May you be fortunate enough to attend a great writers conference this year like the Unicorn Writers Conference in March.
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This post is going to be a pic post. I’ve been scrambling to keep up with my writing work load and my blog entries are suffering. Hope these will give you some idea of what I’ve been doing.
More to come ……. later.
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For the last ten days I’ve been covered up. Bed sheets … Kleenex … Day Quill … Night Quill … ibuprofen … Glasses of orange juice … antibiotics … Headaches … Nausea … Congestion … the runs. Oh, fun! Sound like the flu to you? Does to me. But it can’t be — I was wise … I did what the medical world advises … I got a flu shot, so it must be impossible. Oh yeah! And the moon is made of green cheese, politicians are truthful, Dolly wears falsies, and the world is flat.
This flu, the one I can’t possibly have, is particularly aggravating. It makes you want to sleep 23 of 24, and concentrating on anything is damn near impossible. As focused as I’ve been able to be is knowing what to do after one of my many trips to the porcelain bus. That took great effort on my part.
As usual, Murphy has been busy, this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I’m in the middle of querying two novels, rewriting a third, entering two contests, and doing a first draft of the first book of a three book series. This is the “season” in Florida so my appearance schedule doubles. Time is super valuable to me right now, so naturally Murphy is raining on my parade. The bastard!
I’ve been doing lots of speaking and book signings. I’ll catch everybody up in my next few posts. Hopefully, my posts will be on a more regular basis. This week I’ll be speaking about “Florida’s contribution to WWII and WWII’s contribution to Florida” at the Fort Myers Whiskey Creek Women’s Club, Thursday, and will be at the Sun Circle Arts Festival, in Sun City Florida, Saturday. Hope to see some of you in Sun City.
PS – I’ve added the Blue Ridge Book Festival to my appearance list – I’ll be there April 30th & May 1st. More on this later.
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