New Year’s resolutions - write that book you’ve always been talking about
So, is writing that book you always wanted to write on your list of New Year’s resolutions?
Once he was released from his contract he began marketing directly to his fan base, making up to $5 more per unit sold when he rang the register, and created art on his terms.
Not many people looked down their nose at him for being “self-published” when he took to the Super Bowl halftime show stage in high heels a decade later. I rest my case.
The creative process doesn’t just include writing the book, which is another common myth. You have to be a Mick Jagger type of artist -- make a product that rocks, make a spectacle out of yourself as you promote it, and always have an eye on the bottom line. All at once.
Many of the snobby writers in the social circle I run in (this includes most of them) think the selling of art is beneath them.
But I am of the belief that the marketing process is an extension of my self-expression. Using a combination of print media, websites, Facebook, Twitter, e-book signings posted on YouTube, and free excerpts placed on appropriate newsletters are the tools to build a buzz about the book.
For my book, as an example, I enlisted the help of some musician friends, and we staged “rock and read” events that enabled us to draw new sales from fans of one another’s works.
A well-executed launch strategy doesn’t have to be a chore, nor does it have to be a commercial concern and sellout that is beneath your creativity. Let it be an extension of your creativity!
We would like to think that the whole world is waiting for your first book and that once you write it, you will be set for life.
I’m sorry to tell you that neither one of these statements are true. People are so fixated on their smart phones that many folks are contracting a “text message attention span” when it comes to reading.
You literally have to compete with an iPad and a Facebook post for the entertainment mindshare of a consumer nowadays, something that never concerned Hemmingway or Twain.
Short blogs and essays increase the chances of the actual book being read. At least that’s my experience -- more people read my last book of essays than my 382 page suspense novel.
Murder mysteries are among my favorite things to read, but they are tricky for a new novelist. They look at the idea of writing volumes of fact or fiction, and then get completely stopped and overwhelmed in their creative pursuits.
Try writing little essays first and see what happens! You can either stitch the essays together into a larger plot line, see where the mind takes you in the writing process to un-conceal a plot line that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of, or perhaps end up publishing a book of essays.
I began writing essays about three years ago as an exercise in breaking a long streak of writing block. They amused me, people liked reading them in the Irish press, and now we have one volume of 'This Is Your Brain on Shamrocks' in the can and a sequel halfway written out of this little exercise!
One more sore point before I get to the good stuff -- less than 100 writers are walking around America slinging ink as their primary source of income. Many self-published books sell about the same amount of books as there are family members, and Facebook friends, so you can do your own personal math.
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