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 🙂
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 don’t normally do this kind of stuff, but I’ve been meaning to review this book for a long time.
Title: The Writer
Author: Cristian Mihai
Genre: Literary Fiction/Satire/Psychological Mystery
The Plot: A man named Jonathon Fisher feels invisible to the world. He just wants to be a writer and be successful. He wants to say something to the world. But stuff happens and gets in the way, things get complicated…I can’t really say too much more without spoiling anything.
Good news and bad news…let’s start with the bad stuff.
There wasn’t too much plot structure. You’re thrown into the middle of this story (actually the end of it, but I’m spoiling things) and then you need to piece together the story as you go along. You don’t get a great feel for any over-arching plot or an antagonist, a problem that needs to be solved, etc. Well, not until you’ve read over half the story. And even then, the plot, as it turns out, seems kind of random.
Something else that I was up in the air about was how there seemed to be a touch of magic and fate in the story…supernatural powers at work…but the book seemed so…normal most of the time. Like it seemed as if it were about a normal person struggling and fighting through life, but then all of this “hand of God” or “Enter Satan” stuff comes into the book.
To say the least, it made the story interesting.
The Good Stuff
This book really drew you in because the THOUGHTS of the main character (Jonathan Fisher) were just so compelling and realistic. I immediately clicked with the feelings of the main character.
The main character has these lofty, philosophical, and, at times, very cynical thoughts. The power and realistic feel of Jonathan’s thoughts, his depression…it was amazing. He was so human, it was actually frightening, but terribly invigorating. I must admit that I felt as if I were glancing into the author’s soul.
Another great thing about this story is the amount of irony hidden therein. SO MUCH irony.
Something about this story was incredible because, for not having a plot, it was a page-turner. You wanted to just read and read this main character’s thoughts, wanted to see if his life would turn out okay, wanted to see if his dreams would come true.
And then the plot finally kicks in, and you’re like DANG.
Then it really becomes a page-turner.
You just desperately want Jonathan to be okay, to feel better about the world and other people. You want him to make good decisions. Because, by now, you’re SO drawn in. You want everything to be okay and make sense in the end.
And does it? Not completely.
By the way, the final sentence of the book makes your jaw hit the floor.
I loved this book. It spoke to me in so many different ways. At times, it kind of hurt me to watch someone similar to myself have these same struggles as Jonathan Fisher. Jonathan has this pessimistic, atheistic worldview, which was surprisingly realistic and meaningful to me, even though I’m a devout Catholic.
One of the solutions to Jonathan’s life, if I may be so bold, would’ve been to have faith in his life; he is utterly pessimistic and depressed because he can’t see the good in anything. But that’s what faith does; it transforms your worldview so that you CAN feel hope, even in those moments when the world seems like a terrible place; so that you CAN find reason to smile, and think, “Dang, it’s a good world! Life is good!”
Definitely consider giving this book a read! You can find it here.
As bloggers and writers, both published, self published, or unpublished, I think we all get to that point where we wonder: is it ever going to be enough?
Are my efforts ever going to be WORTH it? How much longer do I have to persevere? When will my story take off?
Fair questions. Everybody is asking them.
The truth is, I don’t know how much is enough. I don’t know where you have to be or how far you have to go. The world is a cruel place, especially to writers.
Well, first of all, there’s simply TONS of competition. Years ago if you said, “I’m a writer–I wrote a book” people’s jaws would drop in amazement. “Really?!” they’d say. “I could never do that!”
But nowadays, if you tell someone, “I wrote a book”, they very well might reply, “Yeah, me too!”
Let’s face it. Being a writer isn’t an anomaly anymore.
You know what is an anomaly? BEING A WRITER THAT STANDS OUT.
It’s easy to be a writer. It’s easy to be a GOOD writer. But being a writer that stands out is what everyone is looking for.
I guess that’s your answer then: how much is enough? How far do you have to go?
As far as it takes to make yourself STAND OUT.
Lots of people have great writing skills. Lots of people have good stories, compelling characters, etc. But not everyone is able to put all of those traits together into something wonderful, unique, and capable of being BETTER than everyone else’s.
Take a step back. Analyze yourself and your writing. What makes you stand out? Or what WILL make you stand out?
If you can figure out the answers to these questions, then you’ll soon know how much is enough.
What do you think?
My book, Elithius, is still available for download and purchase here. Lemme know what you think of it!
That title is a mouthful, I know…
But it’s true, and thus I reiterate: What inspires your PERSON will inspire your WRITING.
Maybe this means like an obvious statement, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
I’ve been really busy; my life is just BUSY. I’m working a lot because I need money for an apartment so that I can commute to college. My family is putting our house up for sale, but a lot of work needs to be done on the house FIRST, as always. This means a lot of my time goes to working on the house.
I’ve also got relationships to keep up with in my family, friends, my girlfriend, God, etc…
Yeah, life is busy. To be honest, I rarely have time to even THINK about my story because I have to remain focused on whatever else I’m doing. It’s a painful existence, I’ll admit.
So it’s nice when I’m finally able to indulge myself in something that I enjoy…but something that doesn’t require too much creative expression.
Look, when I’m brain-dead after a long day of work, I don’t always want to write. Becauseeeeee I’m brain dead. But I can still do things that inspire me and therefore inspire my writing.
And what “things” would that be?
Uh, watching anime.
I know it sounds dorky or nerdy. But if you’re reading this then you’re probably a blogger too, which means you are also dorky or nerdy. So back off. 😉
Yes, I enjoy watching anime. Not the weird stuff. Or the romantic, pornographic stuff. The good, wholesome stuff. I like the intense action scenes, the heroism, the human emotions. I love the beautiful scenery and the amazingly choreographed fight scenes.
Just look at this picture and BASK….
This relaxes me…that might sound weird, but it does. It touches me deeply and makes me feel like me.
And, in the end, these are the same emotions I need–that anyone needs–when they right.
What makes you feel inspired? Don’t be afraid to find time to indulge yourself a little. You’ll be amazed at the impact it makes.
I hadn’t written my book for five days until today. But I just pushed out four pages on anime-inspired emotion and probably some of God’s grace. Four pages is pretty dang good. Yeah, believe me, inspiring yourself is important.
What do you think?
If I don’t write, I feel like I’ll go insane.
If I don’t write, I’ll have a panic attack.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”-Ernest Hemingway
And sometimes I feel the same way.
Is it sad that I feel like I need to write? Is it sad that I run away to my fantasy worlds? Is this just meaningless escapism? Is this good for me, or is it an addiction that I always crawl back to?
I don’t know.
But gosh…I need it.
Write because you need to live. And live because you need to write. How else will you be successful? How else will you fulfill that part of yourself that is dying to come out?
If I don’t write…then I won’t be me.
If I don’t write…
…I won’t be alive.
What do you think?