Tuesday 27 May 2014

SHOUT or whisper?

When an author has finally finished putting pen to paper, or in the case of most, bashing the hell out the keyboard, there comes a time when you stare at the masterpiece you’ve produced and think, now what?

You’ve spent all that time thinking about plots and character development, how to pace your book, whether the ending fits with all the other stuff you’ve been writing, and whether you’ve managed to tie up all the bits that have meandered off plot for the purpose of creativity, that maybe the most important part has been neglected.

Unfortunately I’m talking about marketing.

I’m finding there are many ways to market a book, and to be honest, I’m still trying to find the best way to market mine.

I look at all the different genres and think ‘where the hell in all this does mine sit?’ You see, Banker’s Draft falls into lots of different groups. It’s about a crime, murder sets it off, but it’s also a mystery and a fantasy: it’s also humour, a parody, a satire; there’s even a bit of romance....sort of! So I have to think where this sits out in the big wide world, and how to draw readers to it
Looking at all the blog posts, each and everyone has a different way of doing things. There are some who want to shove their book down your throat, you see them on twitter and facebook with reams of ‘buy my book’ tweets etc, they’re the SHOUTY ones, the ‘buy my book’ because it’s brilliant and I don’t care that you’ve got a book out because YOURS doesn’t matter, only MINE matters, type of person. Rarely, if ever, do they engage with another person. The polar opposite are the ones who put the book up on amazon and then sit and pray that someone somewhere will notice it amongst the trillions of other books out there.

 Most sit somewhere in-between.

Like me, you probably look and try to learn because the one thing I, or you, do not want to become is the SHOUTY person. I want to get readers to read my book because they want to, because they’re interested in it, because they may actually enjoy reading it.

Perhaps there is a magic formula somewhere, but I think it’s more to do with engaging with people, being interested in people, but above all being supportive to people.

Please don’t be like the SHOUTY people!

Friday 23 May 2014

My review of Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales by Seumas Gallacher

This little book is packed full of useful information to the newbie writer just entering the market place, or applicable even to the seasoned old hand needing a refresher course and a kick up the bum. It reminds us that writing is a business and that businesses need nurturing to develop.

This is not an A-Z of marketing techniques, just one person’s experience on how he uses social media and other avenues to sell his books; and he gives guidance on how to achieve this in a simple easy to read format. It is a valuable lesson from someone who has been there, seen it, done it and is now wearing the t-shirt.

Building a platform on social media is a must-do for any author seeking to self-publicize, and this little volume shows how this can be done easily and efficiently.

Seumas Gallacher shares with us his experiences so that all of us can learn, and the truth is that many of us need to learn. 

In comparison, the writing bit is the easy bit, but the marketing side is a totally different ball-game.

Roll yer sleeves up and get stuck right in - Seumas is showing us the way.

Monday 19 May 2014

Love a writer

A few people have asked when my next book is coming out. Well, hopefully it won’t be too long in arriving. I’m about two thirds of the way through writing it at the moment, so if I can do my time management properly........

That’s the trouble when you’re not a full-time writer; there are so many other things that get in the way.

Work for example - I have to earn a few pennies in order to put a crust on the table, otherwise I’d have to queue up at the workhouse in order to get a bowl of gruel to hand out to those poor unfortunates saddled with me as a husband, father, dog owner etc.

Life - I have a family, they need a lot of my attention; otherwise I might not have a family at the end of it (see above) should I devote all my spare time to scribbling.

Sport - Yes, I like sport and I do participate; I actually do archery. Also armchair football, rugby, cricket, tennis....but sorry, not golf.  Sky telly does come in handy.

Then there’s all the little DIY things that I have to do around the house, the gardening, the decorating, repairing everything that breaks down, falls apart, disappears or is disappearing; all those little things that need doing and eat up your time.

Then of course, there is the pub.........did I not mention the pub?  It’s a nice pub, a good old fashioned English watering hole where they serve proper beer, not that fizzy cold stuff that's the bane of our modern society, proper beer that has texture and colour, beer that has body, beer that has a soul. Beer served from a hand pump at cellar temperature, beer that slips down the throat with a velvet caress.

I’m not alone in this. The chances are that your favourite indie/self-published author is doing the same, as very few are in the position to be full-time writers.

So, to get my/their next book out sooner, you need to support them. Wave a flag with their name on it, use a bit of social media to get the word out, tell your friends, your relatives, anyone who’ll listen. But best of all, love them by buying their books - but don’t forget to give them a review!

Here's mine by the way.

Monday 12 May 2014

My review of An Unfamiliar Murder by Jane Isaac

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this detective debut from Jane Isaac, it’s very well written with the plot bouncing along at just the right pace.

DCI Helen Lavery juggles her work and her chaotic home life as the plot unfolds. Plagued by an underperforming deputy and a boss unsure whether she is up to the job, she somehow manages to ignore everything and concentrate on what she’s there for, and that is to find a murderer.

Anna is the victim in all this. Her life is tipped upside down and then shaken to distraction before finally being put through the ringer. You can’t help but feel sympathetic towards her as she’s the unwitting victim of events, as well as the main suspect.

I found that the main characters leapt off the page at me; they were well drawn, well rounded within a well written story. They were human, with human frailties.

An Unfamiliar Murder is definitely a page turner, a cracking good read by cracking good author. Congratulations go to Mrs Isaac for a first class piece of writing that deserves to be widely read, a big future must surely beckon.