Tag Archives: marketing

The Problem With Social Media

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Everybody loves watching their stats go up for ANY venue.  We’ve all been told that social media can be a great tool for promoting ourselves…but it doesn’t always feel like it.  People get swamped with so much information, so many stories in their newsfeed, etc….is it possible for us to stand out?

Facebook is smart by tempting us to buy their “boosts”.  It seems like such a good idea.  We see other companies and THEIR ads and think, “Gee, it all seems so professional!”

If only we could all be professionals at self-promotion.

I can’t say I have an answer to this question.  All I know is that the struggle is real.  As one of the Top 100 Self-Publishing blogs (according to Feedspot), you might be tempted to think “WOW, Dominic is great at promoting his brand.”

My response?  “Hah.  I’ll take any credit I can get.  But the truth is, not really.”

What I’m good at is speaking the truth.  For example, navigating the world of social media is REALLY hard.  We could all use some help.

My answer to just about everything is relatively simple:  work together.

Seriously.  I think it’s that simple.

You want to get somewhere big in life?  You’re gonna’ need help.  We don’t become masters without having teachers…we can’t teach without having been taught.  We can’t climb unless someone gives us a foothold.  We can’t become successful without being given a chance.

Give each other that chance.

Here’s all I’m asking.  Find FIVE fellow, aspiring authors, (or struggling self-published authors) and Like their Facebook page, sign-up to their email list, etc.  Just five.  You have no idea the good you’ll do and the happiness you’ll bring.

To be fair, please post links to YOUR Facebook page(s) or other social media outlets, and I will follow YOU.

And last, to be fair to myself, here’s the link to my Facebook page:

The link to my Smashwords Author Page:

The link to my Amazon Author Page:

Yes, I’m asking for help.  And I want to give people some help too.

Cheers to helping each other out!

-Dominic

 

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!

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?

i-am-a-writer

 

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

Sig and Armstrong

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