Monday, April 30, 2012

I spent the weekend formatting and editing. The more I tried to fix the worse it got so today I'm quitting for the day. I can only take so many error messages at a time. This was one of the main reasons I set the publishing date for May 10th with my new nonfiction.

Right now, I'm busy putting out this or that fire as I move along in my indie writing career. Hey Ma, I'm juggling as fast as I can. With me now booking weddings as far in advance as August, it just adds to my struggles.

Everything not dealing with getting this new nonfiction out took a back burner. Did you ever want to take a couple of sticks of dynamite to your house? I do right now. It doesn't help my drain field for my septic tank collapsed. Thank goodness for my composting toilet. But the laundry is now piling up in mountains. It means a major trip to the laundry mat. Either that our get out my old scrub board and pail. I just have to find about four hours of uninterrupted time to go across town.

Every time my husband mentions one more thing he wants, I want to scream.He is the hoarder of the family. We just bought new flat monitors for our computers to save space and my back. It's almost like that show on television "Hoarders" in my house. Well, maybe not that bad. But he insists on checking everything before it is thrown out. The old 25" big monitor is still functional so he wants to keep it in case one of our new monitors goes out. ARGHHHH! I still manage to get a lot of things gone. In fact it was three trailer loads. While I try to think of alternate uses for everything, I have my limits.

I used to think it was cute when he pulled out all of the screws from a broken clock radio or even the speaker, because in his mind it was still good, but now...I just can't stay on top of it all. I'm so overwhelmed by the clutter that it's has incapacitated me into inaction.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Set a Date~ Book Release

Well, I'm throwing caution to the wind and publishing "Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper?"

I gave some thought to the exclusive release under the Amazon program, but decided to make it available everywhere. Smashwords, paperback through Createspace, Amazon, and Kindle.

While I've been going over the sales figures for all my books sold in the past year~ Amazon is 85%, Barnes and Noble and other distributors is close to 15% of sales. The question came to mind would I cut off my nose for 15%? Nope.

I'm still trying to make a splash in the writing world again. I need the exposure, no matter where it comes from. By limiting that exposure to just Amazon, I reduce the possible market building of the other e-retailers have to offer. Yes, Amazon is by far the largest but the others are growing too. It is still under 30K words and a fairly quick read. I'm working on the final formatting stage as I type this.

Launch date is May keep a look out. The price will be $2.99. Stay posted for links, updates, and the video trailer for this new nonfiction.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Well folks today I turn another year older. To me at my age, it's just another day. I'm still performing weddings, still writing, and more importantly...still breathing.

Today my #2 daughter is taking me out to dinner. Which normally would be a nice thing. This year is a bit different. Yesterday I found myself in the dentist chair. I fractured a back molar. It fractured long enough to expose the root which was quite painful so I had it pulled. So although we are going to my favorite local restaurant, Toucan's Ale will be only soft stuff for me. But that's okay because one of my favorites there is their French Onion Soup. I haven't eaten anything there that wasn't great.

Over the past week I've received numerous birthday cards in email, messages, and snail mail which is fine, but what is it about being over a half century old that minimizes the event. When I was a child I couldn't wait for my birthday to roll around, being sixteen and getting my driver's license, being eighteen and legal, or even turning twenty-one. Those were momentous occasions.  Turning thirty was a major milestone too, when you were no longer twenty-something. The forties, meant looking forward to retirement. But now I'm semi retired at over fifty.

Don't get me wrong/ I enjoy each and every day I'm above ground. As a friend of mine said, "At our age, any day above ground is a good thing." My husband bought me a beautiful blouse which I intend of wearing tonight and is still promising me the vacation of my choice. I can't ask for more. I'm loved and well cared for which is more than most people have. I'm a semi-successful author. I'm the mother to four beautiful daughters and have eight wonderful grandchildren. Life is good.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Whew! Done and a Problem

If you have been following my blog for the past couple of weeks you know I've been working on a new nonfiction. "Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper?" An interesting point came up at one of the weekly meetings of my group...dinner at Mom's House.

By going worldwide public with this book, does it put us in jeopardy?

This book has a heavy emphasis on security as well as everything else. Now there are tons of books out there which cover most of the material I cover in mine. So what is the risks in publishing? Well, I'm fairly well known in my community for starters. I've held many high profile jobs and I have lived here off and on for over thirty years.

While I've done very little to promote my books locally, call it a hindsight is 20/20 thing which I will rectify, I am a known author. Many in my town know where I live, so doesn't that give many an insight into where to come when things get rough? I can't say there isn't concern over this fact especially when faced with a bugging in situation. Right now I'm juggling the good it will do everyone who reads it versus my own security. This poses a huge problem. Of course this is all academic until the stuff hits the fan (SHTF) scenario. It would also depend on how many people actually buy and read my book too.

In my mind it's like painting a target around us, or a waving a red flag at a bull, or one of those "you are here" type maps. This is the main problem with writing nonfiction. Which most times sells better than fiction. My last nonfiction sold twice as many copies of all my fictions combined. This isn't to say my fiction is not selling well.

That's what makes this a scary prospect. I know only a couple hundred people who buy my books since all the sites I publish through keep buyer information private. The only ones I know about are the ones who e-mail me, meet at conferences or book signings, I give copies to directly, or have said so here. That's how all authors "meet" their readers.

I keep thinking about the old word of mouth backbone of marketing person will tell ten. I'm not scared of much, but I can have concerns. While most of my other nonfiction books deal with authors, finances, inspiration and ministry, or life in general this actually exposes specific lifestyle preparations with a common sense approach. It's more than just baring my soul.

So what would you do?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Frenzied Fridays

Have you ever wanted to run away, duck your head into the sand, or play Scarlet O'Hara (I'll think about it tomorrow)?

It's time for Frenzied Friday here on the Murphey Saga. My backseat method of dealing with life caught up with me once again. Now I'm juggling a bunch as the traditional work week ends. You know all those things like bills you have to mail or pay in person because they aren't open on weekends. The doctor visits (humans and pets) that come up on rotation in my house every couple of months or every month. Included in this is my own personal deadlines for publishing which last year fell into the "best laid plans" category and  not achieved.

It's been seven long years since I took a vacation. I'm talking about a full-fledged vacation where I didn't have to lift a finger, care for anyone else and focus on just me and relaxation. I'm basically frustrated and tired. If you've been following this blog the past year quite a bit has happened in my life. It boggles most people's minds that I haven't run away before now.

Now, I've gone to writer events, book signings, zombie walks, stamp shows, and assorted other things over the past seven years, but there was always business attached to it. I was driving here and there, arranging for meetings, writing, and a long list of other things. Even when my husband's family all had their reunion on Jekyll Island, it was vacation for them...but I was chauffeur, cook, nurse, hostess, and wore about four other hats. I couldn't go swimming or take long walks on the beach because of my broken toes and foot. I was also still performing weddings and writing in between. It seems like there is always some family emergency, this or that event, etc that's why this blog is titled "The Murphey Saga." It's the worst soap opera you've ever watched on television. Reality shows have nothing on my life.

No I'm not complaining. Life is life. With life comes adaptation, but sometimes you just want to fall back and recharge your batteries. I really haven't had the opportunity to do this. When I mentioned me wanting a vacation to my husband the first question he asked was with or without me. He loves me enough to let me go without him. He understands the strain I've been under for years...not that he can do anything about it either. God love this man, he cares and understands.

Yes, going on vacation without my husband would be a good thing because I could do what I wanted and when. I wouldn't have to juggle oxygen and medications, carry an emergency pack with me, and a few hundred other things that encompasses him going with me. The problem is I probably wouldn't be able to relax without him. I would be concerned about what was going on with him with me away. The what-if games that my mind plays which makes me a good writer would still be functioning. I still haven't made a decision yet, but I still plan on taking a vacation probably the latter part of May or the first part of June at least for a few days.

So what would you do?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What? It's Tuesday? Already...No, it's Wednesday

I have to admit I forgot Monday was posting day here on The Murphey Saga. I didn't forget it was Monday though, four weddings called me away from home for most of the day.

I did manage another thousand words or so in my new nonfiction, "Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper?" The word count is over 26K and that's where I'm going to stop. I've included some black and white photos too. I'm not sure how this will play out on e-readers though because I've never tried it before. That's not to mean it hasn't been done before.

Actually, my Monday went into the wee hours of Tuesday when a neighbor knocked at my door around 11 PM. Now normally, that sets off alarms in my head. His wife was at work with their only car and his four month old son was having difficulty breathing. I threw on my jacket, I was still dressed because I was writing, and ran across the street with him. It was an easy fix by clearing out his airway where phlem clogged it. Holding the baby face down and at a forty-five degree angle, and a couple pats on the back cleared it. Some times it's nice having an old nurse around. I placed pillows under his crib mattress raising the head of it. The baby was already on home oxygen due to a complication at birth. I stuck around long enough to calm the frightened father and make sure the baby was breathing okay.

I often take it for granted what I'm capable of and what I know as second nature not realizing that many do not have this knowledge or expertise. It kind of brought home the point of me writing, "Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper?"

Yesterday was spent working on the book trailer video for the new book. I think it's awesome, but it still needs some tweaking. Yeah, yeah, I remember that I can tweak something to death. I used a lot of pictures from the cover in it because the book is about surviving crises, and preparing for them in other words, not getting caught with your pants down. It always amazes me what is on the internet under "Creative Common" licensing and can be used for commercial applications.

About book trailers? Although I've gotten a lot of feedback about my videos, I don't see where it has boosted sales of my books. On the other hand maybe it has in a small way. Since I started publishing them I've had about 45 views (not viral by any stretch of the imagination, but I really haven't promoted them either) across the board on each, while those I've done for others have seen views in the thousands...go figure. Personally, I just enjoy making them. I'm still looking for the magic cheap solution to self-publishing.

Now for the fun stuff with this new nonfiction...editing, but with this book being under 50K it should only take a couple of days unless inspiration hits again and I add a few more thousand words. Next will come the formatting for print and e-books.

Right now I'm torn between waiting to publish until after the end of June because of the Southeastern Writers Workshop. They have cash and prize contests for different categories of writing...this conference covers the gambit: nonfiction, poetry, YA, Romance, limericks, novels, and a long list of other types of writing. I have toyed with the idea of entering it into the nonfiction contest. It would mean a delay of two months total from today and I may or may not win, or even place.

A decade ago (wow, has it been that long?), I won the "Jarvis Award for Humorous Fiction." It boggled my mind that I beat out all the other contestants and gave my writing the shot in the arm it desperately needed. I had revamped one of the writing exercises from Compuserve's Book and Writers forum for my piece. That same year, I also put up "Escape from Second Eden" which did not win, place or show. While my new zombie book, "Zombie Apocalypse: Travelers" could be entered under fiction, so could "Surviving Hank" or "The Mayan Serpent." I could also enter the children's category with one of the "Sweet Haven" series. "Oh Bother!" to quote one of my favorite children's books. So many decisions and so little time...deadline is May 1st. Anyhow it's time to sh!t or get off the pot. I'll muddle it over in my mind for a couple more days and then decide.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Seven Times Seventy- Rejections

I recently read several blogs of why authors self-publish. One of the main reasons given was rejections from  traditional publishing. Whether it be an agent or publisher.

There is no such thing as time to a regular publisher or agent during your search for both. At least that's the way it seems when you wait months or years  to get a "yea" or "nay."

What spurs this to my attention is I got a final rejection letter in the mail yesterday from an agent. I queried this agent three years ago. Now I've heard about snail mail and the slush pile, but this is ridiculous! I had forgotten I'd even queried this agent until I looked back at my spreadsheet. This book is now self-published and doing fairly well. A long shot from a million copies sold, but okay for me. Their loss.

So how many slamming doors should you experience before self-publishing? Three, ten, forty, four hundred? It depends on you. Rejection hurts. As an artist we need to have thick skins. How badly do you want to be traditionally published? Personally, I have a file cabinet full of rejections from this or that manuscript. Yes, I kept them all (agents aren't you boggled?) Why did I keep them? Most are just form letters, but a few have helpful tips. When an agent writes notes on their rejections, pay attention. The reason I kept them was stubborness and also to keep track of what I have accomplished.

Rejections are accomplishments? Yep you better believe it. I stuck my foot in the door and said listen to me and see what I have. For someone like me who was an introvert for a lot of years, this is a major accomplishment. I said, "represent me and publish me" to a total stranger. Now anyone who can do that can conquer the world. That is a major accomplishment. Whether it was accepted for a partial, full manuscript, or traditionally published or not, it was a step, or several, forward. I believed in what I had to sell. I may not have expressed it well in a query, but I tried. I made a Don Quixote attempt at slaying a dragon and I didn't give up.

In traditional publishing, I saw the writing on the wall as one mid-list author after another went the self-publishing route. I fought it kicking and screaming until I realized the thing works. I had always thought of self-publishing as a desperate attempt of someone who was not published to get published. That was before last year, when I jumped onto the bandwagon with other mid-list authors.

Because of this the old stigma of self-publishing is gone. I watched acquaintances like, Bob Mayer, jump off the traditional list to start his own publishing network. Don't be fooled he may say he is just e-publishing rather than self-publishing, but that's only because he started his own e-publishing company. While Bob is no longer considered a mid-list author because he's made the BIG list of best seller, WTG Bob, he is still publishing and taking a larger portion of proceeds. He can now play off the best seller to boost his sales.

My advice, as far as how many rejections you receive from standard publishing is enough. If it is in your heart to traditionally is seventy time seven in the biblical sense and not 490.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Word Power Wednesdays & the Indie Author


1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness:
 2. courage; spunk; guts:
3. common sense; shrewdness.

I remember the first time I heard this word used by my grandmother although the way she said it meant audacity. Now being a grown-up (sometimes) and a grandmother, I found myself using this word yesterday with my own grandchild so I decided to look it up.

Gumption is something every author needs, not just indie authors. It pretty well sums up the indie spirit. It takes initiative and guts to go out and put your neck in the noose for everyone to see. It takes common sense and resourcefulness to market your books. It plain takes courage up to the eyeballs to accept criticism from total strangers in the form of bad reviews, emails, and assorted other things.

I have done little marketing since the first of the year and my last royalty check was meager, $22 from Amazon which is by far my biggest money maker. Sad, but life has a way of interfering with my writing life since I can't divide myself as Michael Keaton did in "Multiplicity." But still  common sense, reigns supreme. It is with shrewd intuition that I listen to my body and sometimes just stop to smell the flowers.

Which brings me to another point. Two years ago, my husband and I were walking through Wal-Mart. We ran across a rose bush which had seen better days. In fact it was discounted down to a couple dollars. I looked at the tag and told him I'd take it. He argued with me. He said he'd buy me a healthy rose bush to add to my rose garden. I won.

I brought my poor rose home. I took it out of the pot, dug a hole, filled it with manure. I watered the rose bush in, clipped all the dead branches off, and waited. A few months later there was a small bud of a rose on the green stem. I continued to cluck over it. The bloom opened to the size of a salad plate. A beautiful tangerine colored rose, just the one for that month. The next month there were five buds. This year, this raggedy bush that we bought two years ago, shot out two inch canes with twenty buds so far. It stands almost six-foot tall with new growth.

My husband is lost for words when he looks at it.. I brought in the tag which was on the rose when we bought it, it is called "Faith." So as a writer, think. With enough manure, time, faith, and skill what can be produced. Now that's what I call having gumption!

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Update and Staring at a Blank Screen

Well, to date this book is at 25K words. It is jammed pack with how-to's, stories, and useful information. It's in the editing process. Not bad for less than a week's worth of writing. I've sent it off to a survivalist friend to critique. To see if there is anything else I've missed for an overview.

Now, I'm faced with a dilemma. What do I conquer next. I could do the final
 edit on "Zombie Apocalypse:Travelers," but now that I've finished the actual writing and rewriting...there is something lacking. I may just rewrite it yet again. No, it's not the gore thing. I just can't put my finger on it yet, but the light bulb in my head will turn on eventually where this story is concerned.

I could write more on "Surviving Hank." But the muse is gone.
I could finish editing "The Mayan Serpent." All three are slate for release this year. There are also the children's book series, which has been derailed because I don't have time to draw out the illustrations.

I could finish editing A.M. Keller's new paranormal romance, The Emerald's Secret." Or scan Thomas Wilson's new science fiction thriller for inconsistencies. Or any one of twenty manuscripts sitting on my flash drive.

So why am I staring at a blank screen? After months of not doing anything as far as my writing career goes...I lack the muse, inspiration, or anything else to finish my projects. I'm looking at a week of five weddings, doctor visits, and assorted other things...all of which are weighing heavily on my mind.

So what do you do when you are staring at a blank screen?

Keep writing? and loving the Lord.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A New Work in Progress

I found a new term for all my money saving, penny pinching self while I was off watching television instead of writing for the past couple months.

Yep I'm too old to be a preppy, but I am a prepper. I have always been one for 99% of my adult life...that's almost half a century. I always thought I was just being frugal and preparing for any hardships my family might face. I have already divulged that I'm a couponer. Another new term for the new millennium.Back when I started it was called saving money and having a full pantry. If you've been reading my blog you know I've built a store/craft room onto my house and know I'm converting to solar power for energy.

For years I have been the Grocery Fairy. The person my kids came to when they didn't have enough money to make ends meet and buy groceries. Or if a family got burned out and was in need, or if someone was homeless and hungry, I had stores that I could pull from. In fact, I've always been able to maintain a minimum of a ten-week supply on almost anything- be it paper goods or food stuff. I had figured that ten weeks was enough to carry me through until the next garden could be harvested. Because my family has grown to now eight grandchildren, I expanded the stores to one year's worth. I've always baked breads so I've kept a minimum of fifty pounds of flour available at any given time...around the holidays it's more. Paper goods I catch on sale and buy multiples, a year's worth in stores. I mean really there are worse things than running out of toilet paper, but the alternatives aren't a pleasant thought. I'm older and less adventurous these days.We also live on the East coast right next to the Atlantic Ocean so hurricanes are a real threat, is that so wrong or crazy?

During my break I saw a show called "Doomsday Preppers." In fact there was a marathon going on showing all episodes. While so many of the reasons given for prepping seem a bit far fetched for me, they are a possibility. The reasoning was sound. While some were really informative others just seemed crazy to me, but haven't I prepping also? You know that old Scout motto of be prepared? Yep you got it, but I was a Girl Guide (U.K. equivalent). This show was an extreme, just like the "Extreme Couponing" one.

If any of y'all have read my books, you know I've been through some rough situations because all my books, even fiction, are based on actual experiences in one way or other...except for maybe the zombie books, but then there are events within even that one that ring true. I rarely step beyond what I know or have experienced when I write.

I'm a survivor and have enough real knowledge and experience to be a survivalist. Has this knowledge ever been put to the test? On several occasions in my life, yes. Is there a difference? You betcha. There's another show on the Discovery Channel about this. Yes, television is not necessarily a good thing and I spent way too much time watching the boob tube over the last couple months.The one good thing about being laid up and watching television, a book started forming in my head.

I've got all this knowledge and experience rattling around in my brain and it's useless unless it is shared with others. I believe in the "see, learn, do" philosophy. See I believe that if the Stuff Hits the Fan (SHTF) you will need both sets of skills of being a prepper and survivalist. While it is touched on in both the mentioned shows. I know both.

I started writing a common sense approach to both as an overview type thing with real solutions, real experiences, and odds and ends on Tuesday when the cast came off. The work in progress is now at 18,000 words. I'm shooting for 20,000 words or about 100 pages in paperback 5x8 format. It contains how-to's I've learned or garnered, how to get started, what are basic human needs and how to get from point "A" to point "B." It is not an in depth survival guide nor a prepper's only type book. While a cooking from stores cookbook and butchering techniques is rumbling around in my head for a follow-up, right now I'm focusing on basics.

Most of it is, like I said, common sense and down to earth. It just may contain some some items you haven't thought about. The book contains all the above mentioned skills of couponing, prepping, and being a survivalist. It is heavy on the Maslow's Hierarchy of Need-water, food, shelter, warmth, and security. Why it is important to be in a group rather than a lone wolf. It is not about fear or paranoia. So far that's the main gist of the book.

It is another nonfiction. I had considered sending it to my agent or publishers for traditional publishing, but decided against it. It will be too short for one. This would be an overview with not a huge amount of in depth substance for two. Could I make it a 50,000 word book, probably. But then it would be more fluff than substance at this point. Now, if I had my acreage finished that would be another story, but right now it's undeveloped and just woods. My family decided to get everyone on board with equal skills set first. Although each of us has their own specialties, there are some basics that need addressing before we go the off-grid. We are experimenting in our own homes first with the availability of resources. Again another smart step to being prepared.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Trials of Being an Indie Author

 As I told you Wednesday, I'm  thinking of redoing covers to help spice up my sales. This week I'm looking at "The Sacrificial Lamb." While I drew and designed the current cover art, the format is a CreateSpace template which I don't particularly care for. I have learned so much about cover creation in a year.

I started searching for new art work, not mine, online. I found what I thought to be the perfect photograph. It would be a hard hitting impact type thing.The photographer was a true artist. The photograph depicted a child with a man's hand over their mouth. The look in the child's eyes as it looked up at the adult was fear. It was perfect for the cover of my book.

 I loved it until I found out the price, over $1,000 for nonexclusive rights to the photograph. I don't know about you, but that's a big chunk of change. Ouchie! To top it off, I'd have to limit copies sold to 5,000 with the rights management company. With the nonexclusive use, the same photograph could appear anywhere else on the web, television, another author's book, magazines, etc. Therefore, it would not be a unique identifier for my book. BTW, I did find a website that used the same image which is how I found it in the first place and backtracked it to the artist.

I did a mock up cover using this photo (before I found out the price) and it's dynamite. The actual image was Photoshoped and was 2x3 inches on the cover. While that may sound small, the book is standard 5x8 inches so it takes up a good piece of space. I wish I could show it to you all. But now it's headed for the recycling bin and deletion. I just can't afford it. There are too many variables in the mix.

I published this book one year ago, April 1st. To date, I have sold over 500 copies. That doesn't mean this year I couldn't sell 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 copies or I could sell 2. At $0.95 per electronic copy, it could take years to recoup the asking price for the photograph. I'm not against paying the artist their dues. After all, I want to be paid as an artist of both word and artwork...but really!

I think I'm going to break out my camera and take some images of my own. My granddaughter featured in my book trailer is in town for Spring Break visiting her other grandmother. I may not be a professional photographer, but I can stage a photograph and mentally know what I want...wait a minute, I know a few photographers I can call or even going to my local Wal-Mart will work. Now the creative juices are flowing...

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Decision is Up to You

Okay all I've been doing some thinking while I've been laid up. While I liked the original cover for "Escape from Second Eden" it seemed wrong for the type of book it is. So while my hand was idle and my brain was bored. I mentally designed a couple of new covers for this book.
You've heard it said often do judge a book by it's cover and even though sales were good by my standards...they sure could have been better by everyone else's standards.

The decision will be up to you, my readers. Keep in mind this is an espionage/suspense. Which cover would draw you to pick it up and read it or buy it? 'm looking for your opinions. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Cover Choice 1?

Or Cover choice 2?

Keep writing an loving the Lord.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Mailbox

Miss me? The cast comes off on Thursday.There is still pain when I use my right fingers but I figure it's from not using them. It's been a rough year of injuries for me, but I'm back to writiing. During my hiatus I've gotten some interesting e-mails and letters from readers of my novels and nonfictions. I thought I'd share one with you today...much easier to cut and paste than type.

Just checked out your book on Smashwords and you're so so talented. Do you have any suggestions for a budding writer like me?

What has worked and what hasn't? Tried FB, Twitter, even book marks. I just don't want to waste my time on things that don't work.

My answer..

Hello and thank you. I'm wondering which particular book you read. I have four on Smashwords and over twenty-seven published. I have five more titles in the works for publishing this year.
As far as writing goes...
Practice, learn and practice some more. I know you've probably heard somewhere in your life "practice makes perfect," while I'll never be perfect, writing is a craft that is inspired and learned.

Read constantly.

The more you read the more ideas spark your creative juices. With self-published books you can also see where the author may have done something wrong.

Join a critique group. Writing can be a lonely pursuit. Get interaction from readers and other writers to scratch each other's back. It is also good for encouragement when you get frustrated. I actually belong to several. But be cautious about the group you join. There can be a lot of deadweights and possible scam artists out there on the web.

Join a reading group in your area. Not just a group of writers.

Write multiple books. On average it will take ten books to become "known." The person with one title is like the 1960's one hit wonders in musical groups, a flash in the pan. If you are serious about writing then you need to do it.

As far as marketing your books...

Twitter, facebook, google+ etc are good for building relationships with your readers and future readers...not just advertising your books for sale.

The same thing goes for a blog or website. Relationships are important in getting "recognized." Name recognition is the hardest thing to do in marketing your product. Without a huge publishing company backing your book, it's all on you.

Attend writer's conferences and workshops. Build a large network. Out of every fifty people who becomes part of your network, only one will buy your do the math. On average a person has to see or hear about your book twenty times before they will buy it.

Have you contacted your local newspaper? They may feature you in their life section. Local person does good type of thing.

Do you have a local library or one within fifty miles? They often have "Meet the Author" type events.

A local book store which features local authors? Most of the big brick and mortar bookstore will not allow independent authors for booksignings so concentrate on the small independents.

Do you have an area of expertise that you can use to publicize your book? For me, I've been in the State Department, been a nurse, worked for non-profit enterprises, been the entrepreneur (which includes self-publishing), been the marketing consultant, military background, etc. Do you remember the 9/11 news blitz? Which author did they call to comment...Tom Clancy because he wrote a book similar.
Depending on what you write, there are opportunities for promotion.I'm just bouncing a few ideas off the top of my head here. What it takes is tenacity. Not giving up. Think of yourself as a door to door salesman. Knock on every door and if you have to stick your foot in the door jamb to get the audience's attention. As far as marketing books for writers..."Guerrilla Marketing for Writers" is excellent for giving you some ideas which may or may not work. Remember nothing attempted is a failure. If you contact even one buyer out of fifty you've done well. Thomas Edison said after two hundred attempted failures to make a lightbulb and finally made one which worked..."I learned two hundred ways not to make a lightbulb."


So do you have any other suggestions I could offer this budding writer?