Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

I just published my latest article from Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, and it’s a very special article: Tips For Surviving NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s National Novel Writing Month, a yearly tradition in November where authors try to write an entire novel of 50,000 words or more in 30 days. To say the least, it is insane and requires a lot of work to get through in one piece. I thought I’d write an article on how to get through it and still keep all your fingers on your hands. So if you are participating or thinking of participating this year, it might be a good idea to check out the article. Maybe something I’ve written will prove helpful to you.

And while you’re over there, check out the other articles on the site. Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors is a website by indie authors for indie authors and has hundreds of articles meant to help writers of all backgrounds and levels of experience write, edit, publish and market effectively without going broke in the process. You might just find an article helpful to you on the site.

All for now. I’ve got stuff to take care of, so I’m off to take care of them. Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

Andy Weir. E.L. James. Christopher Paolini. What do these three names have in common? If you guessed successful novelists, you’re close. They’re all successful novelists who were originally self-published, their stories caught on, and they eventually began to catch on and one day they woke up with millions of people reading their books, movies in the works and great things in their future.

I’m not sure I’m going to get the millions of people and the movies in my lifetime, but just hearing the success stories of these authors gives me plenty of reason to hope that this could happen to me some day. Self-published writers are having success stories everyday. I even heard of a teen in England whose fanfiction about her and a bad boy version of one of the members of One Direction became a smash hit and got a publishing deal (yeah, I didn’t know that sort of thing was possible either until I heard of it). It’s quite incredible how people can become successes over time in a field that used to be despised by establishment writers.

How do these writers get their successes anyway? Well, it’s different for each one. Andy Weir published through his blog, and it attracted a bunch of readers who wanted to read The Martian in Kindle form. E.L. James published her Fifty Shades trilogy as an e-book and used the emerging field of e-readers as well as word of mouth among erotica fans to gain a following. Christopher Paolini toured around the United States, visiting schools and libraries and dressing up like a man from the Middle Ages to get books into the hands of kids and teens, until the son of author Carl Hiassen found Eragon, loved it, and brought it to his dad’s publisher’s attention. And, if that story about the 1D fanfiction is true, then I think she posted it on WattPad, which is kind of like the YouTube of writers (and which, along with Goodreads, I need to use more often).

One thing that these all have in common, the authors made it easy for interested readers to get their hands on their work. And their work was really good (though from what I hear Fifty Shades is very poorly written), which made people want to read more and keep coming back for more. Thus it sometimes snowballs until…success, I guess.

Now does this happen for all authors? Obviously not, or we’d all be reading books by people whose works may be anything from really good to just plain dreadful. But it could happen to any author who puts in the right amount of dedication to their writing and marketing and who has a little bit of luck on their side.

God knows I’m working hard on all of those when I’m not working or looking for jobs. I’ve had sales that have been very successful and gotten my books into the hands and Kindles of plenty of new readers. And I’m working on an audio book of Reborn City, which is probably my most popular novel right now, so that could open up a whole new field for me: those who like a good story on long car trips or while jogging. And I’ve got a story or two I think would do great as serials published on WattPad and on Kindle, though I’m not sure when I’llĀ get around to writing them.

And of course, I tell people. I let them know about the books I’ve got out and if they’re interested I give them my cards so that they know where to find them (I’ve already gotten two or three people at work to promise me they’ll get copies of at least one of my books as soon as possible). And I’m always looking for new ways to get readers interested, and usually they work.

So maybe someday I can be, if not the next Stephen King, then maybe the next Christopher Paolini or Andy Weir. Selling enough books to write full time, expanding my media so that more people are exposed to me and maybe find a new favorite author. Anything’s possible. I just got to keep writing, keep working hard, and above all never lose hope.

A while back my stepmother recommended that I get business cards as a possible way to help further my writing career and possibly get some new readers. I’d considered getting business cards before, but the busyness of life (among other things) had kept me from actually designing and ordering some. That very evening though, I went online, designed some cards, and ordered them. And yesterday they arrived in the mail for me, all 250 of them.

I’m sorry if these photos of them are a little blurry. I’m using my digital camera, and it’s a few years old. Anyway, here’s the front of the card.

business card 1

And here’s the back.

business card 2

Now if you couldn’t make out the writing on the card, the front has my name, the slogan of my blog (“Scared yet? My job here is done.”), a little about the stories I tend to write, and the social media sites I use, as well as where my books are available. The back has the names of my books in order of most recently published. And as you can clearly see, the design is a typewriter.

I hope that these cards will help spread word about my writing. I get a lot of people who say they want to or will read my books, but then they end up forgetting. It’s understandable, my books are not exactly top priority in the lives of the people I meet, and sometimes people forget my name, how to spell it, the names of my books, and/or how to spell those. I’m hoping these cards will act as physical reminders that will get people to actually check out my books and social media sites. They may also help me perhaps find new people to work and collaborate with and possibly open up some doors for me. I can hope, anyway.

At the very least, I’ve already given out a few to people interested in reading my work, so I guess it’s up to them now to decide whether or not to actually use the card and find my work. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and see what happens.

I plan on writing an article about business cards for Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors when I get the chance. In the meantime though, I’ve still got a few chapters of Laura horn to get through, so I’ll work on that first. Wish me luck as I try to finish one or two chapters this evening.

What do you think of my new business cards?

Do you use business cards to help with your writing work? What are they like? Do you think they’re helpful?