Long Story Syndrome

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jul• 25•15

So my Kindle account kept recommending the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and I finally took the plunge.

And what a plunge it was! Fourteen books!

Fourteen 600-plus page books to tell one story! I gave up after finishing the second book because by that time I really didn’t care anymore. Yes it was interesting but HolyFreakingMotherofPearl I don’t have the patience for fourteen books just to find out what happens in the end. A lot of it I can guess due to foreshadowing.

In reading the Wiki about Mr. Jordon, even Tom Dougherty of Tor Books, his publisher, said that he “wrote long”. Yeah. Understatement of the year.

Now I know not everyone hates long books. The Harry Potter series is pretty fun for me, until the last book where she has to lock down the characters in the last chapter. That was rushed in my opinion. But that series is half the size of this one.

Even Tolkien gets mind-numbingly long-winded in his initial series. No, I did not read the Silmarillion. Elvish eventually becomes babbling to my brain and everything is a flashback. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the story, but like an Ent he takes a very long time to tell it. Again, this is just me who likes a beginning, a middle, and an end that doesn’t take an armful of books to tell.

The trend towards multiple volumes began in the 1970s and I remember how frustrated I was when I would stumble across an interesting title in my local bookstore only to find out it was Volume 2 or Volume 3 of a series. And of course the first volume wasn’t on the shelf. So many books I didn’t buy during that decade because I had to commit to a series.

Here is an example of how I want my book series to be: I am a huge Andre Norton fan and I love her books. Even when she has multiple books to tell the story, it is possible to read one and still be satisfied. I was very happy with The Year of the Unicorn and the Zero Stone long before I knew there were others. A beginning, a middle, and an end all between the covers. How amazing is that?

I still believe that readers are drawn to Young Adult fiction because even if it is several books, they aren’t 600-800 pages for each volume. Reading is supposed to be fun, not a contract that the reader has to read however many volumes the author (or most likely the publisher) sees fit to produce to finish the story. Fourteen books! Yikes!

Sorry Wheel of Time, it’s not you it’s me. We need some time apart.

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Random House Pitch Update

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Oct• 14•14

I was told in the pitch meeting with Random House that I would hear something within 1-2 months. That was on July 26. As September 26 came and went and we headed into October I was pretty sure they weren’t going to accept my book.

Sure enough on October 6 I received an email informing me they would not be moving forward with my submission.

Now I have to point out that I was already expecting a rejection but there was something good about it. The editor who reviewed my story had some really good points to make about the flow. Even though Having a Whaley of a Time has already been published, I took those suggestions to heart and will keep them in mind with the rest of the series.

This is more than spinning a negative into a positive, this is an opportunity to get feedback that can help you with your writing. Granted not everyone is going to love the concept, just like we all have different tastes in music and movies. But constructive criticism should always be embraced. Yes, it hurts to be rejected but if there is a kernel of meaning you can take away from the rejection then it should soften the blow.

If the reviewer is willing to give professional advice on your work, even in a rejection letter/email, learn from it. You just got free advice from someone in the industry and that is invaluable.

San Diego Comic-Con Moments 2014 Edition

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jul• 29•14

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San Diego Comic-Con is becoming a legend unto itself. So many things happen over the 4.5 days that 140,000 people invade downtown San Diego.

Every person has a different experience depending on what they are there for. Some people want to see the stars of their favorite movies and television shows. Some people are there to show off their costuming abilities. A lot of people work the convention and staff fan tables or volunteer at vendor booths. Other people go to participate in the portfolio reviews that are offered by the comics companies and movie/television studios.

This year, I did a little of all of it.

Being the huge Star Wars fan that I am, I can count on seeing Star Wars actors and notable employees like Dave Filoni – executive producer of the new Star Wars: Rebels show. I also work the table for the Star Wars costuming group the Rebel Legion (good guy costumes). Usually I’m only dressed in Star Wars costumes for the run of the convention but this year I was able to try something new: Team Fortress 2 cosplay.

For those not familiar with the game, it’s a team “capture the flag” or “king of the hill” online multi-player game by Valve. There are 9 classes of characters and the art is a cartoony 2D rendering with lots of blood and lots of funny. Both my boys play it. The classes (Heavy, Soldier, Scout, Sniper, Spy, Engineer, Medic, DemoMan, and Pyro) were introduced in short videos entitled “Meet the [class]” which you can find on YouTube. The animation, writing, and voice acting are great and they even released a 15-minute episode to introduce new elements to the game. It’s kind of taken on a life of it’s own.

Anyways, even though I don’t play the game I like the videos and the backstory so I created a costume for myself based on the Sniper character. It started when my daytime workplace had a sale on leather Australian Outback hats (Sniper is Australian). I couldn’t resist and got one; the rest of the costume just followed. As a person who has made several difficult Star Wars costumes, I appreciate that this game has easy-to-create costumes that can consist of a red or blue t-shirt, dark gray or black baseball pants, black sneakers, and a black ball cap (Scout). My older son wanted to be the Engineer and I think I bought everything through eBay for around $60-$80.

This is my Sniper:

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Stop laughing at me Mr. Mundy.

The only thing I sewed was the shooting vest. I found a site that sold dummy rounds for rifles (the Sniper uses a 1968 Remington – thank you, Internet) then I had the idea of embroidering the bullets (.308 Winchester – thank you, Internet) directly on the vest. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

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Okay, so the Valve Meetup at Comic-Con was a lot of fun. There was a young teenager there who also dressed as a Sniper so I called myself “Sniper’s Mom” (there’s a reference in the “Meet the Sniper” video). All-in-all it was a lot of non-Star Wars costuming fun. I’ll be reusing this outfit for Halloween this year.

I did do my part as a Star Wars costumer/volunteer. I was the “booth babe” (costumed volunteer) for the author signing of the advanced copy of A New Dawn which is the first Star Wars book with the television show Star Wars: Rebels characters. Have I said Star Wars enough times? I always love helping out Lucasfilm because they don’t sue the costuming clubs for wearing copyrighted costumes and they let us do promotional work for them. I was dressed in my Rebel Fleet Trooper (guys in blue shirts/black vests who get decimated by Stormtroopers in the original movie) and my job was to hold the sign that said THE END OF THE LINE. I had my picture taken several times because…c’mon, that character with that sign was an internet meme just waiting to happen.

Let’s see, seeing famous people: check; volunteering for table duty: check; helping out in costume at the Lucasfilm Pavilion: check. What left?

Getting my portfolio reviewed of course. Except instead of a portfolio it was a pitch to publishing company Random House/Del Rey to see if they liked my book idea.

I know I meant this blog to follow my path through self-publishing – and for the most part is has – but without money to publish my other books everything has ground to a halt. So I took advantage of a 5-minute window to pitch the Paranormal Mystery series to a representative of the company. Since I have my “elevator pitch” (explaining your book/series to someone during an elevator ride) down pat, it was easy to do. I showed the lady my published book and talked about my goals for the series. It probably helped that I had invested in publishing the first book and that I have a second one in the wings. Publishing houses love multiple books.

Suffice to say I just sent off the first 50 pages of “Having a Whaley of a Time” to Random House today and I hope that I hear back from them. This has been a year of disappointments, first with the failed Kickstarter and then the failed grant application. Maybe, just maybe, I might get my break.

Here’s hoping.

So Much for Once a Month

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jun• 22•14

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Obviously I didn’t make my “once a month” promise. As the great Art Linkletter said (and I love to quote): “Life is what happens when you make other plans.” And boy, is that ever true.

The Kickstarter was a total and complete failure. Didn’t get anywhere near what I needed to publish. Then again, books are boring compared to 3D Printers, game apps, or caged dice; some books make it on Kickstarter, especially if the author has a large group of friends and family. I don’t have that, so my donations were made by four people and added up to $160 (I was trying to get $3000).  After the Kickstarter campaign I tried to get a grant to publish at least one of the two books I have in the pipeline, but that was also a fail.

When you fail you have two choices, you can give up or you can keep going. I choose to keep going. Failure just means that the idea I tried didn’t work and it’s time to try something else.

Do I get frustrated? Yes.
Do I feel failure? Of course.
Do I think about trying the “normal” route to publishing? Sometimes.
I can handle rejection but the publishing industry doesn’t know what is “good” any more than the independents. Plus I like having control over my product.
Do I consider giving up? Never.

I believe in my books and in the smaller publishing format. I believe that people are looking for stories that aren’t 600 pages long. I believe there is an audience for my writing. I just have to persevere and get more books published, and I admit that by paying for professional editing and formatting I’m putting up my own obstacles compared to those who simply upload to Amazon. However the reason I do that is because I consider myself a professional and I want my readers to have a professional book that stands up to anything sold by Random House or McMillian. It is my respect for the craft of writing a book that I’m willing to “pay to play”.

Stay tuned because I promise I’m formulating a snarky response to the Salon article that chastises “adults” for reading YA fiction.

Words of Wisdom – Not From Me

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jan• 02•14

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Happy New Year and all that stuff. Starting with a clean slate for 2014; divorce is done, Kickstarter is happening this month, and I have more books to publish.

Short post this time, but full of good stuff. After returning home from my Christmas holiday with family I was scrolling through FaceBook when I found a link to a blog that reiterated much of what I rant about here. It’s by author Kristen Lamb called Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors. Highlights include:

  • Publishing too soon, without a professional edit
  • Not understanding the business of publishing or that publishing is a business
  • Too much marketing not enough writing
  • Assuming the masses will make them a best-selling author despite being unknown

Kristen also uses my favorite point of people who don’t know what they don’t know. I’ve met many people who think they understand everything there is to know about self-publishing but have trouble comprehending when I started talking about ISBNs, marketing tactics, press releases, etc. They critique or even disparage the writing of other authors yet they have not read those other authors or can define story arc, character arc, or plot devices.

Another piece of advice is to know the rules before you start breaking them. Case in point, my character Shannon has several cliched lines that my editor pointed out to me. However, since that is how she talks I kept them in; that is her “voice” and part of her personality. When I’m focused on writing, the characters start acting on their own and I’m furiously typing to keep up with what they are saying. It becomes more taking dictation that writing. I also took the hardest route by writing in first person instead of third person. Third person allows you to skip to other locations and characters, hear what others are thinking, and gives you multiple ways to expand your story. First person limits your storytelling to one character and everything is tinged by that character’s thoughts and emotions. It can be a very cramped place to write from – but then I enjoy a challenge.

I’m hoping to try and contribute to this blog more often this year. Ultimately I’d like to post once a week, but it may be more like once a month. New year and a fresh start, I hope circumstances allow me to do more writing and publishing.

 

Quality Versus Quantity

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Nov• 12•13

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With November being National Novel Writing Month I thought this would be an appropriate time to rehash my rant about quality writing versus gimmicky writing.

My personal opinion is that I would rather read a GOOD short book than a BLEH long book. Filler material like detail descriptions of meals or horticultural science level discussion about the landscape just interferes with my desire to find out what happens to the characters. Now some of these descriptions are useful, such as in Lord of the Rings (history lesson) or Clan of the Cave Bear (medicinal properties of plants used throughout Jean M. Auel’s saga), but these writers are weaving in these details as part of the story, most modern books I’ve read use them to generate more pages so the publisher can sell a 400 page book instead of a 200 page book. Because more is better, right?

I had the pleasure of being on a 4-person panel at a local convention with legendary Science Fiction writer Larry Niven. Mr. Niven is known for writing 200 page books; he writes very good 200 page books. Would a publisher accept his work today if he was unknown? Probably not. This artificial desire of publishers and readers to judge a book by it’s weight rather than it’s content is all the more justification for self-publishing.

Right now Young Adult fiction is the big push from publishers. Several authors are touting their “first YA book”  because that is where the trend lies. I actually like a lot of YA books because they aren’t huge, they have interesting stories and great characters. Many people read them for the same reason. Publishers have picked up on this trend, but instead of seeing a market for smaller, original books they see a market for people who read Young Adult books. So now we have an overflow of vampire teenagers and dystopian futures thanks the Twilight and Hunger Games.

Gimmicky. Not original. Same stuff, different cover.

I’m not knocking National Novel Writing Month, but my belief is that writing a good story should take more than a month – especially if it relies on research like mine do. One of the reasons Queen for a Night was delayed was because I wanted to actually visit the Queen Mary; to touch it, feel it, gather all the history into my pores before putting all my ideas on paper (well, computer screen). The visit inspired me further and led to some additional scenes. Having walked in Shannon’s footsteps I was able to make her description of the ship more realistic for my readers, especially those who have visited the ship.

I’m not saying that there are no good stories that were written in a month because my favorite mystery writer Arthur Conan-Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes stores monthly for magazine publication. And they are damn good stories. And they’re short.

Procrastination…It’s Making Me Late

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Sep• 23•13

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It’s time I confessed…I’m late getting my second book to print.

My original plan was to have it in my hand for San Diego Comic-Con so I could promote it, but I had “distractions” like two kids graduating at the same time (middle school and high school), one of these kids having an Eagle Scout Court of Honor, and adopting two kittens all in the span of two weeks. So, yeah, just a bit preoccupied with real life stuff.

So while my web site crowed that the book was coming “Summer 2013” the reality is I didn’t make it. I updated the site to read “Fall 2013” but I may even miss that deadline. And I really only have myself to blame. Self-publishing help columns say don’t let distractions happen, the problem is at this stage in my life everything is a distraction. My kids are important and they needed me for their transition into high school and college, the kittens obviously needed me to be caretaker, bad habit breaker (STOP CLAWING ON MY COUCH!), and referee for when they interacted with my older, grouchier cat. I’m still entangled in an on-going, frustrating, messy divorce (2 years now) and my financial security is always up in the air.

Yeah, distractions. Not exactly things I can ignore at the moment.

The other excuse, and I realize these are excuses, is that I have not been inspired. I’ve been editing the manuscript but there is still a “hole” that needs to be filled between two sections of the story. I know what I want but writing-wise I haven’t been able to get there when I sit down at the computer. It doesn’t feel “right” and I hate everything I write. Very frustrating.

Let me take a moment to call BS on all those “helpful” writers who think they “know” the best way to approach writing. The only method is the one that works for YOU; it might be similar but will never be the same as another writer. The great Robert A. Heinlein once advised not to “birth” your story prematurely, to make sure it was fully formed before sending it out into the world. And the only person who knows when the time is right is you the author.

For me to add artificial deadlines for my creation is more hurtful than helpful. I know in my heart that the story is not ready and I have things to fix before releasing it into the readers’ hands. Of course I run the risk that the entire story is manure and I’m just turning the compost heap, not really doing anything helpful. But I’m willing to take that risk, it’s my story and I’ll tell it in my way.

Fast does not equal good. Earlier this year at a local convention I shared a table with a parody writer who was bragging about “knocking out a book in a weekend.” Well fine and dandy since someone else did all the hard work of creating the story that they were parodying. Their only other works were analysis of the books by the original writer, so basically this author had never, ever, written a creative work from scratch with original characters and plot lines. Totally and completely different from what I was trying to achieve and yet I was not working fast enough in their opinion. Yeah.

Suffice it to say I’m plodding along, the book will be done eventually, and hopefully my readers will enjoy it.

The Magic, The Madness: 2013 San Diego Comic-Con Part 2

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jul• 26•13

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So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, Friday.

It’s taken me a couple of days to get back into “non-con” mode. Sorry for the delay.

Saturday, July 20
Compared to Friday, Saturday was rather sedate. I really was excited for the panel about Kickstarter funding because I may be looking into starting one to get the second book done. Since that panel was at 5pm I had plenty of time to wander the dealer floor, shop for Christmas presents (yes, I’m one of those people), and see what I could see.

While I’m not a video-game player most of my friends and my two boys are all big gamers. I enjoy the storylines for many of these games, especially Assassin’s Creed. To promote the launch of the latest in that game series – which takes place during the Golden Age of Piracy – the company rented one of San Diego’s historical ships (the Star of India) and used it as an outside venue to promote the game. Absolute genius on the part of the marketing people at Ubisoft. The line was about an hour long since they only took people in small groups aboard, but once we were on the freebies were great: a plastic water bottle with the game logo, a free printed/digital picture with pirate dress-up, demos of the game both single and multi-player. They even had people dressed as some of the characters of the game. Totally and completely worth the wait.

When it finally was time for the Kickstarter panel I was amazed at how many people were packed into the room. However, looking at the list of panelists I think a lot of the audience just wanted to see the high profile names on the roster. Unfortunately the panel had very little to do with discussing doing a Kickstarter venture and was more about “here’s my video clip – fund my project” which was disappointing.

The one person who wasn’t promoting a video project barely got time to talk – she was cellist Erica Mulkey. I wanted to hear from her because like a book, music is not a visual medium. She was very kind and chatted with me after the panel; we traded stuff (I gave her a book and she gave me a CD). Please visit her site and check out her music.

 

Sunday, July 21
Last day of con is always the hardest. Late nights (midnight or after) and early mornings (4:30am one morning) leave their mark. Some of my older son’s friends were able to attend so I drove the “party bus” with 6 teenagers aboard. After the young people scattered to the winds, I found the buffet breakfast at the Marriott next door to the convention center. Eating becomes problematic when you’re rushing around. I’m so glad I took the time to eat because on my way out I saw John Ratzenberger in the lobby. I approached him and thanked him for his work (I loved Cliff on CHEERS). He was very kind, accepted my book as a gift and gave me a specially made Hamm PEZ dispenser. I love trades.

The dealer floor was actually walkable and I was able to grab my last-minute purchases and pass out a few more copies of the book. I was especially excited to give one to artist/animator Bill Plimpton, who I’ve been a fan of since the early 1980s with this “How To Stop Smoking” film. That afternoon I attended my last panel “Fiction That Thrills”. Like the Kickstarter, it became a contest to see who could promote themselves/their book the most; very disappointing. All the authors were Young Adult, which seems to be the trend now, so a lot of what they were saying didn’t apply to my work.

After the panel I tried to talk to some of the authors and ask if they would like a copy of my book for free. Two of the three ladies brushed me off rudely, the third made tracks after the panel along with one of the men, Brandon Mull (The Beyonders) at least talked to me saying he was busy (which is legitimate and better received when said kindly), and James Dashner (The Eye of Minds) said he would like to read it and noted some authors forget that they were once in my position. To both those gentlemen – and I use the word in its full definition – thank you for being courteous. I understand it’s a mad rush during con but kindness to another costs you nothing and often brings its own rewards.

Another year, another con but from a very different perspective. Looking forward to next year and hoping I have more than one book to offer.

The Magic, The Madness: 2013 San Diego Comic-Con Part 1

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jul• 22•13

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San Diego Comic-Con 2013. Wow, I’m not really sure where to start because so much happened over the 4.5 days of the con and it all tends to blur together sometimes. But I’ll at least regale you with the highlights.

First of all please know that I have been attending this con since 2002 as a member of the Star Wars fan groups. It’s a great place to recruit new members and just talk to people in general. When others took over running the tables I was able to go as an attendee during 2011 and 2012. What a completely different experience that was.

I know people on the board of the non-profit group that runs this and WonderCon and APE (Alternate Press Expo in San Francisco), so I asked if I could submit as a professional since the book was published and the gleefully said “go for it”. I felt like I found the Holy Grail when my application was accepted.

Small press tables are available for $400 but I don’t have that kind of money to invest so my goal for the con was to take copies of my first book and place it in the hands of people who had influence – not just in writing/publishing but also in many other creative arenas. Sometimes I told people I wanted to give them a gift to thank them for inspiring and entertaining me. The list is eclectic but all these people are ones I am happy to give me work to, even if they never talk about it.

So here is my day-by-day journal of my 2013 Comic-Con experience.

Preview Night, Wednesday, July 17
This is a limited attendance event and allows people to see what is on the dealer floor. I made my usual stop at Blind Ferret Entertainment; my older son is a fan of the Looking For Group comic and they were really nice to him when we first met them in 2008. Writer Ryan Sohmer is a reader and artist Lar DeSouza is a wonderful geek about my age so I wanted to give each of them a copy.

Their booth had this great Twitter tag to put in your convention badge holder. I actually gained a couple of followers during the course of the con.

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Day 1, Thursday, July 18
Since I was attending in a professional capacity I looked for panels that would help me with my writing and publishing. One panel I attended in the morning was called “How to Get News Coverage for Small Press Publishers.” Unfortunately it was mostly geared towards comics, but I did get a couple of pieces of advice I could apply to self-publishing. At the end of the panel I gave copies of my book to Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool) and Heidi MacDonald (The Beat). I probably won’t be reviewed by either of them, but I hope to do a follow-up by e-mail once they get home and recover from the con.

After that panel I got to do a fun panel from Dreamworks that showcased new and upcoming films. The directors for Turbo, Sherman and Peabody, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 were there and we got to see scenes from the films. I’m a HUGE fan of How to Train Your Dragon director Chris Saunders (even though he’s not directing the second one) and fortunately for me he had a booth on the dealer floor. I presented him with a copy of my book and we talked about how we met last year. Very nice man.

Another perk of not running a fan table is that I actually got to collect freebies passed out in the panels. During the Dreamworks panel everyone got a ticket that they had to take to a room at the hotel next to the convention center to collect their “goodie”. In the old days they used to pass it out during the con but with the huge number of attendees (130,000 – no, that is not a typo) it was mass confusion so now they give out a ticket and your turn it in for your freebie. It works a lot better this way.

The freebie was a beautiful poster of concept art from How To Train Your Dragon 2 on nice art paper, pins from the 3 movies discussed, and a plushie of the sloth named Belt from The Croods (directed by Chris Saunders). Because my son and I both went we got two of everything, which came in handy because once we got home my plushie fell out of the bag and the kittens took off with it. I’m not sure if I should let Chris Saunders know his creation is now a cat toy.

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Day 2, Friday, July 19
There was one non-professional panel I really, really wanted to be in this day. Marvel was going to showcase the new TV series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” coming this fall. People who know me know that I love the character of Agent Coulson from the Marvel movies and his death in “The Avengers” had me cursing director Joss Wheden, who has a habit of killing off main characters.

I lucked out and was able to see not only panel but the 3 before it (Big Bang Theory, Legend of Korra, and Bones). I didn’t give out many books that day but I did satisfy the nerd in me by attending the panels.

Bear in mind that the San Diego Convention Center is about 5 football fields long and the dealer floor takes up the entire ground floor during the con. Add in the fact that some programming takes place in the hotels on either side of the convention center and there is a lot of physical exercise involved in attending this convention. Running back and forth between panels and the dealer floor involves a lot of walking, climbing stairs, dodging people in giant, elaborate costumes and avoiding getting run over by strollers. This con is not for those afraid of crowds; it’s its own obstacle course. I always feel like I’ve done a marathon or Iron Man event over the course of the 4.5 days.

If I measure my success at the con by how tired I am after it ends, then I have had a great con this year. I’ll probably need another day or two to completely recover. But it is SO WORTH IT.

Part Two up soon.

To Market, To Market

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jul• 14•13

Long delay, I know. Had many family events to get through and San Diego Comic-Con starts next week. Which leads me to my current discussion about marketing.

Writing a book and publishing it are great accomplishments. Never think for a moment that they are not incredible goals to achieve. However, how are people going to want to buy your book if they don’t know about it? The same goes for movies, music, and games. Marketing entertainment is a HUGE investment of time and money (lots and lots of money), so how can you do this when self-publishing?

An immediate answer is social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+). Creating a web page for your book, tweeting about updates, and generally getting information out on the web can all help. My personal goal for the Paranormal Mystery Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ParanormalMysteryBooks) is to try and post 2-5 times per week – and not all of it is JUST about the next book or writing frustrations/triumphs. If you’ve been to the site you know I post a lot of pictures of cats, especially ones from For the Love of Black Cats (Black Cat Appreciation Page) since Styx is a black cat and he wants to help his brothers and sisters who are waiting for adoption. But the pictures help because people who like cats will like the book (I hope).

I’m not a big Twitter user (I have a lot more to say than 140 characters) but I’m sure I’ll be making some while I’m wandering around Comic-Con. This year I will be sporting a Professional badge and I plan to use my time talking to people about my series and giving away copies of the book to people I think can help get the word out. Yes I paid over $2000 to have 300 copies printed and shipped to my home but since they are not selling I plan to use them to generate interest. Especially with the next book close to being finished.

I also had 1000 flyers printed up so I can put them out on the “freebie table” at the con. With 130,000 attending the convention that is potentially 130,000 new readers for my book. I don’t expect a huge increase in book sales during and after the con, but it should hopefully give me a bump.

None of these tactics can match the marketing campaigns of the Big 6 publishing houses, who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote the latest Dan Brown novel, but focused marketing can yield some book sales. And again, submitting your book to reviewers who are willing to read and critique your work is another way to get the word out. Just remember that it will take work (I received 2 acceptances to my 15 requests for a review) because as a publisher you now wear all the hats in the business over and above “writer”.

Remember, snatching that golden idol wasn’t a stroll in the park for Indiana Jones.

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