Month: October 2012

Guest Starring in a Novel

Recently, I wrote a blog post containing ideas about how real estate agents and self-published authors could work together to sell houses and stories, respectively. Maybe the idea is a little far out, admittedly, but it does present an interesting way to connect two industries that currently operate in different areas of the marketplace. Brainstorming about creative marketing strategies for self-published authors is an intensely satisfying pursuit, and one that often yields unexpected fruit. When it comes to passing those ideas around, feeling them out, tweaking or altering them, the distribution outlet provided by a blog is unmatched. I never use my blog to attack. I use it only to suggest, and to hope. In that vein, here is an idea I’ve been noodling since late summer. Suppose two self-p...

Sponsoring a Book Club

I’d like to sponsor a book club’s selection of the month. The premise seems simple enough, except that I can’t seem to figure out how to go about connecting with one. For authors, getting detailed, friendly but honest, big picture feedback on our novels is a critical step in our evolution as technical writers and creative storytellers. There are many ways to be published these days, and while the stigma of self-publishing is rapidly diminishing, the challenge of connecting with readers remains. It seems rather obvious to say that the better the story, the better odds are it will succeed in finding a readership. The challenge rests with making each book better than the one before it. The best way, maybe the only way, is to invite constructively critical study of a novel’s main components. H...

Klout, Kred, and Social Media Scoring

When I first learned about Klout, I thought the idea of providing a scoring system for social media users was smart. I still do. While I don’t regularly check my score, I have found the information useful as a general road map for reinforcing weak areas in my social media communications. The highest score I am aware of receiving on Klout is a 57, which occurred late last spring. Over the summer, the score went up and down like a rollercoaster before settling in at a relatively steady 48. Based on articles I’ve read, it seems Klout dedicated a fair portion of those same months to revamping their scoring methodology. In my case, the results of those rolling upgrades were not always helpful. Still, having an index of this nature available to me, and for free, has been beneficial for fine-tuni...

Klout, Kred, and Social Media Scoring

When I first learned about Klout, I thought the idea of providing a scoring system for social media users was smart. I still do. While I don’t regularly check my score, I have found the information useful as a general road map for reinforcing weak areas in my social media communications. The highest score I am aware of receiving on Klout is a 57, which occurred late last spring. Over the summer, the score went up and down like a rollercoaster before settling in at a relatively steady 48. Based on articles I’ve read, it seems Klout dedicated a fair portion of those same months to revamping their scoring methodology. In my case, the results of those rolling upgrades were not always helpful. Still, having an index of this nature available to me, and for free, has been beneficial for fine-tuni...

The Book Cover Debacle

Maybe “debacle” is too strong a word, but I’ve finally faced the fact that my current book covers have to go. As a part of learning the business of self-publishing from the ground up, I chose to make all of my own book covers. And it shows.           For the short stories, I used an old family photo, one of my all-time favorites, as the focal point of the covers. It made the process extra special for me, and I’m happy I started with it. But it’s time to move forward. Self-publishing is a small business. Part of running a successful small business is to invest time and resources in determining the value, or weight, that each component commands as part of the overall product or service. Outsourcing, whether it is for covers, editing, or website design, shouldn’t be undertaken until the value...

The Book Cover Debacle

Maybe “debacle” is too strong a word, but I’ve finally faced the fact that my current book covers have to go. As a part of learning the business of self-publishing from the ground up, I chose to make all of my own book covers. And it shows.           For the short stories, I used an old family photo, one of my all-time favorites, as the focal point of the covers. It made the process extra special for me, and I’m happy I started with it. But it’s time to move forward. Self-publishing is a small business. Part of running a successful small business is to invest time and resources in determining the value, or weight, that each component commands as part of the overall product or service. Outsourcing, whether it is for covers, editing, or website design, shouldn’t be undertaken until the value...

Fan Celebration Day, December 1, 2012

I believe it is reasonable to assert that most writers started out as readers. The serious kind. The wallet-draining kind. It is a state of bliss, reading, and one that is always as accessible as the nearest good book. Some novels deliver a new friendship to the reader in the form of a beloved character. Others introduce new worlds, ideas, or ways of living. Often, hope is found in the pages of a novel. Inspiration might be there, too. Even renewal of a long ago dream might arise in the reader as the chapters progress. For those of us who have cut a path from a simple idea to a completed book, appreciation of the elements that went into writing a full novel—perfect or not—takes on an entirely new significance. The experience of becoming an author invites enlightenment in the best possible ...

E-Book Sales: Charitable Giving Through Amazon

I have an idea, Amazon. It’s one I hope you’ll embrace – or, at least, fully explore. First, let me applaud the innovations you continue to bring to self-publishing, and to the many writers, authors, and dreamers who have joined with you to create a diverse, thriving virtual marketplace. As a devoted believer in the creative abilities of humans, and as one who will never abandon hope in the progress generated by united minds, I thank you. Yet, this “virtual” world — and its distinct limitations — is the very reason I am reaching out to you today. Self-published authors, people whose creations are alive and well in that intangible place we call cyberspace, who want to find ways to contribute the fruits of our hard work to charity, face a unique problem. We’re virtual. For months...

E-Book Sales: Charitable Giving Through Amazon

I have an idea, Amazon. It’s one I hope you’ll embrace – or, at least, fully explore. First, let me applaud the innovations you continue to bring to self-publishing, and to the many writers, authors, and dreamers who have joined with you to create a diverse, thriving virtual marketplace. As a devoted believer in the creative abilities of humans, and as one who will never abandon hope in the progress generated by united minds, I thank you. Yet, this “virtual” world — and its distinct limitations — is the very reason I am reaching out to you today. Self-published authors, people whose creations are alive and well in that intangible place we call cyberspace, who want to find ways to contribute the fruits of our hard work to charity, face a unique problem. We’re virtual. For months...

Skip to toolbar