Yes, I know that pun in the title was cheesy. Getting on the “write” side of people? Seriously…
But anyway, what does all that mean?
Today, I want to briefly share my thoughts about writing etiquette…meaning the way you approach other writers, particularly through the blogosphere.
A lot of the time, we are excited about our own ideas and writing endeavors. And that is great. We should be. If we aren’t excited about what we’re writing, how can we expect others to be? We think we have totally awesome, unique stories, with attractive, relatable characters, twisted villains, crazy relationships that work out in the end…and we want to share our joy with others.
It’s totally common. Don’t ever beat yourself up for wanting to share and express your excitement for your own creativity.
That doesn’t mean you should be shoving yourself in other people’s faces.
Look, I get it, we all want to promote ourselves. Heck, we would all like to be PAID for our ideas, our stories, our hard, written work. Money is tight when it comes to writing, because you’re either a self-published author (like me), or your an aspiring author waiting for an agent or publisher to get back to you.
It seems like all of our problems will be solved if we simply earn ourselves a nice fat following. The goal is to have an audience that is so in love with your book, they love it as much as you do. But how do you go about OBTAINING this audience?
The Wrong Way
“Hi, I’m so-and-so. I just wrote a book that I think you’ll love. Would you mind following me so you can get all the updates on my story? Thanks!”
The first time you see a comment or email like this, you might be like “Oh, sure!” But by the tenth time or so, you’re like, “Seriously?”
To a degree, I think it’s always fair to give people a chance. If they want you to check out their book, you might as well do it…give them points for reaching out.
But the problem is, it’s annoying, or even rude, when someone makes a comment on one of your posts that is COMPLETELY unrelated. In fact, it’s sort of like someone being like:
“I found a new blog. I’m going to pitch my book to them!”
The problem with this attitude is that it creates a sense of CONSUMERISM. Everyone is out to get something, but no one wants to give. No one cares about community. It’s all about, “Hey, look at me!”
Everyone might be checking each other’s books out, but nobody will be SEEING.
The Right Way
If you have to pitch your book to someone, if you feel so inclined, be polite about it. Seriously. Validate the fact that you might be annoying them, that you aren’t trying to bother them. Essentially, be human, not some promotional robot.
However, the best way to gain the audience you want and surround yourself with people that are interested in your ideas is to be a PART of that community you desire.
Nothing can be gained without something being given first. You don’t have to watch Fullmetal Alchemist to believe that 😉
If you want an audience that’s crazy about you, find some people you are crazy about. Find other bloggers who like the same things, read the same things, and are fighting for the same things. I have discovered this by entering a community of aspiring writers…which, believe me, is a very big part of the blogosphere!
Become a part of a community. Comment without wanting something in return. Like a post without doing it to be noticed. And follow people out of genuine interest. What’s more, write about more than just yourself. Promoting your ideas is great, but it can be annoying to see an endless stream of somebody else’s dream showing up in your inbox.
I hope this post wasn’t offensive to anybody, and I hope it helped enlighten some of you! Thanks for being a great community!
Another subtle way to promote yourself is to do what I’m doing 🙂
I’d like to show you the cover of my book, and provide a link to where you can find it on Amazon (99 cents as an eBook, $12 as a gorgeous paperback):
Check it out, if you get the chance 🙂
A writer is not scared. He or she can’t be. We have to be willing to accept the challenges, the looks, the inner and outer demons, in order to truly say that we are writers.
We all get doubts. Is this career even possible? Will I ever go anywhere with my writing? Will anyone want to read my stuff?
A writer is not scared.
A writer is also not alone.
Every single day can feel like agony if you convince yourself that you’re alone…but you’re not. WordPress is a great place to make acquaintances with other writers and build a community. It’s hard to be a writer and feel like you are your only fan, you’re the only person looking out for you, you’re the only person going through all the struggles. Well, you’re not.
A writer is not alone.
A writer is also not a cry baby.
Look, nobody likes criticism. But, in the words of my father, criticism is the only way that we can truly grow. As writers, we need to be critics of ourselves; we have to be willing to let go and change what we’ve done, even though it hurts to do so. We have to be willing to listen to others, take advice, and be humble when an editor says “This is crap”.
A writer is not a cry baby.
A writer is also not a quitter.
So many writers…MOST writers, I daresay, could’ve quit. They could’ve said “You know what, I’m too busy. I can’t make time to write.” It’s so easy to make excuses, it’s so easy to just forget about it for one day, or resign ourselves to the belief that it’s not possible. We’ll never finish the book, we’ll never get a contract, no one will like us.
Lies. All of them. If you are a writer, than you cannot be a quitter.
A writer is not a quitter.
Or a cry baby.
Now get out there and do it. Write!
So I wrote a fantasy novel! It’s called Elithius. It’s only $0.99 on Amazon Kindle, and only $12 as a paperback. You can check it out here. You’re welcome.
The following 225-word scene is a sneak-peek at my upcoming book in Elithius. Let me know what you think!
(note: Ultra Malam=the Evil=the monster, etc)
PROTAGONIST: AETHYER GRIM
What is this thing!?
I grip the ground. Have to get up.
The monster steps closer.
I push against the ground, causing pain to spike through me again. My arms quiver; I can’t even lift my own weight. You have to! I scream at myself. My eyes fall to my sister.
The Evil is five feet from us.
An arrow slams into the left shoulder of the Ultra Malam. The Evil jerks backwards in response, uttering a harsh, furious growl, and grabs the shaft of the arrow, ripping it out. Where did that come from?
“Get away from them! Over here!” someone shouts. It’s a male’s voice.
“Over here!” calls someone else.
The Ultra Malam raises its eyes from me and Addy, its gaze alighting on a new target. I immediately know what the Evil is about to do. “Watch out!” I scream, forcing the words out. Or at least I tried to scream. I am surprised at how weak and hoarse my voice is.
The Evil vanishes into the air…as I expected. I wish I could turn around, to see what’s going on. Or I wish I could rise and help, or at least get Addy somewhere away from here. She’s already passed out…I hope she isn’t dead.
Because if she is…I’m not too far behind.
I black out.
So I’ve been noticing that, now more than ever, there is an influx of new bloggers. What’s more, many of my most recent followers seem to be bloggers that are just starting their journey here on WordPress.
To all of you, welcome!!!
A lot of you seem to be very attracted to my more educational posts, like “The Reason Why People ‘Like’ But They Don’t Comment”. So I thought I’d write another “educational post”, particularly geared towards you new bloggers.
The First Thing You Want to Do…
Identity yourself to yourself. What does that mean? It means that, as you start writing, as you start reaching out, networking, meeting other bloggers, targeting specific audiences, you need to know first and foremost WHO YOU ARE as a blogger. You can only reach the audience you want once you decide what kind of blog you are going to run.
So identify yourself to yourself. What do you think you’ll write about? Do you review books or movies? Write about sports? Cooking? Are you trying to promote a book or a business?
You need to figure this out.
The truth is, it’s obnoxious as a reader to visit a blog about book reviews, only to find they decided to go off on a cooking tangent. Centralizing what you write about is important to maintaining and developing a community around yourself.
However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to blog about anything and everything, disregard this completely! 😀 😀 😀
Next: Identify Your Audience
I cannot stress this enough: once you discover and surround yourself with like-minded bloggers, blogging becomes so much more FUN!
The number one word that captures the essence of blogging is COMMUNITY. And to build and enter the community that you want, you have to find the right people.
So identify your target audience.
A while back, I wanted to target an audience of anime-watchers. Why? I’m writing a book that is very anime-esque (among other things). So I tried to write about anime, to reach out to other people that liked anime…but it just wasn’t working. Why? Because I don’t watch enough anime to connect with other people.
Although I thought anime fans were my target audience, it took me a while to understand that I was wrong.
So I took a different approach: I started targeting fellow writers. And let me tell you, that made a big difference!! I discovered my community in them, aspiring and self-published authors like me. And suddenly, my blogging world truly became alive.
Identifying your audience is important, especially if you’re trying to promote something. But, in the end, it’s even more important for the sake of creating a community…which, once again, is what blogging is all about!
Stick With It
We all struggle with this from time to time. We lack motivation because life gets busy, our blogging efforts seem fruitless, or other bloggers seem to be doing so much better. Believe me, I get it. I’ve been blogging for three years and I only have 420 followers. To some of you, that might seem like a lot, but it’s not.
The goal is to keep at it. Fight through the dull moments. Keep on writing.
Believe me, if you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing. I know that seems like an obvious statement, but it couldn’t be more true. If you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing.
So you must continue to write.
I hope these tips were helpful! As always, Let me know what you think!
Like the way I write? Check out my new book Elithius on Amazon here! The Kindle version is only $0.99 for a limited time only!! Get it now!
That’s right, the guy who acts super smart and who seems to have all the answers is now going to ask you for help. (I’m talking about myself, in case you didn’t know!)
So I’ve been trying to market my book, Elithius…and it hasn’t been going so great. Getting the word out is hard, especially because I’m young and haven’t made many connections yet. I basically know what I need to do (network more, get onto social media more, sell ads, etc.), but I don’t know HOW to go about all of this in a smart way.
So, that’s why I’m coming to you.
I’m blessed to be in a community of fellow writers and authors, both aspiring, self-published, and traditionally published. Since I’m in this community, I feel brave enough to ask you: what should I do?
Be honest with me. How did/do you promote YOUR book? Is there a path you recommend me take more than another?
I know my story isn’t trash. I’ve heard it from multiple sources, and honest sources, whether among my family, friends, or fellow writers, that my book is good. It has potential. But I just don’t know how to GET IT OUT THERE.
So I’m wondering if any of you have suggestions?
I’m going to give you a short blurb about my book, the one I use to promote it. I’m doing this only so that you can know what my book is like, so that maybe you can help direct me towards a certain path. (So, basically, I’m not showing this to you for promotional reasons)
His parents abandon him when he’s thirteen. He’s left to care for his little brother and sister. Life is tough. Things can’t seem to get any worse.
But then Evil Itself breaks down the door. It kidnaps his siblings. And It leaves him bleeding out on the floor of his own home.
The Golden Lands, one of the Three Worlds of Elithius, is supposed to be a place of light, peace and happiness. But the Golden Lands hasn’t been such a place for John Hedekira, a jaded, hot-headed sixteen-year-old. Joined by his friends Faith Pinck and Bernard Tanner, John must rescue his brother and sister from their captors…before his siblings can be sacrificed to the ominous God of Death.
With a story that combines the feelings of Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson, Dominic Sceski brings to life a riveting tale of light versus darkness, magic, friendship, trust, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption that will leave you on the edge of your seat and desperately yearning for more.
Okay, so this is the basis, the feel, of my story. How would you market it?
I’m just asking you with complete honesty for help…any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much for all you do!!!
To those of you that thought I was dead….to those of you that WISHED I were dead…well, sorry to disappoint you, but I’m actually not.
I’ve been busy.
Sorry, I used the “b” word….
My family is getting ready to move, I had a graduation party (for me!) coming up. I’m working a lot because I’m poor.
Yatayatayata! Who cares!?
I’m back. Here to continue writing inspirational posts about persevering as writers…here to continue writing about blogging…here to promote my story. And with more effort.
I’m at 420 followers. It’s such an honor to be a nag to so many people! (yes, you read that correctly)
I know I’ve been nominated for numerous awards by people and I’ve been doing a terrible job at participating. I’ve been very busy with house work and graduation stuff and writing Volume 8 of my series. So I’d like to apologize for my absence.
I was nominated by Nicolle ( https://storiesofahsi.wordpress.com/ ) for this award. If you get the chance, check out her blog, she’s a great writer and has a deep sense of community.
So, on to the award.
How it works:
Basically, you thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. Then you answer the 7 questions of the person who nominated you, then you nominate other people and ask them 7 questions.
Here are Nicolle’s questions and my answers:
- What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?
That is definitely more than one question! But it’s a good one. My main inspiration is wanting to influence the world and wanting to express myself to the world. Other inspirations would be the writers of my favorite stories, such as The Lord of the Rings, Fullmetal Alchemist, Mistborn, etc. I write because I want to and because it makes me feel alive, because I feel like I’m making a difference when I do so.
2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
Another tough but good question. The end of The Two Towers when Sam is talking about how life is worth fighting for, and Rohan is simultaneously defeating Isengard, is definitely a good moment. Or Aang beating the Firelord in Avatar. Good moments.
3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?
This is actually an easy one. Fantasy all the way. I like the dark stuff to be honest, but anything with swords, magic, and lots of symbolism is my favorite.
4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?
I listen to music that corresponds to the mood of what I’m about to write. I usually prefer to write at a specific time of day, when my outside surroundings reflect the mood of my story. To be honest, I feel like these are just the normal things a person might do!
5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
Harry Potter! The more I read the Harry Potter series, the more I realize how similar I am to Harry. I think we could be best friends because of how well we could relate to each other.
6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
Hmm, another tough one! I’d say Ireland. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. Not sure why, I just have.
7. What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?
One thing I could change? My opinion of myself. It’s flawed. I will say no more.
Thanks so much to Nicolle for her deep and interesting questions! Once again, be sure to check out her blog here.
Anyone who read this and wants to participate! I know this might sound lame, but I’m going to ask you the same questions, just because they are so great.
For the sake of clarity, here are the questions again:
- What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?
- What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
- What is your favourite book genre(s)?
- What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?
- Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
- What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?
Thanks so much for participating, I’m looking forward to your answers!