Faster Horses II

holy-grail-of-author-marketing(Faster Horses was the title of this month’s newsletter. This is more on the same subject.)

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said ‘Faster horses.'” — Henry Ford (attributed)

When I asked authors what they wanted, the universal response was “Someone to do my marketing for me.”

I’ve been racking my brains pondering a technology automation tool I could create to give struggling authors an effective marketing service they could afford.

Because, y’know, that’s what authors said they wanted.

… more … “Faster Horses II”

Learn to Love Marketing, or Give Your Books Away (or Both)

left, right, or middle?Almost every author I talk to wishes someone else would sell their books for them. The few exceptions are those who, by nature or training, enjoy marketing their books. They’ve learned enough to have a plan and to execute it consistently, persistently.

Even my wife‘s clients, who pay her large sums for social media marketing for their books, engage fully in the process. Those who don’t quickly become frustrated because she isn’t selling their books well enough, not realizing that’s not how it works (despite having that clearly explained at the outset.)

Here’s the good news: if you hate marketing and you don’t want to sell your books, you don’t have to spend another second on marketing.

… more … “Learn to Love Marketing, or Give Your Books Away (or Both)”

Free: Here, There . . . Everywhere?

How much free is good for your marketing?

I’ve written bunches about using “free” as a marketing tool. Generosity is your greatest marketing tool. Don’t use it sparingly; spread it around like manure and watch things grow.

Generosity and free aren’t the same thing. Generous can include over-delivering on what you were paid to do. I’ve had generous helpings of fish at our favorite chippy in St. Paul. Paid for, but still generous. When you hire me to help with your writing and publishing, generosity will be ladled over you like gravy. Good white gravy like we make in Texas for your sausage and biscuits; that kind of generous.

mailboxes

My newsletter is also an act of generosity, one which also happens to be free. Membership, though, is stalled out at 140 of you good folks. When we hit that magic number, a couple people unsubscribe, and then someone else finds me and we roll back up to one Tweet’s worth.

One thing I realized is that the signup form simply offers “more information.” Not the most enticing offer, perhaps. I considered giving away something more; a whole book, maybe?

… more … “Free: Here, There . . . Everywhere?”

Macabre Dance with Your Unconscious

Have you ever done something, or thought something, you’re ashamed of?

Uncomfortable as it is, dredge up that memory. We’ll be using it for today’s exercise.

The purpose of our experiment is to demonstrate the effect on our conscious when we try to write something our unconscious doesn’t want written.

Find a place you feel safe. Sit by the fire, if you can, or if that’s not possible, have a shredder under your desk. You’ll want access to methods of rapid complete destruction.

Are you sitting uncomfortably? Good. Let’s begin.

this is where the wicked writing goes

… more … “Macabre Dance with Your Unconscious”

Guest Post at ‘Bane of Your Resistance’

I made a comment at Rosanne Bane’s blog about letting go of what others thought so I could create better art.

She asked if I’d write a post on the concept.

I did, and it’s live over at Bane of Your Resistance.

Where Art Comes From When You Don’t Know Where It Comes From

fear needles usSometimes art is ground out one step at a time. I’ve done that, and even produced things I’m proud of that way.

Sometimes, art spurts out like mustard from the sun-stricken picnic table. When this happens to me, it always produces something I love.

Once we have the basic skills, writing is a combination of persistence and getting out of your own way. More precisely, getting your conscious, the prefrontal cortex which usually drives the bus; er, your brain, out of the way of your unconscious, including the limbic system where your emotions live, the amygdala where your fears live, and other scary medical terms where other important truths hide out.

To be sure, it is the job of our conscious mind to navigate, to step in when unconsciousness won’t do.

For a writer, that stage is editing, not writing. … more … “Where Art Comes From When You Don’t Know Where It Comes From”

Truth or Consequences: It’s Not Just a Town in New Mexico Any More

New Mexico windowTraffic is down here at Someday Box. We aren’t surprised, Best Beloved and I. The reposts from Finding Why and Business Heretics. Excerpts. Links to hither and yon.

Being the needy angsty type, my first impulse is to ask how I can make you love me more. The Dylan poster on my wall says it doesn’t matter who loves you as long as you love you.

Most of you show up on Friday, after the newsletter goes out. The in-between posts get less love, maybe because they’re not fresh. Maybe because the titles aren’t compelling. Maybe because they’re about someone else instead of me, and you’re all slavering and lusting for more me, less them.

Maybe I should have my head examined.

Truth is, there are consequences to change.

… more … “Truth or Consequences: It’s Not Just a Town in New Mexico Any More”

Writing in Public: A Silkworm Instead of a Parachute

happy landings!A guitarist I once knew said he had a friend who wanted a band to play at his anniversary party.

I said “Take the gig, and we’ll put a band together.”

He blinked a couple times and said “I find your level of confidence disturbing.”

Since I grew up (at the age of 43) I’ve often leapt from airplanes with a silkworm instead of a parachute. It lends immediacy to the task.

I chickened out just a little and didn’t tell you about this until I was 11,000 words in, but I’m writing another light mystery, a 1,000-word chapter at a time, over on my personal blog. It’s called A Long Hard Look.

I have an idea where the story will go, just as when you leap from an airplane you’re fairly certain of your destination.

Getting there in one piece, though, is not a foregone conclusion.

Lost Days, Lost Time; Or, You Can’t Fill a Black Hole

I have struggled with depression my whole life. During the past 10 years it has improved immensely, especially the past few. I now consider myself a happy person, a content person. The black days which used to be the norm are now rare.

But they’re not gone.

… more … “Lost Days, Lost Time; Or, You Can’t Fill a Black Hole”

Nobody Sees Until You Say They Do

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1077691 by Zsuzsanna Kilian http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nkzsYou do know that you’re the boss, right?

They’re your words.

Nobody gets to see them until you say they do.

The next eyes to see your words will be the eyes watching as you write.

Sure, it’s still scary like Hitchcock.

But it’s not scary like a loony wielding a framing hammer, like you think it is.