In my continual quest to learn how to become a successful fiction author, I came across the book by John Locke, _How I sold 1 Million Kindle Books in 5 Months_. Thanks to Passive Guy for giving me the heads up about it!
I believe in learning from people that don’t just talk about how to do things – they actually do them successfully – and John Locke is certainly one of those people. Cutting to the chase, Locke explains how he tried throwing money at traditional marketing and advertising methods and how that availed him little. Then he experienced a promoting epiphany. It all came clear to him – how to utilize social networking and effective blogging to attract the type of followers that will buy whatever he writes. John explains how a writer must first know his niche in order to focus on them. There are a lot of other valuable tidbits in that book. I think it’s a must-read for all SelfPubbers.
One main aspect I learned from Locke fit in well with what I’ve already learned from my SelfPubbing Sensei Dean Wesley Smith and Guru Joe Konrath – that is – spend MOST of your time WRITING YOUR NOVELS! Locke explains that he made his blogs much more effective by publishing less of them but making each blog more pertinent – and directly tying them in with his novels.
Well, all I can tell you is – Locke’s promoting epiphany knocked me off my horse too! At the time I read Locke’s book I was already publishing two blogs – this one and one on my author’s website that I had just re-branded to “SelfPubber’s Pub.” The blogs are different in that with Author’s Log I want to share my experiences – good, bad, and indifferent – as they occur. I thought that could be of some help to other SelfPubbers to actually be able to read about how I manage my writing/publishing career. SelfPubber’s Pub is my voice into the SelfPubbing community – very much like bending an arm in a local pub – where I can voice my opinions or just stand up on a chair and raise a toast to someone in the community. It’s also a place where I want to allow other SelfPubbers to stop by - via guest posts or comments - and let them sound off. Communities should always learn from and be able to lean on each other.
Yet, after reading John’s book, I saw that I had missed the mark with the core reason for blogging in the first place – marketing myself/my novels. Blogging isn’t the place to advertise but it is the place where you can make the world aware of you and your writing/works, etc. Locke enlightened me by explaining to me that with my blogs, I need to both give people a taste of my writing AND tie them in with my novels - less blogs but more effective blogging. In the end, readers get more pertinent articles and I take up less of their/your time … and mine.
Immediately after reading Locke’s novel, I began a third blog – one that appears on my author site’s homepage, www.GerarddeMarigny.com. I also decided that I will only publish blogs here on Author’s Log and SelfPubber’s Pub when I have something to say – like today.
By the way … I just completed the rough draft of my newest novel, the sequel to _THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM_. It’s called _SIGNS of WAR_ … all praise to HIM!
It took me 220 days to write 94,614 words – and that’s TOO LONG! I know it is. It works out to a meager 430 words per day. A writer’s normal defensive reaction is to rattle off a litany of reasons why I averaged such a paltry amount of words per day. Bottom line, no one cares – I don’t even care. From the time I read that Dean Wesley Smith advocates that a fiction writer should be turning out three to four novels per year, every year – that became one of my objectives. Stupid math shows that I can’t be taking 220 days to turn out a rough draft (that still has to be edited and formatted before it can be published) and turn out 3-4 novels per year. So, I have to do better.
I have improved though. My first (unpublished) full-novel manuscript took me 46 years to produce. My second manuscript _THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM_ took one year to produce and now _SIGNS OF WAR_ took 220 days (by the time I publish it, it’ll be @236 days). So, I cut a little over three months off. With this next one I’m about to start writing, I need to cut about the same amount of time off – and I’ll be at my objective.
Now … all I have to do is … do it!
(Please feel free to leave comments – your comments can be as helpful as anything I write for others. I hope this series turns out to be less my talking at you and more – a group of like-minded storytellers that self-publish or intend to. Peace & God Bless!)