Writing a book is difficult; revising and editing is an odyssey.
However, marketing looms large, hanging around your neck like an anchor. Indie authors face an uphill battle. There are hundreds of thousands of new books created each year across a myriad of genres. Depending on the pool you dive into, you may (or may not) have a bastion of potential supportive fans.
Unfortunately, the grind is indeed a millstone.
You must learn to embrace the suck.
I love a rousing speech, but marketing is about discipline and a real desire to share what you have made with the world. Often, in the throes of sending out review emails or contacting media outlets, you are struck by a desperation to simply give up. You might consider just being content with having completed a book.
And truthfully, finishing a book is a real accomplishment. Very real.
Some things that help me get through the grind (and also result in some progress):
Advertising. Not everyone has the budget to run a full-page ad in The New York Times (I certainly don’t). However, you can chip away with a smaller budget using Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. If you ran an ad 2-3 times a week, you might be able to run an ad that reaches 10,000 new potential readers for as little as $50.
Starting a conversation. You’re probably on social media; you probably even retweet some truly interesting people. But you likely aren’t having a conversation. The importance of this is in building relationships, showing potential readers that you don’t just want to sell them something: you want to make them a lifelong reader.
Talking to someone new. Every so often I like to shoot for the stars and reach out to someone on social media who’ll probably never respond. You don’t need to tweet Chris Pratt in order to talk to someone new. You could reach out to a columnist you admire (Lauren Duca) or just someone who covers your genre to say you enjoyed what they wrote. Writers are always excited to hear from people who enjoyed their work.
Making a plan. Wondering what to do next? Decide what you want to do. Sell 10 books today? Sell 10,000 books by the end of the year? Get a thousand new followers on Twitter by the end of the year? Figure out what you are aiming for and then build a step-by-step plan to reach it. That’s what I do anyways.
Throwing out the plan. Then sometimes plans change…goals change. You need to adapt with them. Throw out what wasn’t working and plan for something new. The world is constantly changing; you need to be changing with it.
All I know is that if you are unwilling to share your book, then potential readers will likely not be interested in reading it.
I have decided to start a new approach to reviewing movies, TV shows, and books on the site. Enter “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” segment. First up is the latest in what has become the exhausting MCU.
Simply put: I loved this movie.
The previous two entries in the Thro franchise set up an interesting relationship between Thor and Loki, but never seemed to produce a movie that was worth the price of admission. With that it mind, let’s get to it.
The Good: Loki (in my opinion) has been one of the few bright spots in terms of a largely underwhelming stable of villains the MCU has marched out for the shiny Marvel movies. Here, Taiki Watiti treats the god of mischief as he should be: chaotic neutral. Loki, traditionally, is less a black hat and more a “let’s watch them dance” kind of antagonist. This is revived here with requisite humor. Thor Ragnarok was, quite simply, fun, which has been sorely missing from the MCU. Hela was a great villainess and the supporting cast, especially Korg, proved to be wonderful. Jeff Goldblum delights as well, though I would have expected nothing less. The Good: characters, dialgoue, music, and overall story.
The Bad: There was not a lot to complain about in this movie. One criticism I have seen levelled at it is the lack of seriousness. While the plot is peppered with humor and misadventures, I never felt as if it needed more seriousness. The Bad: very little at stake in the larger MCU picture (not really a bad thing).
The Ugly: Valkyrie was one of my favorite characters in the film. However, there was a point at which the movie veered toward her as a potential love interest for Thor. She deserves to be an autonomous character, not beholden to a potential amorous companion for Thor. The Ugly: hinting that Valkyrie might tumble into love-interest territory.
iZombie continues to be one of my favorite, if not my favorite, show on TV. The acting is top notch as always. Rose McIver is wonderful again, taking on yet another personality with ease. Robert Buckley is sadness personified. Malcolm Goodwin remains powerfully stoic and humorous and somber as he deals with how much his life has changed and been affected by Team Z. (Also, I loved yet another GoT reference.) A great episode that portends even greater things in the future.
If you’re like me, then you have a strong and abiding love for Parks & Recreation. I can admit that it is one of my favorite comedies in recent memory, due in large part to the brilliant casting and writing. And Ron Swanson, always Ron Swanson.
However, I came to an interesting realization the other day: Perd Hapley is a dimension-travelling alien observer who is clearly the most powerful being in the shared TV universe. For eagle-eyed fans, you will notice that Jay Jackson, the actor who plays Perd, has a penchant for reading the news on your favorite TV show.
What you never noticed though, his how closely he likes to stay to danger and intrigue. Much like the Observers from Fringe, I think that Jay Jackson has created a kind of shape-shifting constant character that is not unlike Stan Lee in every MCU movie.
Starting in 2007, Jackson has played a report or news anchor no less than 14 times, including:
Bones (TV Series)
Scandal (TV Series)
The Catch (TV Series)
Supergirl (TV Series)
Pretty Little Liars (TV Series) Parks and Recreation (TV Series)
Revenge (TV Series)
Fred: The Show (TV Series)
Body of Proof (TV Series)
The Mentalist (TV Series)
Fast Five (Movie)
The Closer (TV Series)
Dexter (TV Series)
Now, perhaps you can say that he has been typecast as a reporter/news anchor or even that Jay Jackson likes playing these parts. However, I like to think that a casting agent, writer, producer, director, or even Jackson himself is purposely creating one of the greatest easter eggs in all of TV history.
So, the next time you are watching a TV show and they cut to a reporter in the field or an anchor delivering the news, don’t be surprised if it is Perd Hapley looking back at you.