Friday, September 27, 2013

On Comming to Terms

I've been running about New York, partying after the end of the four week blog book tour. It's been a bit grueling to someone who has his hands full of marketing and writing. I've resumed working on my radio show about independent publishing. I started it on several weeks ago and did at least three weeks of shows, which had over 3,000 downloads. I had built up this following as if by magic, they just appeared. Then I had to go to see my mother in North Carolina for a month. She needed a great deal of attention so I found it hard to beg off and do a 45 minute radio show every Friday. So, my listener base fell from 3,000 to nil in four weeks. I'm talking absolutely nil.

A skyrocketing rise to a meteoric fall. So now I'm trying to regain lost traction. I'm working hard on building that listener base by putting more value in my radio show. The show, I thought, could dwell on my book a little, but put the greater emphasis on self-publishing which could make the difference. It would attract listeners who were interested in self-publishing and yet give them a small dose of my book. So this was on my plate while I was doing the blog tour, plus a score of other marketing projects. So the book blog tour was not easy to do because it wasn't the only thing that I was juggling.

Therefore I took a week to party at my success in making a failure. Of losing 3,000 listeners, but of gaining scores of likes and followers from the book blog tour. Starting this week though, I'm back to work and no play. I'm having a problem bringing my seventh book to completion, so I want to get on that. My plan: I'm going to lean on the manuscript until I squeeze out the rest of my creative juices and finish the thing.

Further, I would like to find a good marketing plan that will get my book out to a larger portion of the masses. I see my marketing efforts as a growing stain across the nation, building and spreading, a dark growth creeping across the states. But I also do believe that each effort causes it to expand but it shortly cools and stops. You have to move on to another method and start the expansion once more, the slow creeping somewhere else, or somewhat within the stain, and hope that there is an even saturation.

Like rainfall that soaks the earth and causes grass and fauna to grow, your marketing efforts have to have the same effect. It needs to be consistent and varied. So I feel. That's why I try to do different things. While I'm working on the one hand to continue my series of novels, and on the other hand I work to get the first book promoted to everyone. To fan the fires, which takes some doing. Especially when you don't know what you are doing. I'm just feeling my way, like a man in a dark room. I haven't stumbled yet, and all of my efforts have been nominal. Hopefully I'll be able to grow more eyes on the book.

I would like to know my fans. I would like to know what it is that they like and didn't like about the book so that I can make a better one. I've gotten some reviews, and I value them. I've found a lot of fans on Facebook and Twitter and I'm trying to reach out to them, to interact with them. Because ultimately, that's what writing is about. It's about making the human connection, it's not just about making fans, but understanding them. It's about the human interaction that we all value.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

On When The Dust Settles

The blog tour has been long and hard. Almost 4 weeks in total. The first week I had to go down to Ahoskie North Carolina to take care of my mother. It was tricky checking into the blogs in the mornings and keeping up with those who commented while I was down there, but I got it done. Once I got back to New York it was business as usual. I got back into my daily routine and made managing my blog tour one of them.

I didn't understand the value of a blog book tour until the end, until now. Before the tour started I Googled the title of the book and my name and what I got was maybe a handful of returns on my search. Six if I was lucky. My blog didn't even register. That was before the tour. Now I did the same search and I have web pages filled with returns. I'm on virtual book shelves, blogs the works. And every blog has a different slant or feel or approach. I'm uniquely echoed all around the Internet.

Then I learned about the Law of Three. If your book is mentioned in more than three places on the Internet, people are more apt to purchase it. If the Law of Three applies, Cover of Darkness is well on its way. I am happy about this tour. It has benefits that I never even thought of. Yeah, okay, the blogosphere is noisy with chatter from my book, but then my Facebook pages and Twitter accounts began to blow up also. I'm having likes and followers every day. The name of my book is reaching the masses. 

Then I come to my blog, merely by accident, and noticed that even here, the numbers of my members has risen drastically, with the pageviews busting through the roof. And it dawned on me that I didn't blog in months. I was so busy with the publication of my book and the blog tour and marketing the book that I stop communicating with everyone. I've gone dark.

I need to keep up more. I need to speak out and do more. I've done a great deal, that's for certain, but I need to do more. Right now, I'm engaged in what I really love. Writing. I've almost finished with the 7th book in the Darkness series. I have book two to the editor and we're going over it with a fine toothed comb. We're doing the best work we've ever done for the second book. I'm also very excited to be working on book two and I'm happy to say the team, the proofreader, the cover designer, the formatter and others should have it all wrapped up by the end of the year. That would be great.

I also want to give Cover of Darkness some lead time. I want to market it to the best of my ability and marketing is probably the left leg if writing is the right. It is true that writing is what I love and if it was a perfect world, writing would be all that I would do, but it's not, and marketing is a must if you want your book to be noticed, and read. That's my burden, or job now, and that's to publicize the book.

Another thing is to stay in touch, which is what I've been failing at miserably. I've been so into doing the marketing thing and the Facebook thing and the Twitter thing that I've lost sight of the blog thing. So here I am, trying to catch everyone up with what I've been doing this past month, which has largely been the blog tour and several other matters to get the word out on the book.

One thing that I did, which was my plan just before the completion of the blog tour, was to put out another press release for the book. I chose to use a different agency this time, a cheaper one, whose ad stated, why pay hundreds of dollars when you can pay just about $200.00. So, maybe against my better judgment, I chose Lightning Release to do the job. It's been days since I paid them, and I have yet to see anything that they have done. I'm going to stay patient though. I know that there are a lot of rip-off artists in the self-publishing world today. Myriads, and myriad more are popping up daily. I've been extremely lucky so far. This might be my first mistake.

I've been making other moves too, but I'm not going to bore you with them all in this one post. I'll be more in touch as the days wear on. Right now, I'm going to take a break, wind down, and coast a few days. Then complete the 7th novel and go back a re-edit the 3rd.

By Friday, the blog tour will be over and I'll have far more time to do other stuff. And I hope to keep in touch through my blog.

Thanks for reading.