Writers want to write. That’s the fun part.

But writers also want to be read. And we want to sell, of course. To sell beyond a small circle, we need to have a robust presence in the world.

With or without a publisher behind us, we have to do the legwork ourselves. We have to set up a table at a flea market with a stack of books, interact with browsers, and push our product. Or pack a pickup truck with books, sell out of the bed on the side of a highway, as I understand Faulkner did at the start of his career. Do I remember that right? Was that Faulkner, or someone else? It was somebody big, that I’m sure of.

You and I have a superhighway to sell from. It’s called the internet.

A few of us have the idea to set up a gallery/blog, displaying short stories, excerpts, opinions, in some cases, art, featuring rotating content, so folks come back and back. And to amuse ourselves.

I’m already amusing myself, despite my struggle with a new editor in WordPress, nothing like the old ‘Classic’ editor, that was a breeze to operate.

After how-so-many years Writer Co-op has been in business, we’ve covered pretty much every topic, as far as writing goes. Motley is the place to comment on a wider range of issues, possibly appealing to a general readership.

That’s my theory, anyway. I’m willing to give it a shot. I plan to be playful as hell on my individual page. With Sly and Maisie to work with, that won’t be hard to do. Sandy will post her art. Sue, her marvelous photographic illustrations.

The best thing about the new WordPress editor is, you can have a different theme (format) on every page. There are many free looks to choose from. You can select a simple layout and swap in your text with little effort. Or Sue and I could create a few pages with easy templates. Choose one, slap your name on it, it’s yours.

I’ve constructed the homepage with slots for seven participants. We have a solid four. Who else is game?

Sandy has a site, in progress. I have a site. Some of us may have blogs. We have Writer Co-op and we will have Motley. We can link up, amplify one another’s voices.

Who’s active on Twitter, Instagram, etc.? I’m registered with several of those sites but I’ve never posted on them, they are a mystery to me. I’m on Facebook. I will crank up my presence there.

Take a look at MotleyTry.wordpress.com (the name will change), and tell me what you think.

No, this is not the answer to the challenge of visibility. But it’s a piece of the puzzle. I have other pieces scattered around the web. Maybe my Hansel-and-Gretel approach–dropped bread crumbs–will do something for me, maybe not.

I just visited medium.com, where I have the entirely of Maisie in Hollywood posted. My messages tell me three new people, names I’ve not seen before, have read a good chunk of my thirteen installments. God knows how they found me. I haven’t interacted there for a year (the best way to spark interest). Medium is certainly not the place to post fiction. Advice is the thing there, and political commentary. The saga of a forgotten silent-movie-star mouse? Forget it.

I believe in Maisie and she believes in me and I’m not going to let her down. Nor Sly neither.

Advertisement

26 responses to “Our New Idea”

  1. GD Deckard Avatar

    Happy Yuletide, everyone!
    😀
    As we go merrily about exchanging gifts and joyous felicitations let us remember the orgies and sacrificing of people we didn’t like at Mōdraniht on Christmas Eve. Ahh, people weren’t wimps in the good old days. 😁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sue Ranscht Avatar

      Lol! And here I thought Mōdraniht was meant to honor mothers, living or dead, through sacrificial meals, you know, like a fatted calf or a goat. Maybe the indigenous salamander. Or were they really sacrificing the men and mothers-in-law they simply could not abide? Either way, sounds like a celebration worth resurrecting.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Mike Van Horn Avatar

      I’m sorry to admit, I’ve never been invited to an orgy in my entire life. These days I could only be a spectator.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mike Van Horn Avatar

    I’d love to jump in. I have a site, galaxytalltales.com. I’m on FB, but not TW, Insta, Tiktok, or anything else. I have three recently published sci fi books, plus one marketing book, and my new year’s resolution is to blog regularly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mimispeike Avatar
      mimispeike

      Great!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sandy Randall Avatar

    First, Happy Holidays to my writing friends and family. I am in deep gratitude for Writers Co-op or (coop lol) and the wonderful diverse community of writers, who have made me feel at home.

    I look forward to using my Motley page as a “mad hatter, mad scientist” laboratory of my creative mind. Both my websites do similar, but my primary site https://awriterwrites.org is my blog page plus a couple extras … there, instead of blogging I am writing an episodic tale, that is also my mythological creature compendium. I’m just gathering the creature database in story form, with the added benefit of primarily entertaining my youngest brother (an nearly 39 yr old man with down syndrome, he also shares my love of fantasy.) My other site https://artistbyaccident.com was intended to sell my artwork. I have yet to obtain my business license … (long boring story there) so in the meantime … instead of languishing, I have broken it and am currently rebuilding it, in hopes of blogging about my art. I mix my art and writing sometimes, but a lot of my art is simply another exploration of my creativity. Once in awhile a gem appears out of the rough.

    I love your vision Mimi. Aside from all the work you have done to get us up and running, the intention to add another layer of visibility to connect the readers looking for our particular brands of creativity, is of immense value. Thank you for also adding another layer of excitement to the craft of writing.

    EDIT:
    As for social media, I have the standard facebook page and an author page. I also use Instagram for my photography. I no longer use Twitter, nor any other social media except You Tube (it provides me with help when I break things … like my website! lol) You all are welcome to find me at those places … Facebook … I am here https://www.facebook.com/alistriona/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mimispeike Avatar
      mimispeike

      You need a license to sell on the web? Horrors! I never heard that before. Where do you get it from?

      Are you sure about that?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sandy Randall Avatar

        I need a business license to make sure Washington state gets their due … since my business originated in Washington they require a business license…

        Liked by 1 person

    2. GD Deckard Avatar

      Sandy,
      I really like the image at the top of the page at https://artistbyaccident.com
      It reminded me of the three Norns of Norse mythology. They were Urdr, Verdande, and Skuld -the goddesses of past, present and future. They gave Odin a divine understanding of reality. And took one of his eyes as payment.

      A favorite story about them is their visit to the home of a young couple who had just had a child. While there, a parent said something that angered Skuld, goddess of the future. She pointed to a burning candle and declared that when that candle burnt to its end, their infant would die. Verdande, goddess of the present, blew out the candle and placed it in the child’s hand.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sandy Randall Avatar

        Thanks GD
        Just as my site says … my art is entirely accidental… another picture I did I discovered a way to make a figure with flowing robes… so that picture was intentional using the technique. The one on the far left appears to have antenna… also accidental.
        That it inspires your imagination and reminds you of stories you’ve read makes me happy! ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Perry Palin Avatar
    Perry Palin

    The web can be a part of a book marketing program, but IMHO it has to be a part; it’s not the whole answer.

    I’ve been asked to write a review of a fine new book written and published by my friend Carl. The review will appear in a regional specialty newspaper with a circulation of several thousand.

    Carl and his wife Jade make their living in the gig economy, as educators, biologists, photographers, writers, and fly fishing guides. Pre-Covid, Carl was contacted by a publisher who had seen his magazine and journal articles and photography, and asked him to write a book about fly fishing in Minnesota. A contract was signed, and Carl outdid himself. It’s quite a book. Over 350 pages, with maps, diagrams, and hundreds of photos. The maps and photos need that heavy, expensive glossy paper. By the time the book was done, the pandemic had messed with supply chains and paper supplies, and it increased the prices for nearly everything. The publisher bailed on the contract, and Carl had to resort to legal help to get clear rights to the book so he could self-publish.

    New issues arose. Carl had been selling advance copies through his website at a reasonable, pre-pandemic price. He got orders for about 2,000 copies. As a self-publisher, he contacted printers and found that most of them either wouldn’t do it at all, or they asked more for the printing than the cover price of the sold books. Eventually, Carl found a printer to work with him for a reasonable unit price (Carl had to upfront a lot of money) and the book was released a couple of weeks before Christmas.

    The book has been acclaimed by those who have a copy. He’s selling the book online, but also at fly fishing shops and bookstores, and hand-selling at conventions and conferences. The book’s success is not because of Carl’s exposure on the Internet. He is well known in the regional fishing community, has a lot of friends and contacts inside and outside the business, and people know him to do good work. His regional celebrity and hard work laid the foundation for the success of a great book.

    Of course I’ll be happy to write a review for Carl’s book. The review will sell some more copies, and the book will build on his other businesses.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Perry Palin Avatar
    Perry Palin

    The web is a great place to find things to read, but not all online readers are buyers.

    Years ago I was posting some of my coming-of-age fishing stories on somebody’s forum related to fly fishing. The website crashed, and when it came back up, the old files were lost. One of the regular readers asked if there was some way the old stories could be found, anthologized, and made available to members of the web group. He said he especially wanted to find my stories. I replied that a small traditional publisher had put out a collection of my stories in trade paperback, and I would give members of our web group a good price for a signed copy if they ordered directly from me. I never heard from that guy again. That first book was a modest success, but I only sold about ten copies to the hundreds of people in that web group.

    I’ve known several writers who have published books and had them for sale on the web. They sold their books, but not through the Internet. Most of these books have a regional orientation. Maybe the web generates interest in a book but it doesn’t close the sale. Maybe it’s the Midwest, but people here like to know the author personally or hold the book in their hand or see the author standing in a bookstore or at a reading before they reach for their wallets.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Perry Palin Avatar
      Perry Palin

      I don’t want to be a downer on Mimi’s idea, But I’m telling you of my experiences in my part of the country. Come on. Show me there’s another way to succeed at this marketing thing. Please.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. mimispeike Avatar
        mimispeike

        I hope that exposure will send people to Amazon to buy. I recently bought Follies of God, about Tennessee Williams, after I read excerpts on Facebook.

        I bought Master Flea after Amazon showed it to me in the ‘because you bought’ feature. I had gotten Tomcatt Murr by the same author.

        I bought Archie and Mehitabel because GD told me about it here. His recommendation sold me on it. But a well-written blurb would sell me also.

        I am reminded of that line from Silence of the Lambs. Roughly: Before you can covet something, you first have to see it. (Or be aware of its existence.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sandy Randall Avatar

        Perry, your insight and experience are very valuable.
        I look at book selling and marketing from a readers perspective, which I think follows your experience. As a reader, I am constantly on the lookout for a new read. If it’s research I need, I head for the library, or amazon or google to find information. If it’s for entertaining myself while driving, I head to audible or the library. If I can’t find what I want to read, I decide I need to write it.
        As Mimi pointed out, the fun part is writing. At the moment, I’m not starving, so the urge to market my work and sell, eh. I’m just not hungry enough, so I continue with the fun aspect.
        Having said all that, if someone were to approach me and say, “I love your book, I run a major publishing house and I want to sign you up,” I’d make a call to a lawyer and find a reputable agent and go that route.
        Yeah, the lazy writer …
        In all seriousness, I feel like I am still honing my craft. Writer’s Co-op has been an amazing resource for helping me do that. Perhaps one day, I will decide I need to do the hard work of publishing and marketing, perhaps I will die and my kids will dig through all my writings and take it from there.
        For now, I’m gonna take Mimi’s idea and play with it. See what I learn, see how I improve and have loads of fun.
        OH and just read Mimi’s reply about what prompts her to buy books … I also by books because I notice a title someone is reading and I want to know why they would pick up a specific book. Or I see a book in a movie or in some talking heads bookshelf behind them, and will check out the books. Good reads … always a great place to get new read ideas … forgot about that!

        PS … I bought GD’s “Phoenix Diary” and Victors “Serpent Rising”, not to mention all the Rabbit holes, simply because I’ve gotten to know folks here. Their posts on Showcase made me want to read more … so yeah just within the last year I’ve “met” some of my new favorite writers!😁

        Liked by 1 person

  6. mimispeike Avatar
    mimispeike

    When Sly’s on Kindle, I will follow the formula of Follies of God. Every few days, I will post a paragraph from Sly, and an illustration. Their campaign, I don’t think it is a paid promotion, the touts are not ads, they’re posts in the Facebook feed.

    I’ve been enjoying those excerpts for months, meaning to order the book. I finally did.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. GD Deckard Avatar

    Given that writers tend to form more gregarious groups than do readers in general, and Amazon’s success as a bookseller, I’m with Mimi on this. (Disclaimer: I suck at marketing.)

    Perry’s right of course, the ‘Net is not the whole answer. But it is the only way possible to reach a worldwide audience for pennies on the dollar. The rub is that the ‘Net never actually reaches out to anyone -people have to go to it.

    Mimi’s ideas to generate exposure on social media made me think of the “views” on Utube. If we could generate enough “views” about a book, that should translate into sales. Maybe something that goes viral would work?

    Another approach might be to target an audience. In Mimi’s case, animal lovers come to mind. Her respect for animals comes through her writing loud and strong. So, a small ad should sell books if placed in Modern Cat magazine
    https://moderncat.com/
    or Catster Magazine
    https://www.catster.com/

    I lean towards target marketing. Every book we write has an audience.
    For example:
    Microsoft has recently filed for patents on technology that will allow them to insert unobtrusive ads into video games. The Phoenix Diary is set in a post-apocalyptic world. I have to wonder about having that book findable by players and advertised on old billboards in say, the Fallout series of post-apocalyptic games. 13 million people play the latest version.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mimispeike Avatar
      mimispeike

      I’ve thought about advertising in an atheist publication.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. GD Deckard Avatar

        😏 There may be more animal lovers than atheists.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. mimispeike Avatar
          mimispeike

          A talking cat story, on the face of it, nothing unusual.

          A loopy Virgin-Mary-Visitation grift, and a prostitute who’d acted the role of Virgin Mary to a former customer who turns out to be a high official in the Inquisition, with a talking cat involved in the scam as an advisor, that may get some attention.

          My thinking is, advertise to atheists for the bemused publicity it may fetch.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. GD Deckard Avatar

            😂advertise to atheists for the bemused publicity🤣

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Sandy Randall Avatar

              OOOOOHHHHHH .. you guys just gave me an idea for my trilogy … It’s been a WIP for at least 6 years … so there is a lot to it, but the one thing I didn’t consider was atheists. OMG I am missing a huge portion of my worlds population!!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. GD Deckard Avatar

                Don’t know your story, but this could be fun. We normally define atheism as disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. But the word comes from the Greek for “without a god, godless.” So, your atheists could be believers that no god wanted.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Sandy Randall Avatar

                  This particular story I’ve done extensive historical writing all the way back to the creation of this world. It will be so much fun to write about a group of “god” deniers, especially since this world has actual gods… I like the Greek meaning which basically this group could acknowledge the existence of the gods but actively refuse their authority… it is definitely an idea in a thought bubble and not fully formed …

                  Liked by 2 people

  8. mimispeike Avatar
    mimispeike

    GD, give me the exact title for this site. I have the final logo done.

    I type in WriterCo-op.com / WriterCoop.com. – neither one brings up the site.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GD Deckard Avatar

      😁 It’s plural:
      Writers Co-op is the name of this website
      WritersCo-op.com is the domain name pointed to it.

      BTW, I love the new top picture on the Home Page!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: