The Second Lord of Procrastination & Broken Promises.

That’s me, that is: The Second Lord of Procrastination and Broken Promises.
(The First Lord met an untimely end when, on the eventual realization that Time waits for no man, he tried to catch up with it by removing the batteries from his clock. He consequently failed to notice the time of High Tide was fast approaching and rather sadly, he drowned.)

Some authors have learnt well from this little parable. But not all. Like me, for example. Right now, I feel I should be editing the first ten chapters of ‘Evhen & Uurth,’ (w/t) and not procrastinating until I’ve written some half-baked blog post.

Or should I?

What’s more important? Writing a potential best-seller  or, letting prospective readers know that you’re writing a potential best seller?

I’ve been pretty slow to the social media table, but two years after the release of my first (ok – only) book, I’m becoming more convinced of its value.

See, I figure that just about anyone who writes a book, writes a ‘potential’ bestseller. Take the ‘Fifty Shades’ series by E.L. James. The first of these, and I presume the others, was widely acknowledged as being, well, for want of a better description … crap.

Tell you what – I wish I could write books as crap as them! And indeed, I probably can. You probably can. We all can. The difference between our crap books not selling and Ms James’s making her a very rich and successful woman, is social media. The hype, and even in this case the negative comments, that surrounded the initial ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ book piqued the curiosity of a certain demographic who just had to see what all the fuss was about.

It’s really a case of establishing a market-place for your book and unashamedly promoting it. But in the right manner.

From my experience, there’s no point in spamming the book-buying public. Scattergun Tweets to a following of possibly thousands is unlikely to generate much in the way of sales, if any at all. And cold-calling messages sent on Facebook are about as effective as a telephone call from a PPI claims team. What’s required, is genuine interaction with people interested in the subject matter of your book – be that flying saucers, trolls, cozy romance or in my case, psychopathic rabbits.

Over the past couple of years, I have read some really excellent books by authors I greatly admire, especially so regards the other members of the Goodreads CLOG group. (I distinguish them simply because their humorous writing is more the style I aspire to.) These books, regardless of how many have been sold, deserve to be read by many, many more people. Some, and I’ll spare the blushes of those to whom I refer, should in my opinion, have prominent display positions in national book stores.

The fact that they don’t, is down to a lack of self promotion. I know this to be true in the majority of cases to which I refer.

It doesn’t come easy. Most people, authors or not, worry about being perceived as boastful; being considered arrogant. As a Scot, it’s just not in my nature, for example, to tell anyone that I’m any good at anything. Self-deprecation is viewed as a valuable safety net up here:

“Ah – it’s just something I knocked up on a few rainy Tuesday afternoons. It was either that or clean out the cupboard under the stairs. Its not a serious effort to become an ‘author’ as such. If it sells a few copies, I’ll be happy.”

That’s the way do it. Glass half-empty. If the book sells well, then that’s a bonus. If it bombs, then we were prepared for it.

But with that attitude, which is the more likely?

I’ve learnt that with ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ if I go quiet on it, and don’t undertake some targeted campaign or other, then it may sell the odd one or two copies a month. It will perhaps be read a couple more times on Kindle Unlimited.

But if I do some work on it, tell dog / pet lovers about what a darned good read it is, then sales can be increased ten fold. And this is two years down the line from publication.

So, my point is this: not all procrastination of a work in progress is bad. Proactive and targeted use of social media is just as valuable a use of time as writing that book.

Getting your name known through interaction with potential readers of your particular genre is key.

Right, there you go. That should just about do it.

Now, let me just check the time of the next high tide.

HELP!

Amazon.com logo -500I have a problem. Actually, I have a few, but now is neither the time nor the place.

Instead, let’s talk about my little quandary. (Behave.)

I am looking to run a book promotion in United States, hoping that this will generate some interest in ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’ The trouble is, without a good few positive reviews on Amazon.com none of the ‘big hitter’ promo sites will accept the book. Not even though I can point them to the Amazon.co.uk  site which presently has sixteen excellent, five-star comments.

No sales in USA = No reviews. No reviews in USA = No sales.

Weirdly, the one review (also five-star) that I’ve received from the States, replicated itself on the UK site. But for some reason, there doesn’t seem to be a reciprocal arrangement.

As I can’t determine who has posted on the UK site, I’m asking anyone who reads this post, and has previously posted a review there, if they would mind copying their comment to the Amazon.com site, and adding some reference to the comment first being added to the UK site on ‘xyz date.’

It really is time for me to move on from ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ and get writing those promised ‘Soul Survivor,’ and ‘The Rambling Man,’ efforts. I can’t wait forever to crack the US market, but with your help ……

As a wee ‘thank you,’ here’s a funny video of cats stealing dogs’ beds.

Cheers!

Book Snippets

Book Snippets

Book Snippets is a new website, geared to give an audio clip of around one thousand words / five minutes duration from new books written by ‘indie’ authors.

Although currently functioning, the site is not due to be completely finished until sometime in the New Year, when in addition to housing the various audio clips, each featured author will have their own ‘bio page.’

Each individual clip will be available on You Tube, and at regular intervals, will be grouped with possibly up to three other clips and issued as a podcast.

Reading a book review on, (eg) Amazon is certainly a pretty good indicator as to whether a book will be to the reader’s liking. However, even if the website affords a ‘Look Inside’ feature, it may just allow a brief glance at the opening pages.

Book Snippets provides a win / win situation for all concerned: those interested to read new releases from new writers will have access to a piece that will give a definite flavour of the book, while aspiring authors will have an additional and exciting means of promoting their books.

Anyone wishing to find out more, from either a reader or author point of view should contact Richard Vobes via the online form available on the site itself.

Meantime – here’s an illustration of what Book Snippets has to offer. Let’s take a relatively recent release like ……. hmmm – what about this one?