Tagged: marketing

The #1 Problem with Self Publishing

There’s a lot of obstacles to self publishing and being successful as a self published author.  Merely having enough perseverance to publish your book at all is an obstacle.  Hiring an editor, finding a cover-artist, and building your audience all add varying levels of difficulty to the process too.

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Hah!  That last one is funny…

Oh, and did I mention that EVERYONE is self publishing?  So yeah, you’ve also got LOTS of competition.

But what’s the #1 problem with self publishing?

I call it Amateuritis: the false sense of confidence you have going into the entire self publishing endeavor.

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Mmmm yeahhhhnoooooooo

You size up the odds; you read about writing a novel, hiring an editor, and how to market your book, and you think, “Yeah, I can do this!”  But then you publish your book, the excitement dwindles, and a few months later, you have this feeling of “…Now what?”

You suddenly realize that becoming a literary sensation isn’t so simple.  You knew it wouldn’t be easy…but the truth is, you tricked yourself into believing that at least for YOU, the path to success was a straight line.

Yeah, I can talk about this because I know how it feels.

Of all the obstacles listed above, Amateuritis is by far the worst.  It’s the curse of not knowing the way the world works.  Guess what: you wanna’ rise to the top?  Then you have to go through the same process as everyone else.  Life isn’t easy, and it makes no exceptions.

Yes, this sucks, but to defeat Amateuritis, you must accept reality.

For starters, you need to rise above your feelings of feeling like a loser.  You think you are a loser?  Well, so is everyone else.  Get over it.

If you want to defeat Amateuritis, don’t make the same mistakes twice.  Understand that the journey ahead of you is long and hard, and if you want to be a successful author, you just have to keep working at it.  Listen to the stories of other successful authors.  Was it easy for them?  No.  They got rejected.  They had to scrap and rewrite parts of their stories.  They might’ve even gone hungry.

Do you think it will be any different for you?

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Instead of lulling yourself into a false sense of confidence–Amateuritis–be proud.  Be proud when you get rejected.  Be proud when you make those all those corrections to your novel.  Be proud when you go hungry.  Why?  Because you CAN be confident that you’re on the right path.  The same path as all the other successful authors.

What will you give to be successful?  It is a question only you can answer.

Beat Amateuritis.  Be an author.  Be successful.

What do you think?


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Dominic Sceski is the self published author of The Golden Lands, which soon morphed into Elithius.  He wouldn’t advise that you read any of his novels, as they are currently undergoing rigorous editing.  But he would be happy to become the next J.K. Rowling once they are finished 🙂

He currently studies at Villanova University and enjoys keeping up with this blog, writing his stories, lifting weights, dating his amazing girlfriend, and making his friends laugh.

Don’t be shy, he’d love to meet you!

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Living That Writer’s Life

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This week over break I was able to go to a coffee shop and write for three hours straight.  It was my FIRST. TIME. EVER. doing such a writing-esque thing.

Writing.  In a coffee shop.  WITH.  COFFEE.

It was honestly a proud moment 🙂

The truth is, we all need those moments where we can just sit down and do what we love best.  Sometimes, this involves being surrounded by people we love; sometimes this means being alone.  We bunker down in our favorite spot, pop in our ear-buds, and let what feels like our very nature do its thing.

For me, that’s writing.  Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re not too different.

But if we are all being completely honest (uh-oh), we can’t fall in love TOO much with these moments of extended activity.  We have to be accepting that we won’t always have as much free time as we want; the atmosphere won’t always be perfect; maybe we can’t even be alone.  Or maybe we won’t even be able to get away at all.

It’s life.

The goal then becomes making the most of every moment.

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Every day is unique.  Despite whatever routines or schedules set before us, nothing is ever set in stone, and “nothing happens the same way twice” (thanks, Aslan).  Thus, it’s pointless to try and recreate moments or atmospheres.  We have to go with the flow.

As writers, time is equivalent to words.  Or pages.  Or maybe even words, pages, and money.  So we have to use our time wisely.  Don’t be upset if you don’t have as much time as you want; look for ways to make time and be more proactive.  Believe me, it works.

Got some free time between classes?  Write.

Instead of chilling on your phone during your lunch break?  Write.

Is the baby napping?  Write.

Is everyone in your house sleeping?  Write.

We oftentimes say that we don’t have the time, but this is rarely actually the case.  Take advantage of the time you have, and make sure you have what you need to make the most of that time.  Keep a journal with you.  Download Word to your phone.  Carry a tablet with you.

This is possible.

The writer’s life is where it’s at.  As always, keep up the struggle!

What do you think?

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Awarded Feedspot’s Top 100 Self Publishing Blog

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WELCOME!!!

Isn’t that crazy?  Big shout-out to Anuj Agarwal for giving me this award.  I’ve worked very hard to make a name for myself among the self-publishing world.  Feedspot is a website where all of your favorite blogs and websites can be found in one place in one stream of newsfeed.  It’s an honor to be counted among their Top 100 Self Publishing Blogs.

You can see the badge I was awarded, proudly displayed in the sidebar of my blog 🙂

As always, I couldn’t have done this without your continued help and support.  Give yourselves a firm pat on the back 🙂

I know I’ve been kind of distant, writing my songs.  Sometimes, songs are all I can write!  I’d like to keep up with my blog though, and come back strong.

My life is on the move in many ways…so are my stories.  Stay tuned.

 

Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s the big day.  The day when I publish the second book of my series, Elithius.  I know that recently I’ve done a pretty poor job of advertising my series, because life has been very crazy.  That’s on me.

Either way, I hope at least some of you are excited about this!

Tomorrow only, both books in Elithius will be $0.99.  After that, I’m gonna bump them up to $2.99.

Don’t miss out!!!

By the way, thanks to everyone who expressed concern after my last post.  Your support means a lot…you have no idea!

So, since I’m publishing my second book tomorrow, you should know what it’s about!  Here’s an overview 🙂

Front Cover Elithius 2

Name: Elithius, Book Two: The Darkness Within

Genre: Fantasy/Dark/Supernatural/Romance/Anime

Length: 385 pages

Description:

John Hedekira and his friends must venture into the Gray Lands in order to rescue John’s sister, Cassie.  Upon entering the Gray Lands, they make new friends…and new enemies.  Before they know it, they are thrown into the middle of a raging war, in which loyalties and friendships will be tested, darker and more heinous powers will challenge them…and souls will be ripped apart.

The adventures of John and his friends have only begun.


Hope you guys are excited, and thank you for your continued support!  You can find my first book here if you’re interested!

-Dom

Building Your Brand

In college, we engineering students are forced to partake of a class that essentially FORCES us to get a job, and a good one.  I know, I shouldn’t be complaining.  But hey, I’m just a freshmen.  Getting a stable job is something I’m supposed to worry about senior year…right?

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Well, whatever the case, as always in the business world, there is a serious amount of stress placed on BUILDING YOUR BRAND.

And let’s face it.  As writers, if we are truly aspiring to be famous authors, we naturally become a part of the “business world”.  At times, it sucks.  It would be so SIMPLE if we could just say to the people of the world, “I’ll write my books, and you buy them and turn my stories into movies.”

That would be the life.

But no.  As writers, we are marketers.  We must promote ourselves and go through the tedious process of establishing a business-savvy identity for ourselves.

As we do this, we encounter the usual suspects.

Networking

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All right, so apparently LinkedIn is the “Facebook of the business world”.  I really just thought it was for old people that were trying to connect with each other, but apparently it’s a very sophisticated website.  I’m not sure if it works for writers, but I thought I might as well try, right?  At my school, we were all forced to make LinkedIn pages, so I have one!  Find me on LinkedIn if you’re interested, and I’ll follow you back.

For writers, I’d say that Goodreads is a great place to network your stories.  Note that I said your STORIES.  Maybe also your prowess as a book-reviewer/critic.  Nothing wrong with that.  I know that I need to be more involved in Goodreads, since so many people use it.

For building a PERSONAL network, I’m happy to announce that I think WordPress is great for that.  All in all, I don’t think fellow WordPress bloggers respond well to the “business” side of being a writer.  Simply put, WordPress bloggers are here to encounter other PEOPLE and fellow writers, not businessmen/women.  If you’re too heavy on promoting yourself, people will start to ignore you.  I’ve both learned this the hard way and watched as other bloggers shoot themselves in the foot by being all about “ME ME ME”.

Your Brand

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The first step to building a brand is identifying what it is.  You have to make sure people understand who you are and what you’re trying to promote.  No, don’t say, “Being a writer is your brand”.  Maybe that’s part of it, and that’s great.  But you have to be more specific.

The more general you are, sure, you’ll reach a wider-range of audiences.  But if you can’t hone your focus in on one particular audience, you’re going to turn some people off.  If you say you write about mystery and romance, but are constantly posting things about horror and fantasy, you’re going to confuse your audience.

Simply put, your brand is who you are and what you’re actually trying to promote.  All of your actions should flow from your brand-identity.  It’s like a mission statement.  This is who I am, this is what I want to do.  And then you have to stick with it.

When institutions do something uncharacteristic of who they are, or they deviate from their mission statements, things will go wrong.  People will not respond well.  It’s a simple, cheesy Disney idea, but it’s true: Be true to who you are.

Rock the World, Love What You Do

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It might go without saying…but I’m going to say it anyway.  Love your brand.  Love who you are.  If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to draw OTHERS to yourself if you’re a conflicted, irrational mess.  You must be invested in yourself before you can convince others to do the same.

Take some time.  Think about what you want, how you’ll get it, and if it’s worth it to you.  Believe me, this exercise will be worth it.

And, as always, persevere.  Writing is hard.  Business is competitive.  You’ve gotta be strong to make it in this life.


As always, I want to know, what do you think?

To All New Bloggers Out There…

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!!!

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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…

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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

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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

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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!

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Cover art by Elizabeth M

 

Promoting Yourself–How To Get People’s Attention

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Note: this is a throwback post!  I believe that this topic, however, is always relevant!  Enjoy!


There are plenty of people in the blogosphere trying to get attention.  Every now and then, I might run into a person who says “I don’t care how much attention I get; I’ll still blog and write.”  And that’s a great mentality to have.  You shouldn’t let everyone else’s opinions stop you.

But still, at times, it feels like everyone is trying to promote SOMETHING.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Some bloggers are trying to “promote” their emotions, the outcome of their relationship, how their weekend went, etc.  Similarly, other people are “promoting” advice, or a message like religion or political philosophy.

Others are simply sharing their love of something by promoting that something.  For instance, some people review books, TV shows, movies, etc., just for fun.

But all of this involves promoting yourself too.  You won’t be able to promote anything unless you promote yourself.

And promoting yourself can be a big deal when you’re like the majority of bloggers out there…when you’re trying to promote what you write.

Take It From Me

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Sometimes…this is me

Take it from me: there’s a lot of competition.  I’m sure most of you have realized this.  Everyone wants people to be interested in what they’re selling.  If you’re an author and a blogger, then you’re a marketer.  It’s that simple.

Unfortunately, I can’t lay down a “road map to success” for any of you.  In order to do that, I would need to find that road map first!  But I can pass on some advice I got.

Allow me to tell you a story:

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I’m a senior in high school.  I’m sure most of you remember this time in your life where you had to start making adult decisions, particularly concerning your future.  For me, this involved what I was going to do in college.  I already have a free ride to an amazing college (thanks to my awesome, hard-working dad), so the question was, “What will I study in college?”

I’m not going to go into too much detail, but, basically, my parents were strongly pushing me to make a decision based on my financial future.  As I’m sure most of you know, I would like to pursue a degree that has to do with writing and literature.  But my parents were advising me to do something that could get me a nice job; a job that I could use to support a family.

I also happen to be pretty smart when it comes to things like math, physics, etc.

So I thought, “Well, I could be a math major.  Or a physics major.”

In the end, I ended up texting my older brother who had graduated from the same college with multiple degrees.  He’s a physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer (I know, smart guy!).

I asked for his advice, if he could see me as a mathematician or a physicist, and he replied with a simple question: “Why not an engineer?”

I didn’t really get the point: “Why?” Why would it matter?  All three majors were basically the same, right?

Math majors and physicists have all the skills to do what an engineer does, as far as I could tell.  In a lot of cases, they took similar classes, but for different reasons.  All that was really different was the degree you got.

That was what I thought.

But then my brother told me something that I believe applies to waaaay more than just college and choosing a degree.

He told me that no industry/employer/company needs mathematicians or physicists anymore.  They need engineers.  Why?

Because engineers have something to OFFER.

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You see, engineers are able to USE their knowledge of math and physics to create PRODUCTS.  They don’t just have the knowledge, they can USE it.  And this is what people want.  My brother wasn’t saying that mathematicians and physicists are good for nothing.

But people want someone that can be useful to them.  That’s the way the world works.

How does this apply to writing and promoting yourself?

You have to become something that people want.  Or better yet, something that people NEED.  Be useful to other people.

This is the best way to promote yourself; by offering something that people want.  Sometimes this means not talking about yourself.  Maybe this means sharing advice, writing a review for someone, or something else entirely.

Whether we like it or not though, this is the way the world works.  People will want you if they need you.  So develop the skillset and gather to yourself what people need.  The best way to promote yourself is by promoting what people actually want.

That’s just the way it goes.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps!


What do you think?


Wanna support me as an author?  Check out my fantasy novel here!  For a limited time only, the eBook costs only $0.99! Don’t miss out!