The Next 1000 Miles

Flavor of Writing

I’m going to speak metaphorically here in terms of writing as it relates to food. In this post,writers are cooks, the food is our books and the readers are our dining guests.

As “chefs” we attempt to create an amalgamation of spices to hopefully combine them all to appease and nourish our audience. Nourish in terms of entertain, provoke thought, terrify, stupefy or marvel at the wonder of the dish they just completed.

I think we’ve all had our share of bad cooks that could burn water somehow as well as our favorite chefs that never let us down. We all have a pallet of our own, some dare to try new things whereas others have a strict diet. And let us not forget the comfort foods, oh those genres that satisfy us and make us feel like we’re wrapped under a thick blanket on a cold day.

I think both chefs and diners should try and keep a hopeful eye open to the possibilities of what might be appealing. Something may sound atrocious, but who knows, one day it might just be the thing you crave most. I had mentioned comfort foods before, so let’s try not to forget or overindulge on the desserts. You know the books that can be read in a day and what you actually take away from it is just a spatial lapse in time. Don’t get me wrong, we all need those little jump starts and treats before taking on the next great meal (mine is The Walking Dead graphic novels).

As a chef, I try to mix up my flavor of words and ideas into a story everyone can enjoy. Alas, there are always individuals who will hate your cooking or it’s just not appetizing to them. (Hopefully they finish the meal) That’s not a fault, it just happens. I’m sure they took away something from your words and imagination. Their feedback could also help you refine your craft enough on the next dish to make it even better.

And do keep trying new recipes as a chef and diner alike. No one steps into the kitchen knowing what every machine, utensil and combination of tastes can conjure up. I think at some point we all know when the cook has something good to offer, sometimes we just have to wait for the next time.

Stay hungry and keep creating!



 

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The Next 1000 Miles

So, You Want to Write a Book…

I think you should read this. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in the Internet…. A Few Unfortunate Truths About Being an Author

The Next 1000 Miles

Your Fan-Size is So Big (part 2)

How else can you persuade people to follow you on your journey? The most you should ever really be is yourself. It’s the easiest thing in the world and most satisfying when you actually have fans. Have people who want to follow you for you or your work.

That said think of these items:

  • Giveaways
    • On Goodreads, I went from 60 to 115 adding my book in four days
    • Nothing is free, so don’t go in thinking you can have hundreds of fans without giving away a few free copies now and again. It’s promotional and those that don’t win, still might buy.
  • Review Groups
    • There are other Indie authors out there looking for reviews and notice too. Find them and offer a book swap for reviews. Those without the time won’t but you’ll catch some that will want to.
  • Book Clubs
    • Find local ones. Find them on Goodreads. Find them on Google +. See who would be interested and if it’s a last ditch effort, offer digital copies.
  • Local Resources
    • Local bookstores, libraries, businesses. See who would accept your book on consignment or if there is a local paper to read your book. If you’re doing YA work, contact High School librarians. See if your local library would want to host a Q&A.
  • Social Media
    • Try to hunt out groups in your genre. Genre-related author groups are great, but you’re looking for fans not colleagues. See what groups are chatting about, join in, find out more. Then down the road, you’ll know what people are looking for and it just might be what you’ve written.

Granted these options are not totally free. But beyond shipping charges and the cost of any paperbacks, it’s the next best thing. And yes, I know I didn’t keep this short and sweet like part 1. Still, I included bullet points and that has to count for something.



 

 

The Next 1000 Miles

Your Fan-Size is So Big…

More tips…no pun intended from the title.

So, important thing, getting a fan base. Blogs are good at that but one important thing that I am constantly guilty of is running on and on and…on. Blogs should be short and to the point. Double the length of a Tweet and there you go. I say this because out of the blogs I read through end to end, about %10 keep me there if it’s lengthy.

That said, get a blog, keep it short and if you need to, post multiple times (part 1, part 2, etc..) It’ll be small and get some additional notice from those not looking around at the same time.

Now, how else do I get bigger? …to be continued…



 

The Next 1000 Miles

Full-Frontal Honesty

So, in the Indie world, there are two kinds of authors: Published and Working to be Published. And just to be clear, Indie mean Independent, so you’re doing this all on your own as your own personal publishing house. That said, keep in mind more successful Indie artists will have agents and publicists still working for them, but they are the CEO & President of their decisions.

Keep this in mind, publishing is hard, but worth it. If this is your true passion only two things will stand in your way, time and money. There aren’t any other justifiable factors.

Full disclosure, thanks to some helpful friends and insights, a spent a total of about $1300 to get my first book up and out there. I am certain it could be done for less, but the main thing I would tell anyone looking to publish, double your budget for marketing. I had (have) no marketing budget beyond social media and giveaways. I’m hoping to change that for the next book [tune in later for more on that].

After being submersed in the publishing world for the past couple of months, here are some insights to help you on your way:

  • Join/Look for book clubs. Best place I’ve found is on Goodreads.
  • Social media…just start getting out there. Befriend anyone and everyone with similar interests.
  • Beta-Readers, start with friends and family then try branching out. The more eyes you have on your story, the more input you’ll get. [Note: betas are not editors and should not be treated as such. They are more for content and flow.]
  • Invest in a good cover. (Lord some of the books I have come across look like someone created it on their smart phone from 2007)
  • PAY FOR EDITING! This is the same principle as selling your car and not cleaning it. I wouldn’t get in a filthy, smelly vehicle to test drive it anymore than I would continue reading a broken-English mess paragraph after paragraph.
  • Get to know authors and ask questions. There is more to a book than simply putting it on paper and authors who are out there know plenty. We’re a community in an ever-changing world. Let’s stick together before we get picked off one at a time.
  • Be prepared to hunt for Reviewers right after your editing phase is done. Reviews = Sales
  • Look into Giveaways. Why just hand out copies to anyone? Hold contests to draw in a crowd, get interest. Those that don’t win may just go on to buy your book anyhow.

I’ll have more tidbits for you later! Until then, feel free to email me your questions.