Monthly Archives: February 2015

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part FOUR

The flood of information continues! Part Four of Susan Toy’s series on #marketing tips for #authors

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

writer_398245

Cartoon from Toonpool.com

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 4

Okay, now you’ve completed the further editing, the proofs have been approved, and it’s just a matter of waiting for the printer to produce and ship your book. So, what’s been happening at the publishing house all this time? The main thing they’ve been up to is preparing for, and holding, sales conferences for their sales reps. A catalogue page for your book should have been completed and posted online. Be sure to link to this page on your own blogsite, and direct anyone to it who asks about your book. The reps have been told about you, and they have discussed how they can best sell your book to booksellers, libraries, wholesalers and specialty markets. Some of them may have even read the manuscript. If at all…

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#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part THREE

Susan Toy’s series on #author #marketing and #promotion continues…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

writer_398245

Cartoon from Toonpool.com

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 3

Once the contract is signed, and while the manuscript is being worked on by the editor, is the best time for you to ramp up your web presence. While you wait for the edited copy to be returned to you – and this could take several months – is when you should work on further developing your blog and Facebook presence. This may be a good time, as well, if you haven’t done so already, to create a website (and your publisher may help you with this as they will want you to link to their site), and prepare yourself for the time in the very near future when you can actually call yourself “a published author.”

It’s not too early to announce that you have signed a…

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#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part TWO

Part II of Susan Toy’s series – Thanks to Susan and Chris for sharing. Good advice for all authors.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

writer_398245

Cartoon from Toonpool.com

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 2

The best time to begin building your readership is while you’re still writing the manuscript. The very first thing you need to do is create a web presence of some kind or another. This can be as simple as building a blogsite (always free) and writing posts for it on a regular basis. Encourage your friends to subscribe to this, and ask them to ask their friends to do the same. Then write something meaningful, as often as you can, even if it’s only once a week. You should never have to ask, “But what should I write?” You’re a writer; you’ll think of something! Write regularly, keep it positive and upbeat, and post, or repost, articles that will create a discussion in your comments. When people comment…

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#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part ONE

Excellent piece – whether you are thinking about writing a novel (a fictional one, of course!!) or you are already published. There is a great deal of truth in this post!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

writer_398245

Cartoon from Toonpool.com

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 1

Before I begin, please watch this video:

 .

I’ve named these two characters Wannabe Author (WA) and Real Author(RA).

How many of you have ever said any of the things Wannabe Author says in this video? Come on, be honest. Okay, then, how many of you have heard other writers say any of these things? And, like Real Author, haven’t you just wanted to put them and everyone else out of their misery by ignoring whatever they say? Obviously, Wannabe Author is the least promotable kind of author. First of all, Wannabe is never likely to be published, so will be of little worry to the publishing industry anyway. WA is not listening to an experienced author, knows nothing about the publishing business, and thinks the path to…

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Bread, Circuses and the Over-Inflated Image of the NFL

In my office this morning, as in every other office and work place in the country, if not the world, the main focus of conversation was, not surprisingly, the Super Bowl.

XLIX

Conversations could be heard throughout the cubicle farm, in every room and at both water coolers (a little cliché, but true). Every aspect of the game, from the commercials to the final score – and everything in-between – was analyzed and discussed ad nauseam.

Since my team was not involved, and since I really hate The New England Patriots…and since my love of football and the NFL in general has deteriorated greatly in the past 10 years, I tried to avoid engaging in any of the chit-chat.

I was doing fine until a friend of mine came to my desk and pretty much forced me into a conversation about the game. Eventually I made a wise-ass comment (big surprise) about how I couldn’t care less about football these days. This led to a discussion about my preference for baseball over football.

My friend told me that baseball was boring.

sleeping fan

This is where I would usually tell him that if he felt that way, he didn’t truly understand the game, but since he used to be quite a talented baseball player I couldn’t use that argument, so I changed tack. I told him that football was equally as boring, but the NFL disguises it with absurd amounts of meaningless hype, overly-enthusiastic announcers, hot women patrolling the sidelines with microphones and 12 replays of each play.

He argued that football players take a physical pounding.

Big deal!

They take a pounding one day a week, for 16 weeks – baseball players play practically every single day from April to October…162 games, travelling more in one season than the average American travels in a lifetime.

Tell me that isn’t grueling.

He tried to rephrase his argument by saying with football’s faster pace it is much more exciting to watch.

Really?

stop watch I felt it was my duty to inform him that if you were to run a stop watch during a football game and let it run only when the ball was in play…your “exciting” 3 hour spectacle would be reduced to about 12 minutes of “action” (it’s true, look it up). Which means, theoretically, that any given player is only involved in actual play for about 6 minutes (half on offense and half on defense – theoretically).

My opinion is that if you pay attention during a football game, you’d realize that once it was stripped down and sanitized to its pure form, it, too, is pretty friggin’ boring.

Also, in my opinion, football is nothing more than (warning: conspiracy theory coming at you) a cleverly orchestrated means of keeping the American people fat, dumb and happy.

In his classic novel 1984, (published in 1949 – long before football was a national distraction) George Orwell said…

“…heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”

I’m not saying that the U.S. Government is using football to control us…but I’m also not saying they aren’t.

fat dumb happy

Back in the day – we’re talking waayy back, like 100 B.C. – a Roman guy named Juvenal (Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis to be more specific) coined the phrase Bread and Circuses (or, in the vernacular of the day panem et circenses).

In Juvenal’s day, Bread and Circuses was another way of saying “public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace” which pretty much jives with Orwell’s sentiment.

Nowadays Bread and Circuses has little more significance than the name of a whole-food store in Boston, but when you take a step back and observe the endless hype leading up to the Super Bowl, the hysteria during the game and the endless Monday morning quarterbacking it’s pretty obvious that Juvenal and Orwell were pretty much spot-on.

The NFL has grown into a multi-billion dollar enterprise in the past 10 or 15 years, and they did it, not by making the game itself better, but by convincing the public that they (the public) needed to be watching.

bread and circuses

They took an existing product that was doing fairly well and marketed the living daylights out of it until it was, in the minds of the people who swallowed the bait, the new national pastime.

Ironically, they used a philosophy coined in a baseball movie to do it…if you build it they will come.

Football has been played since 1869…but it wasn’t until recently (the past 15 years or so) that the league began blitzing us with the hype…and we were plowed over by it like a rookie quarterback. They capitalized on the wing-eating, short-attention-span, sound-byte mentality of the average American, and they did it so masterfully that Joe Fan never saw it happening.

As I watched Super Bowl XLIX, anxiously awaiting the end of the game, not because I had any interest in the outcome, but because it meant we were that much closer to the beginning of baseball season, I came to the conclusion that, compared to the superfluous pomp and circumstance of football…baseball is like a warm summer’s day.

Baseball doesn’t have the most recent country-music tomato singing an opening song, nor is there an entire day devoted to it each week…Yes, it’s slow moving and no, there isn’t a risk of serious injury or hospitalization on every play (although I’m sure that every player who faces a 95 mph fastball would disagree), but, if you understand the nuances of the game…it’s a beautiful thing.

It’s the difference between a keg party and a black-tie affair, heavy metal and smooth jazz, a muscle head and a muscle car.

I know I’m probably in the minority, but I really don’t care… spring training starts later this month and soon all will be right with the world.

Play ball!

play ball

As always – thank you for reading

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Living the Dream by Tim Baker Review

Four out of Five stars for Living the Dream on this blog.

Year 'Round Thanksgiving Project

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Dream-Tim-Baker-ebook/dp/B0033AHLX8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1422848061&sr=8-2&keywords=Living+the+Dream
This was an interesting book. Initially I kept getting confused. Each chapter was told from the point of view of a different character. But once I got into the rhythm of that, it smoothed out for me.

It was almost a comedy of errors for poor Kurt who is trying to scam anyone available. He was like able, even though he has to be one of the dumbest crooks ever. But I kinda felt sorry for him.

The book was all tied together with the dreams. The author did a good job of keeping the various story lines straight.

This was an easy read. I will be reading more by this author. Four out of five stars.

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