First "Open Mic Wednesday" here on Storywraps and I want to give a warm welcome Terry and hand her over the mic....
From Nope to Hope
Terry Verduin, pen name: V. R. Duin, www.vrduin.com
Don Quijote de la Mancha went crazy from his “reads”. It seems that fewer people are reading, so that risk is reduced; those who are writing seem to enjoy what they’re doing and seem unlikely to go crazy while writing; it’s book promotion that’s the craze-inducing aspect of the literary business for most of us. Though I am far from an expert, and find myself jousting virtually every day with NEW problems, here are some insights that you might find useful:
Steel yourself for challenges: To launch my career, I self-taught myself Spanish in Lexington KY with a short-wave radio during times that predated wide scale global communications, and became a translator and court interpreter. Next, I decided to get a law license. I entered law school, graduated and became an attorney in my 40s. When the government set up an office to take over the civil cases I was handling, it was time to change, again. I started publishing the children’s books that I had been writing for years. Eight are now published, with another dozen in the line-up. Learn everything that you can about everything that you can. It will give you confidence for what’s to come.
Do series, not individual titles: It is too hard and too expensive to promote an individual title. People and Organizations want to know there is much more to come from us. Virtually nobody wants to take a chance on just one title or a string of independent titles. It’s difficult to build a “common denominator” for them.
Create a Brand, not just a Book: People and Organizations purchase Brands, not just books. Everyone wants something that transcends books: fashion, film, music, collectibles, etc. Books alone are no longer enough. Brands drive people to become part of the action. Books are just a beginning. They cannot be the “End”. Other outlets are necessary for our creations.
Do something outstanding, beyond Book(s): There are millions of books on Amazon. To get notice for a book, the self-published or beginning writer must gain a following on social media, in video productions, blogs, through musical hits, or elsewhere. To make a book visible from among the millions requires a strong platform, which can take years to develop.
Be wary of other writers: Many are predators willing to trample us in their efforts to climb from the heap of wannabes. I had one author “friend” con me into setting up a week long, joint book tour. She cancelled her participation in the last week before the scheduled event. She gained friends for her book pages from the collaboration. I did the book tour alone, which gave me a delightful visit with new and old friends. In another instance, an author “friend”, with a first book pending release, injected herself into my pending author visit to her area. While I was on my way, she cancelled the event. Her book was not ready. I completed the 1,000-mile journey to find that only a couple of wonderful friends had taken a chance on my arrival. Nobody else showed up for this “cancelled” event. Fellow authors also routinely join our pages, so we will join theirs. This accomplished, they remove their “likes” from our pages. I no longer join author groups.
Be wary of service providers who guarantee no minimum results: Publicists, SEO providers, and others are often just a scam. If there can be no measurable results, such “providers” often pocket the proceeds and do NOTHING. Book contests can be another lose/lose situation. Often the winner comes from a particular publishing house. Participants from elsewhere just contribute to the “prize”. Beware out there.
This morning, I went out on my bike, hoping to clear my brain and gain material of value for my book marketing. En route, I encountered a roundup, directed by a dozen law enforcement officers at a busy intersection. As I approached, I saw the majestic black angus steer that was the focus of this effort. The officers were herding him back to his field. We all must be prepared to deal with a lot of “bull” in this business. Best wishes to each of you!
Read on and read always!
It's a wrap.
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