I’ve just checked my blog’s follow list for the first time. Then I checked the list of blogs I follow. They don’t match, or even come close to matching. The problem, it seems, is that I’m following a LOT of blogs who won’t extend the courtesy of following mine back. I thought such things only happen on “Twitter,” lol, but ironically, Twitter has actually turned out to be a much better social networking tool for me. At any rate, I’m yanking out my machete and fixing the WordPress problem right now. It wouldn’t be such a big deal to me, except that in the two months I’ve been here, only 28 people have bothered to follow. Maybe I could get better participation over on “Myspace,” but alas, I forgot my password when it turned into a ghost town, six years ago. Off to make it 28/28!
Today I enjoyed the company of Devon and Angie of Mysterious World TV. During the three-hour interview, we discussed The Bell Witch: The Full Account and Ghostly Cries From Dixie, along with a few stories from the latter. We talked about “Mary,” the ghost of Memphis, Tennessee’s famed Orpheum Theatre, Voodoo queen Marie LaVeau and New Orleans ghosts, the abandoned Waverly Hills TB Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, the “Devil’s Tramping Ground” in North Carolina, ghost lights (Will O’ the Wisp), and the infamous “Bell Witch” of Tennessee. We all had a great time. And now, back to writing–after some much-needed sleep.
This has been a busy week. I’m working on the sixth draft of my upcoming book, From Turkey Creek – A Memoir, and each day I’m cutting 4-6 pages of unnecessary prose. That’s what it’s all about: Making more sense with fewer, more precise words. The tighter and more precise the writing, the easier and more entertaining the read. Besides working on “Turkey Creek,” I’ve also begun researching for my next ghost story book, which will require extensive travel and planning. Yesterday was spent thanking those who wished me a happy B-Day and V-Day, and last night I got some much-needed shuteye. On Sunday, I have a TV taping, which will last about three hours.
Meanwhile, and behind the scenes, I’ve been working on a new post for my blog. Akin to a serial article, the finished product will be a step-by-step guide for authors seeking to destroy their credibility and careers. Although a good number of newer, inexperienced authors have already swirled their egos into narcissistic tailspins and experienced the resultant, career-ending literary nosedives, I feel it’s time for a sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek discussion of the things authors should NEVER do. If it helps only one person, I will be happy. Expect it in a couple weeks.
In the interim, please read the post, below, which illustrates one example of how not to succeed as an author. It’s from Gayla at Feral Intensity:
Join me on “Crossing the Void” Paranormal Radio for a two-hour discussion about my writing, the Bell Witch legend, and other creepy tales.
~ Wednesday, January 23rd, 8 Central / 9 Eastern ~
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This lady (see link, above) has got it right. Carefully estimate when your book will be released, create a professional press release, and let the buzz begin!
Thirty-plus years of writing and publishing has taught me a few things, the most important of which is: “Keep it simple.” Take the old-fashioned, tried-and-true, bread-and-butter approach to promoting yourself and your books. If you have a decent, timely book about something people are interested in and want to read about, a concise and carefully-worded press release will help you to get the word out quickly and effectively.
Over a short period, more people will hear about your book by reading newspapers, watching TV, and listening to their radios on the way to work than by surfing the internet and stumbling across your blog or Facebook. A book release, assuming that the book is timely and promises a good read, is newsworthy; hence, the media are likely to mention it.
After you create the first wave of your release buzz, send your forthcoming book’s description and, preferably, a couple sample chapters to your local bookstore’s small press or community events coordinator, asking for a signing at the store. Call or visit a few days later, to follow up. Do this with every bookstore in your area. You’ll most likely get two or three signings if you play your cards right. Once you’ve scheduled the signings, create and send a press release for each one.
The additional press releases and the signings themselves will create more buzz, and open doors for more promotion and bigger opportunities. Aside from the two hours you spend crafting a professional press release, the effort costs you nothing but leaves you with plenty to gain.