Thursday, September 27, 2012

ON the Radio . . .

Hear me on The Author's Corner, Thursday Nite  with host, Elaine Raco Chase.  Call in and chat – head to– click on blog talk radio at 8PM EASTERN time….podcasts are available after the show!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I recently joined Absolute Write’s blog chain.  Each month there is a prompt that you need to post something to your blog about, so here is this months:

This month's prompt: The Number Seven

September used to be the seventh month of the old Roman calendar and its name literally means seventh "month," so this month is brought to you by 7. Write wherever the prompt inspires you, fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry. Do try and keep things at a PG-13 level, though.

When I first read this, what came to mind were the 7 wonders of the world, then the 7 chaukras, then the 7 places of power and wisdom (American Indian), then chapter 7 of my current WIP, then 7 days in a week, Se7en the movie, if only it were 7 degrees cooler outside, or I weighed 7 pounds less, or I was 7 years younger, or my drink had 7 ice cubes that didn’t melt in it, or times 7.

Too many things to do with the number 7.  Then it hit me, my latest novel sale is due out in 7 weeks.   I could promote that—then to tell the truth, that is all I have been focusing on, PROMOTION, raido interview coming up, ordered bookmarks and cards to pass out, press release, joined twitter, posting to twitter, moved my blog because the old site that I moved the blog to was too hard for people to comment on, joined AuthorsDen, took down old blog that had been hacked, read over the radio interview questions at least 7 times, put up an author’s site on WIX, discovered that there are about 7 times 3 social media sites out there that I need to look into for more promotions, my brain is on publicity overload. 

I’ve also been trying to get
 my authors to promote their work.  And that led me to why is it so hard to get authors to promote themselves?  Yes, the publisher does some of it, but like anything if you don’t promote then how does anyone know it’s out there?  You took the time to write the novel, went through the grueling process of editing (YES, I am that bitch editor they warned you about) so why does the love stop there?

So here it is: 7 things you must do to promote yourself:

1)  Believe in your book.  Seems pretty simple.  When you first wrote the book you had that thrill this will be it, it will be the next bestseller, keep that going.  Bad reviews do not matter.  (Unless they are all bad, but that’s a different matter)  If the book matters to you, you will market the book.

2)  Flood the online community.  Not just a facebook page that you let sit there.  Actively seek out other authors (bestselling authors), see what they are doing on their pages.  COPY them.  Stalk them, follow them to twitter, to linkedin, to myspace, to blogger, to anywhere they promote, and do it.  Here’s a list of places to check out and flaunt what you got: Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Reddit, Digg, Delicious, Linkedin, Myspace, Posterous, Sphinn, Blinklist, AuthorsDen, Pinterest, Google+, MSNreporter, Hackernews, Bloggerradio, Amazon authors pages – and I am sure there are more.

3)  Set a schedule that you can stick to.  All too often writers fall back on well, the muse didn’t hit me today so I’m not going to write or I can’t write.  That’s complete BS.  If you have a day job can you get by with saying oh, I don’t think I’m going to work today, I don’t feel like it?  Answer: not for  very long and still have a job. The same with writing. Set a time and place to write, then do it no matter what.

4)  Set aside time to promote everyday.  I spend 3 hours per day promoting. 

5)  Find other writers not in your area to help you.  Got your bookmarks to pass out, buy more.  Get together with other writers not in your area and get them to do an exchange with you, you pass out 50 of their cards, you pass out 50 of what they have.

6)  Have a financia
l goal in mind.  Yes, set a goal, a reasonable goal, not just I want to be a best seller, a number I want to or need to make $$$.  Then decide how you are going to do that and see number 1 through 5.  If you are not meeting that goal 7 months down the road then rethink, redo, stalk some different authors and see what they do.

7)  Flood your local community.  Contact libraries, the local newspapers, the local schools anywhere that you can. A press release is fairly simple and many local newspapers and TV stations will be thrilled to have a local human interest piece.

Well, that 7 things I can come up with off the top of my head, there are many more things you can do to promote and market, but 7 seemed like a good number to start with.

Other blogs in this circle, please visit them!

Participants and posts:

orion_mk3 - (link to this month's post)

Ralph Pines - (link to this month's post)

bmadsen - (link to this month's post)

writingismypassion - (link to this month's post)

pyrosama - (link to this month's post)

areteus - (link to this month's post)

randi.lee - (link to this month's post)

wonderactivist - (link to this month's 


BBBurke - (link to this month's post)

meowzbark - (link to this month's post)

SuzanneSeese - (link to this month's post)

AFord - (link to this month's post)

Kricket - (link to this month's post)  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Is your book your baby?

When I ran a crit group, so many authors were crushed by what they saw as a bad crit. Now, I'm not saying that all crits are good, meaning they have value to the author or not in an editorial way, but that's for another post.

I'm referring to the author who feels that their book is an extension of them, the book is their baby and they are going to spiral down the rabbit hole at the first bad word and take it personally.  As writers we need to develop a thick skin.  Yes, we created the book, but the book is only a story, a tale whispered in our ear by a muse, or brought on by the subconscious mind, or the conscious mind, depending on your viewpoint.  The book is not the same as your first born child.

Your book is a product.  Not everyone likes the same car, not everyone likes the same shoes, not everyone likes the same movie, the same show, or the same resturant.  So not everyone will like the same book, which means that your book is, in all likelihood going to get a bad review or two. The opinion of the reviewer is not reviewing you, they don't even know you.  They are reviewing the book.  The story.

How is it that one bad review can undo all the good ones?  I've seen authors put aside their keyboards and donate their  laptop to the closest after school program over one bad review.  Even if they had 10 good reviews before that.  They now ignore their publishers attempts to contact them, they ignore their editor, they take down their author's page, close their twitter account . . . Close up shop.

Did you like the AMC Pacer?  If you don't remember them, they looked like a pregnant Ford Pinto, they were lovingly called a microwave in CB terms.  BUTT Ugly was a better name for them IMHO.   They were not for everyone, neither is your book.  Even mega bestsellers get bad reviews.

Some authors don't read their reviews, others filter them through a friend or relative so they don't see the bad ones.  However you handle them, the thing to remember is to prove the reviewer wrong, write the next book, promote the first one, increase your sales, and remember the review is about the book, not about you.

So turn on the computer and get busy on your next book.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Have you ever noticed how many fix it shows are on? I’m not talking about the DIY fix your kitchen sink, shows. The type I mean are the Kitchen Nightmares, Kitchen Impossible, Hotel Hell, Hotel Impossible, Bar Rescue–Restaurant, Bar, and Hotel something or another, then there are the what not to wear shows—whew!
Some of these shows are enough to put me off eating out ever again. Go to a Mexican Restaurant and I can’t get the picture of a 5 gallon bucket of refried beans out of my head. Stay at a hotel and I fear laying on the bed, and I keep seeing that guy on the show wiping under the rim of the toilet or scanning the room with a black light. Shudder YUCK!
I have to ask, what is the purpose of these shows? On the surface, we can say, okay, it’s to help these clueless owners make a go of it in their chosen business venture. But really? Can these idiots really be that stupid? What I shouldn’t serve moldy slimy chicken? I should clean the toilet between guests?
When we lived in CA, there was a pizza place on the coast just off the 101, that we loved to go to. Imagine my surprise when I turned on Kitchen Nightmares and there the place was. We moved from CA 15 years ago and I still felt ill watching the filth in the kitchen. Now, we ate there several times and never got sick, the place didn’t have a weird smell, like that said on the show. Now, we can say it went downhill in that amount of time, but it never seems that these places have had a health department inspection, or that anyone had gotten sick eating in them.
So, I have to consider if maybe some of this stuff is staged. I can see the set director scratching his head and having a barf bag in his hand, directing where to put the rotten chicken, and using globs of chocolate frosting in the hotel room toilets to make them appear dirty. Oh, now there was an image I didn’t need—off camera the crew eating that frosting, well, out of the container, but still . . .
With the proliferation of these shows, why do we find them entertaining? We laugh, we cringe, we swallow the bile rising up the back of our throats and fight off a shiver, but yet we are glued to it, addicted. Have the DVR set up to record every episode.
I have no idea why . . . and I am out of time to figure it out, I just discovered Spike On Demand has Bar Rescue available.