Mind melt

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to lose my job. I experienced many thoughts and emotions as  reult of this but one of the outstanding ones was “woo-hoo, I can now concentrate on my writing”. This was, predictably, not to be.

Although I managed to get some short stories written and a number of novels started, I didn’t actually complete very much. I can put this down to two core reasons: one would be that I had no real concept of time and therefore had no deadline by which to complete my work, nothing was pressing and so I had no driver.

Secondly, of the short stories I did complete and went on to submit to websites, I had perhaps not the reaction I’d wanted (although I’m not sure exactly what I did actually expect).

There’s the over-optimistic vision of having agents bang down your day on finding your work online, which is not going to happen… there is hope that you will write something submit it, and wake up the next day in a life of brian style scenario where people shout your name and beg you for further words of wisdom. This is equally deluded but still it would be quite nice to find happening. Finally, there’s the long slow potboiler in which you become some sort of Sugarman character where you are actually unaware of your growing popularity and then people hunt you down for a documentary that tries to find out who this dark, shadowy, revolutionary figure is.

None of these things happened. I did, however, foolishly pay an amount of money to a (apparently established and respected) website to get my work published, only for it to be rejected. I should have paid attention to my own advice of never paying reviewers, agents, publishers and so on. Additionally, where I was published, the reviews only seemed to be provided by other authors and therefore seemed to smile through their words with knives behind their backs. A horrid experience.

My Twitter followers have remained quite static in number, and the only extra followers seem to be other authors intent on advertising their latest efforts to me: another author! The point being what exactly? Surely they should be hunting down bookclubs and reading groups? Coca Cola, to my knowledge, don’t go to Pepsico every week and try to get vending machines installed, the same logic can be applied here. Very, very bizarre thinking.

I will continue working on books soon, and I can’t pretend I haven’t learned anything these past months, but my intention was to write something more optimistic and forward thinking rather than the cynical tomes that are currently sitting in my head waiting to see daylight, or moonlight.

The Dead Famous pt 2 seems more likely than ever, but I had hoped to tell my cat story first. Oh, well, c’est la guerre.

Book Trailer fun

Most of my posts, if not all of them, have been about my ill-conceived and badly carried out plans on how to produce a book and then go about marketing it; this post will be no exception.

I previously posted a link to the book trailer I made to promote my book, The Dead Famous. It wasn’t made too seriously (as I think was obvious from the clip) but it was fun to make and taught me, if nothing else, at least how to use iMovie for mac. It also taught me a couple of other things:

1) Cemetery workers are really suspicious of people walking around with cameras.
2) Cemetery workers are realy suspicious of people walking around with spades.
3) Cemetery workers are really suspicious of people walking around with balaclavas.

It took about two days to film, edit, and finalise the video before finally uploading it to youtube. The problem is that, once uploaded, it’s very difficult to get viewings without paid promotion. Nevertheless, I quickly gained a large number of views within the first few days and I also submitted it to the International Movie Trailers Festival (which has a “book trailers” section) which also seems to have generated a good deal of the attention I needed for it.

Lastly, I ensured that everywhere either my book or my author profile was featured throughout the internet, a link to or embedded version of the video was featured (for example Amazon allow authors to create their own pages with accompanying media)

It’s hard work, and I have complete respect for anyone that has not only made a trailer but also made a success of it. I can’t say that my sales have risen significantly, but it’s been a fun learning curve as has this whole writing experience so far 🙂

Enjoy! : http://www.internationalmovietrailerfestival.com/all-trailers/the-dead-famous/

Experiences of my first day published.

So, I finally got around to abandoning my first book to the world and got it published as a kindle download on the various amazon sites. The first day had 3 sales, which I thought was nice but I knew deep down that these were most likely 100% attributable to friends so felt something had to be done to reach a wider audience.

I had decided to go with Amazon’s kindle self publishing route and, as part of that, I additionally chose to opt in to their kindle lending library. This essentially means that I am tied to them for 3 months exclusively which is a nuisance when wanting to publish digitally elsewhere but, on the other hand, I have direct access to one of the largest digital lending libraries on the net.

The agreement also means that, within those 3 months, I can offer up to 5 promotional days when the book is available for free to Amazon customers. As I had been boring my friends with details of the book for the past few months I thought better to get rid of one of the days immediately and I was happily surprised with the results.

During that 24 hours, I reached number 20 in the UK kindle charts for humour (number 360 in the main kindle charts) and number 34 in the US/international chart (around 1500 ranking). There are said to be over 1.6 million titles on Amazon so, for me, I was extremely happy with the outcome.

Total download figures for that period were 294 worldwide.

Now comes the hard work. I might have been able to rely on friends and family for maybe 10% of those figures but I’m presuming that all those friends who wanted the book have now downloaded it, and so now I have to find new markets. Cue: more social networking, finding of kindle users forums and all sorts of self promotion. It’s hard work, but if I want to get noticed by an agent or publisher, that’s 100% necessary.

Author Ronald Moger: Short stories and tales of publishing woes.

Short stories, the search for success and tales of book promotion attempts :)

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