blogging, book promotion, Uncategorized

Blogging Your Book

To blog your book without being too boringly obvious or repetitive, consider blogging about the subject matter of your book. People who share an interest in what your book is about could become your readers.

For example:
If you write mysteries, blog the latest crime-fighting psychology or tech or techniques. Romance writers can blog on sex, relationships or famous real-life romances. Blog fantasies if you write them, or blog the science behind your fiction if you write Sci-Fi.

So, if you are a writer who blogs, the question could be…
What can you blog about that shares your interests with prospective readers?

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About Writers, blogging, Uncategorized, world-building, writing technique

Tomorrow’s Challenge

Why do we continue to use digital media to mimic novels set in type? Linear stories presented word by word and scene by scene are analogs in a world that we are beginning to experience as quantum.

Changes are coming even if we ignore them. Digital e-readers are as capable of sounds as they are of words, so why bother describing the sound of a bell when you can make it? Two paragraphs appearing side by side can present two PoVs to the reader at the same time. Comic books do that now. Imagine what a creative writer of the future will be able to do.

But why wait? Are we all just old analogs stuck in a linear perspective incapable of conveying life’s simultaneity?

Just asking 🙂 What do you think?

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About Writers, blogging, book promotion

Facebook Street Cafe

My first two weeks:
The humanity cascading down my Facebook page needs filtering, of course. I want to learn from other authors. They get invites. **Purged are the space-wasters – haters, fanatics, scammers and whores may have their story but I am not here to write it. Everyone else is appreciated. Well, I occasionally knock off the loudly ignorant, the maudlin, the chanters of feel-good gibberish, a proselytizer or two, even the emotional yo-yos when they don’t know when to stop. Still, I have over 1400 “Friends.” Some are generous authors happy to share what they know while others would kill your mother for a Popsicle if they were hungry.
But what else should one expect from the crowds on Main Street, Earth?

I am not here to sell books. Happy as I am to see the hits jump on my book’s webpage, I came to see today’s authors and the books they are writing. Posting my book is just flashing my badge.
Most authors seem like myself. They like to write, they like being authors, they don’t sell many books but two out of three keeps them writing. Granted, I’m not friended with James Patterson, Steven King or JK Rowlings but I ‘could’ be chatting up a future Rowlings, King or Patterson. That thought keeps me respectful.

Social media, by its nature, skews the sample towards social people and social themes. There are more women authors on Facebook than men authors. Facebook authors are usually outgoing, happy to share books or thoughts on genres, plots, characters, publishing, marketing or any topic related to life as a writer.
I like them. I learn from them.

It’s a humbling experience. So many people who know more about any topic than do I are happy to set me straight. My reference to the War Powers Act was expanded in a reply from a judge who kindly explained why I was right but …not really on target. My comment in another discussion was labeled a “red herring” by someone who knew.

True, some here have unusual kinks in their DNA helix and always remember that you are talking with faceless strangers even when they put a face to the talk. I received a friend request from an active duty soldier. The photo showed a wholesome young woman in US Army uniform at her desk. Her account page said she was born in NYC, currently living in Damascus, Syria. Right.
Y’gotta love Humans.
**Addendum. Note: Do not use the word “purged” or the phrase “knock off.” My use of those elicited a happily rabid response from a fanatic agreeing on the necessity for “culling the rat fuck bastards” who can “be erased with the push of a button on a suicide vest.”
Apparently, word choice can be critical here.

Writing at my desk with Facebook but a click away is like writing while sitting in a sidewalk cafe where one only has to look up to engage people going by. Talking with people having similar interests is a refreshing break. So if you’re a lover of books, please send me a friend request. I’m in front of Ducky Smith’s SciFi Roundtable cafe. I’ll hold a chair for you.
+++– GD Deckard

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About Writers, blogging, book promotion, book reviews, book sales, Literary Agents, Research, Stories, writing technique

A Path

Lots of great ideas here but they are only ideas unless we put the time, effort & sometimes money into them to make them happen. Take the idea of WritersCo-op.com becoming a kind of wiki created by writers who have something to offer other writers. That would take time, effort & eventually, money.

Time, first. Members can keep posting articles until we have enough to seed a wiki. Then effort. I think I can find writers to create a wiki but that must be done. And we’d probably have to pay a server host to maintain our site online. I’ve set up websites since 1998 and I know we could find a home on the ‘Net for our wiki at a cost we’d be happy with.

The beauty of this path is that we do not have to decide right now. We can keep on blogging as we are doing.
When we have enough blogs, or articles, we can consider turning the site into a wiki.
If we end up with a wiki, we’ll figure out a way to fund it.

We can become a site where any writer could log on and find information on just about anything they are looking for regarding writing – from creating stories, to practical working advice, to shopping for agents, working with an editor, the publishing process, marketing tips – all on one website created by other writers:
The WritersCo-op Wiki.

What do you think?

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blogging, book promotion

On Extending Our Reach.

I’ve brought this up previously and gotten no response, neither pro nor con, from anyone but Curtis. I’m willing to work on our look, but so far I have to assume that you all think it just fine.

The Writer Coop Annex page I’ve created as an experiment on my own site, is it too slick for you? Curtis says too much work. Yes, it is more work than what we have at present, and I am not eager to dive in, but what we show here does not say, to me anyway, we’re in this game to win.

We have had a few folks put up a post and disappear. Do they see us as a waste of time? They obviously do not want to chat, they want a site with activity, that they can market to and through. That means numbers, which we ain’t got. I put Tom Wolosz in this category, and the guy with the riddles.

We have great, wide-ranging content, we need a better presentation, a front page slate of offerings, where people will see plenty going on, plenty to be excited about, that makes them eager to jump in.

I get emails, so-and-so liked your comment, names I don’t know. Why do few of you speak up? I’m damn curious.

Let’s take a survey: Why are you here? What do you like about this site? What don’t you like?

Are you a wanna-be (published) like me, or are you already in (trad/ebook) print? What tactics have you used to get out the word?

I consider Writer Coop to be grand entertainment. Do you? (It’s fun to read, even more fun to write for.)

Facebook has a number of groups where you can cry your wares. Writers do, in droves, hit-and-run appeals, and that gets tedious real fast. This site is more of a soft-sell marketing magazine with feature-length articles. And, literary-leaning, I love that. Do you?

Those who apparently have no time to prepare a piece for us, who are, presumably, busy with the blog tours and such, good luck to them. How’s that going?

Those who proudly proclaim, my book is #425 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban, give me a break. That’s a load of crap and you know it.

Hey, break it down even further: Yada > Yada > Paranormal & Urban > Alien Comedians. (There you go, GD.) You select a category narrow enough, of course you’re going to sound good. I would guess that not many of us, at this point, fall for that. How many books have you sold/given out, in the hands of readers, the start (theoretically) of a fan base?

Marketing is exposure, that’s a given. It’s also seduction. The best way to seduce me is to demonstrate your facility with language. And where better to do it than on here? We have no rules here, except perhaps, no bullshit (except in fun), and don’t bore us. Are you up to that?

Lurkers! How’s about, everybody into the pool. Start at the shallow end, the comments section. Get your fanny wet there.

I’m all-in on this, in case you haven’t noticed. But I’ve got my own site (in progress). When it’s ready, I’ll be pushing it gangbusters. So this effort isn’t make-or-break for me. But it’s a tool in my toolbox, and I want to see it succeed.

I bow to the majority will. If you’re happy with our as-is, I won’t bring it up again. Isn’t it worth an on the record yea or nay to shut me up? Everyone admits the need for a professional-level cover on a book. How is a website any different?

What does our DIY-feel format say about our marketing sophistication? Are we an enjoyable writer hangout, a place to recharge our batteries, marketing one of many topics we tackle, or the reverse, a small start on a marketing think-tank, stylish, smart schmooze our (tasty, if I do say so myself) bait?

Am I over-focused on cosmetics? Networking, that’s a vital strategy. Mentions scattered around the web may pay off. I announced our presence yesterday on Book Country. The result so far: 57 views, no replies.

Do we have a way to track visits? One site I followed had a visible daily tally. The owner turned that off fast. It was embarrassing how few dropped by. She’d set up shop as a web designer, but her effort on behalf of her most important client, for herself, fell way short. (That’s what I worry about here.) She targeted small business owners because small business owners, in my experience, don’t know good work from crap. When her domain name came up for renewal, she let it lapse, a wise decision. In the fifteen years I knew her, she never produced a piece I admired.

I could insert our link in the comments section of the YouTube publishing/marketing videos that I comb relentlessly for ideas. Do any of the big-name sites, Jane Friedman for instance, have the equivalent of letters to the editor? I am ready to try all of this, but first I think we need to reconsider our personal-blog style presentation.

I’ve dropped the term Glabelhammies into my remark on a Mark Knopfler video, and advised viewers to google it up. The hit on the search result brought me straight here. Guerrilla Marketing! Channel Hunter S. Thompson and get to work. That’s why we need a really exciting front page, so our accidental tourists are persuaded to peruse, and perhaps bookmark for a return visit.

Give us more neat words, GD. I’ll disperse them, here, there, in ways that (seem to) make (some kind of) sense. Write us a blog-post full of wonderful invented words and I’ll skip, tra-la, tra-la, from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter, Gretel-like, judiciously dropping my bread crumbs. I love new words. I’m always looking them up. I can’t be the only word-nut around.

Craigslist! Is there a category on Craigslist for us? If not, can we make one up? I’ve said it before. I say it again: NO STONE UNTURNED.

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Here’s a screen shot of my latest try. This is built in Wix. I would look for something of this nature in the WordPress templates.

The blue and dotted lines are there because I took the screen shot in the Editor. A header and footer would display on all pages. And, of course, a menu.

A template, where you would have your features set up and only have to plug in new copy, I don’t think that would be too much work.

What you see below is real easy to do in Wix. The time consuming part is, you have to tweak everything. Every item impacts what sits beneath it. Any increase in depth on nearly anything, what lies below bumps and jumps around. Annoying as hell! A locked in place template is definitely in order.

FYI: From dotted line to dotted line is the recommended width for a standard screen. To accommodate a decorative edge right and left, I would have to skinny up the guts.

If I were working in Wix, I would create a spare, random repeat/motif of the symbols as a background, to liven up the empty side space on a big screen. I don’t know if you can do that with WordPress.

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 12.33.31 AM.png

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blogging, Uncategorized

Tomb Of The Unknown Writer

Note: The following is but a whimsical filler, cobbled from bits of my current WIP, Bob Vs The Aliens, because there’s nothing else in the hopper. C’mon you guys, write a blog & draft it so Curtis can schedule it. Nobody wants to keep reading fillers…  although, I hope you enjoy this one.

+++“Look, a park,” said Piper.
+++“Could be a golf course,” Bob thought aloud.
+++“It’s a cemetery,” Old Spice said. The fat little Alien had the advantage of built-in GPS. “We can spend the night in the Caretaker’s Shack.”
+++Bob looked at Piper. He wasn’t going to admit an unwillingness to sleep among the dead and from her expression, he surmised neither would she. “Fine.” Together, the couple braked the railroad hand car to a stop where a gravel path crossed the tracks. Poppies lined the path leading them to a small cottage. Inside, they found a front reception area and a side room, apparently a gift shop.
+++The Alien winked at the ventriloquist doll on his arm. “Look, Lizbeth. A gift shop. Would you like a souvenir?” The doll nodded, “Yes! Yes!” Inside, they found the shop empty. “Looted!” exclaimed Lizbeth. “Zombies?”
+++“Uh, unlikely,” Bob told her, wondering why he bothered.
+++“Maybe this wasn’t a gift shop.” Piper read from brochures on a table by the back door. “‘Read A Book While You Can.’  These are authors’ invites to book readings.”
+++The back door opened onto a tiny secluded garden where a skeleton, outstretched over a pile of books, reached for a tomb. The stone tomb resembled an outhouse. Above the door were carved big letters, “THRONE OF UNKNOWN WRITERS,” and names were chiseled into the marble door. The skeleton clutched a chisel in one hand and a hammer in the other.
+++“Well, he almost made it,” noted Lizbeth.

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blogging

Some input, please.

Okay Okay Okay. My site is coming along nicely. But, it’s still a construction zone.

It’s still got a lot of type dummied in, and all kinds of building blocks – art, structural items, discarded text, etc. – thrown about, willy-nilly, saved aside in case I decide I want any of that stuff back. I learned my lesson tonight. Delete nothing.

I threw out a piece on Cervantes. An hour later, I wanted a passage out of it. I knew it was still on the (long unvisited) original site but I couldn’t figure out how to switch over in the editor, and I couldn’t go directly, I’ve forgotten how it was named. I had to find an old Facebook post, hit the link, and because I still couldn’t get to the editor through that back door, I had to copy and paste first into a word doc for permanent storage, and from there into my new site. Like I told them on Facebook, I sure am no expert. I just klutz around until I like what I see.

Well, the site is still a mess, but the menu is working. You can go on there and navigate around, finally.

I have added a page at the end: The Writer Coop Annex. I have a look mocked up. My idea is to post titles and a line or two of our marvelous posts, with links to here. Also some of my own content, why should you visit Writer Coop? What will you find there? And so on.

It’s gonna be a while (months) before I’m ready to rumble, to promote my site. I would hope that our WordPress layout gets more visually exciting beforehand. I’m willing to work on it, if everyone agrees. Take a look at my Writer Coop page and give me your opinions. I think it takes more than what we currently have as a set-up to impress and entice new members. I see this as a serious stumbling block. Does anyone else?

FYI: The actual width of my W-C page is the width of the menu bar, plus a smidge. I always have to cheat a little.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 11.25.30 PM.png

The header will have copy tailored to the page. The Sly info is repeated, but I have tried to minimize it. I wanted to make the FIND THE STARTER PAPERDOLL banner not visible for the Coop page. That caused other problems, so I’m leaving it for now. I should try again to get rid of it. On this page, it bothers me. I ought to dump the My Sly as well, and paste it individually page by page instead of the universal insertion. It won’t be too much more work. The menu bar (naturally) will stay.

Another problem, some lines of type are displaced. What you see in the editor sometimes jumps up or down in the public-view. There are many little things that I don’t have a handle on yet.

It’s pathetic how I stumble around in Wix. I discovered only a day ago that I can make the type huge. I’d thought you could only go up to the limit of the slider bar. No! There is a field to plunk a number into. I thought the max must be around 300 point, I think that’s the limit in inDesign. (It may be 400 pt., but no higher.) I entered 999 by accident and – bam! – there it was, a monster. You want that from time to time, to make a statement. This is crazy. And great. As Steve Jobs used to say, crazy great!

On the finished page, the SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL column will be gone. The WOW! HUGE! will be replaced by a meeker message, making for a considerably calmer page, not nearly so bouncing-off-the-walls.

Here’s the address of my site: http://mimispeike.wixsite.com/myguysly. Copy and paste it into your browser. I don’t know how to make it go live. See? I am pathetic.

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Rats! I just patched over the STARTER banner (on the live site), but you can see the edges of the patch. If I turn off the default display (anything in the header shows on all pages, until you opt out) then the type falls behind the strip and will not stay forward, I’ve tried and tried and tried. Mysterious. Maybe I’ll find a fix eventually.

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You know, I would also like if the right column were wiped out, the left text as is, on a plain white ground, and in place of the oversized ‘S’, the cover of someone’s book, occupying the same space, a promo/review below. A regular feature: Book Of The Month. Or: Author Of The Month. Or a profile of someone’s main character: Meet Magali Rousseau.

I might even like that more. (In terms of style.) I think I do like it even better.

Here’s a question for everyone. GD says the sides of my page are cut off on his smallish screen. (I have the huge iMac, I don’t have that problem.) The actual page is only the width of the menu bar. The rest is fluff. Please tell me, is that menu shown in full on your computer screen? It is drawn within the Wix guidelines, so I find this very troubling.

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