Wow! We are coming up on the end of the year soon, and this is Episode 48 – can you believe it? We will have done one year’s worth of podcasts at Writer Groupie soon, and to me, that is very exciting!
Well, with the end of the year looming, I am going to be doing my end of the year post soon. I believe in goals and so I will also be posting about my goals for the upcoming year.
I am going to be taking a little hiatus after that for a couple of weeks, it is my birthday coming up, and I have a book coming out, so I am going to go missing for a little while. But that doesn’t mean you cannot get booked on the podcast. Be sure to leave a contact form to tell me about you and your work and we can book you for 2016.
Episode 48 – Chat with RJ Sullivan. This will be a lively and fun guest and I hope you enjoy our chat.
R.J. Sullivan’s novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second part of Fiona’s tale.
R.J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His next book, due out in early 2016, is tentatively titled Mutiny on the Red Lotus, collecting the first three novellas of a new SF spaceship adventure series.
R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it. www.rjsullvanfiction.com
Now that we are heading toward the end of 2015 and people are beginning to think about new year goals, I thought I would share a few thoughts about things that writers need to make a living. If you have a writer in your life, or if you are considering jumping on the wagon in 2016, this post is for you.
In no certain order, here are a few things writers need to help them make money at their craft:
1. Give them support
It is no secret that writers don’t make a lot of money. We don’t. The only one really making a lot of money are the ones who have been at this for a long time and have a good following. Some of those are published by a NY publisher. Some of those are self-published. All of them didn’t start writing in 2014 and now are wealthy, retired authors. Today’s writer needs support from family and friends to make their art. That may be just a meal once in a while that they didn’t have to cook. It may be more like paying their rent one month. And for some of us, it just means give us space to breathe and be a writer. Let us lock ourselves in our room and write and not come down for hours.
2. Learn to market
There is just no way around this. You have to go out in the wide world web and tell people about your book. Marketing yourself and your work cannot be accomplished by others. They do not understand it the way you do. Now, others can tell their cadre about your work. They can share the love, absolutely. But when you are trying to get a readership, you just have to go out there and get your hands dirty doing it yourself. No one knows your story or book as well as you do. Your love for your work will bring more readers to you than anything else. Share it!
3. Create a routine
No secret in this either, but you need to develop a writing habit. Find a time to write every day, create a writing site where you can do what you do comfortably, and do it without fail. The main reason NANOWRIMO is so successful is that it makes wannabe writers sit down and write. Putting out legible words every day with a goal to turn them into a story is not for the faint-hearted. Don’t it worse by not having goals and setting deadlines.
4. Get some grit
Writers are pretty popular in today’s world. There are an awful lot of us. And the fact that dang near every one of us is a bundle of nerves, uncertainty, and doubt does nothing to give a good image to today’s writer’s portrait.
But it’s true.
We are some of the least confident people out there. We worry endlessly and have more disbelief in our ability than any one out there. Well an actor may be close, and an artist too. But writers are notorious for being dubious creatures. We just do not believe in ourselves. So, this is your wake up call, writer. Believe in yourself! You DO have talent!
5. Love what you do
This is a big one. Writing is hard. Crafting words that work is the hardest thing I have ever done. Rewriting them and editing them is equally cruel. But I do it because I love it. And you will have to love it too. You cannot be a good writer if you are only doing this for money. See number one. There is NOT a lot of money in this venture, at least not in the beginning. And even after a lot of years at the craft of writing, you may not make a living at it. But your love of the written word, the love of doing what you do, will carry you through the years. And if money comes down the pike, well good. But it is much more satisfying to write something that you HAD to write and to be happy with the work that came from your efforts than buying a coffee with the proceeds it nets.
So, in conclusion, Writer Groupie is here to help. This platform is for writers by writers. Use it to build your career. Get booked on the podcast. WG cares about you and your work!
Welcome to the podcast! It’s already episode 47 – can you believe it? I didn’t have time to record an intro this time, because Christmas is rolling toward us! It’s already CHRISTMAS WEEK! While you are off, you should totally make time to listen to this podcast.
Armand Rosamilia is a great author and podcaster, and he just got a Kindle Scout contract. You know you want to know more about that! You can click any of these images to go straight to Amazon and purchase his work.
Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life… He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.
Armand tells us what cons he will be at in 2016.
We learn how he got started writing and ended up penning so many works.
How many words a day he tries to write a day.
What genre he is going to work in now, and it is NOT horror.
Insider info about his Kindle Scout contract
How he stays on track when he gets multiple ideas
Inspiration for taking care of the business side of writing
Information about his publishing choices
BONUS: insider info on the actual story that Kindle picked up
So much social discussion is going on at all times in all places that it is becoming very difficult to be heard as a writer/blogger/producer. In today’s content heavy environment, we have to really be in your face. That works well when competing for space in a crowded physical location, but online? Not so much.
Joanna Penn, of The Creative Penn said, “…authors need to understand that marketing is sharing what you love with other people who will appreciate hearing about it. Marketing shouldn’t be scammy or sucky, it should be giving value to others, attracting attention through content in order that those who want to, can buy.” See the post here http://penandmusepress.com/joanna-penn-marketing-advice/
So what is a writer to do? How can we go about the business of growing readerships without being offensive? If we send out posts or tweets too often, we lose followers. If we have nothing else to say but “buy my book” we are spammers. How do we get buyers to know about us on such information-weary sites as Facebook or Twitter these days?
I think it is a matter of analyzing just what you are doing and why. You know your readers are on social media sites. You know they are having conversations with others. If you want to become a part of those conversations without being outcast because you are a producer/promoter, here are some questions to ask yourself as you analyze the boundaries for having discussions online.
* What types of readers do we want to associate with?
* Where do we find them?
* What are they interested in?
* Can we join their discussions and, if so, when?
* How do we insert usefulness into discussions without being spammy?
* What can we provide in terms of knowledge, opinion or content?
* How can we earn reader trust?
* When we do earn trust, how can we ask for input for our work?
* At what point can we steer conversation toward considering our product/content?
* What invites someone else to point discussion toward considering such?
* How do we say I’m sorry if we overstep bounds or violate their trust?
Getting to the point of growing readerships can be a great event online. It means you have a product to promote. But people want to get to know YOU before they want to know ABOUT your product.
Find out more about Writer Groupie Podcast at http://www.writergroupie.net
Recently, while listening to many varied podcasts, I discovered something that we don’t think nearly enough about. Our book buyers. Who the heck are these people buying our books?
We can no longer just say, oh, my book buyer is twenty something and reads romance or a 45 year old man who loves thrillers. Now we have to know more specifics. We have to know WHO they really are and WHY they are buying OUR book.
So who is today’s book buyer? And how can we harness that information into creating content that they REALLY want?
Four ways to know these book buyers
1. First and foremost, where are they spending all their online time? Are they prone to stay on Facebook, or Twitter? Or are they more the website surfer-type, preferring instead Stumbleupon or Digg?
2. While they are online, what are they getting? Do they patrol ezines? Blogs? Or maybe it’s more like the forum boards?
3. Do they actively seek out these places and read the posts listed or do they prefer it to be given to them from a different media, such as video (Youtube, Vimeo) or audio, (podcasts, radio shows)
4. And finally, but certainly not least in importance, what sort of materials are they interested in? Are they book buyers, or short story readers? How about poetry? Maybe it has to do with tech articles? Are they writers too? That may put a whole nother twist to the tale.
If you will ask these sorts of questions and seek out the same spots that your potential book buyers visit, you may find buying habits that you can incorporate into your product. If a romance writer has a character that is into race cars and said writer is over at the race car forums, and suddenly they have a ton of new friends, well, it’s because they’ve just found a niche market to learn more from. This may be for the (a) research of the book or (b) the selling of the book, but at any rate they can now use this connection to some of these new friends in a great way.
Tell me what you think about when you envision your reader in the comments below.
You’re listening to …
Oh wait, wrong shtick. This isn’t about a DJ or an apocalypse. This is about Jack … just Jack.
If you don’t mind, I’m going to work in third-person here. Yeah, I’m going to call myself, The Jack.
Too pretentious? Okay. Fine. I’ll just go with “Jack”.
The path to becoming a professional writer was certainly the one less traveled for Jack. Originally, Jack’s artistic bent led him to a career as an actor.
No, not an actor in a bear costume (not even for “Furry Porn”). Jack did it his way. Working on Broadway and with regional and Shakespeare theatres across the country, Jack is proud to have held his own as an actor for over twenty years.
Twenty freakin’ years. Am I really that old?
Oh wait … third person.
Crap, where was Jack? Oh yes, he remembers.
But, as they say, all good things…
Before the economy had a chance to completely destroy the theatre arts, Jack decided to take his final curtain call during a production with the heralded Stage One Theatre for Young Audiences. It was, however, during that long career that Jack discovered he had a knack for the written word. His first, full-length novel was written between 2000 and 2003. That book, A Blade Away, eventually became his first published work. It didn’t take Jack long to fall in love with the creative process of writing and he followed that first book up with the cult-favorite, Shero.
It wasn’t until Jack woke up one summer morning with a simple question on his mind, that he would finally dive into the craft of horror fiction tooth and nail. That question, “What would it be like to transform into a zombie?” led Jack to pen the first novel in the I Zombie series — I Zombie I.
From there, Jack dove into the deeper waters of horror and has never looked back.
And I have the pleasure of his attention on this podcast.
In this episode we discuss,
Jack’s entry into the world of writing from the world of acting
His writing process first draft-and how it is like a movie
What is binge-reading and how it has given rise to a writer’s series of books
How Kindle Unlimited is affecting writer’s bottom line
Why Jack is Amazon exclusive
Jack’s opinion about who will come out on top of the publishing dynasty that is formulating today
What part luck plays in the writing industry today
Jack’s comparison to nursing and writing and how there is little room for error.
So what do you do when brainstorming is an utter #fail? What happens when the outline does nothing to help you see your way clear to the end of a book that just isn’t working? What do you do when a book JUST ISN’T working?
At what point do you say, I want out of this disastrous book relationship?
Here are a few points to give you a bit of insight:
1. When the book relationship turns sour and you feel like you are hurting yourself when you open the manuscript. When it physically, mentally, and especially emotionally hurts to try to work on the book, it’s time to quit.
2. When you have all the time in the world to dive right in but you just can’t. It’s like dragging a kid to the dentist. Just. Cannot. Do. It.
3. You no longer see the beauty in what you have done thus far. You can no longer say, “When I wrote the first draft, I was in heaven.”
4. You find yourself asking the same stupid questions of all of your writer friends, and you already know the answers. “Should I rewrite it?” being chief among them all.
5. You do ugly things to it. You highlight words to change them into other words that mean exactly the same thing.
These things and about ten more are all good reasons to say adios to the book. Some books are not fixable. Some books were never meant to be written and read. Maybe written but not read by anyone but your mother. Maybe not even her. It’s OKAY to say no to the book. But it is not okay to say no to your creative drive to write one. There will be other books. You can always tear it up and use bits and pieces in another one. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are a writer, though
Used to be authors could get traction in the writing world by writing articles. There are still a number of good articles sites out there, but I think most authors don’t do this anymore. Maybe it is due to all of us having a mailing list and sharing that way, or maybe it is just another time suck which takes us away from our true calling, writing books.
Whatever it is, if you are still one who writes articles for the reading public, here are ten tips for writing articles. Maybe you can use this on your blog, also, as it certainly would be good things to ask yourself for that as well.
Ten Writing Tips for Writers
Everyone’s process is certainly different, but here are a few things that belong on everyone’s list.
1. Pick a topic, or genre, or subject.
Some authorities call this finding a niche. Depends on where you are putting the info. 2. Who will be your reader?
Always focus on your reader. Willy nilly sorts of posts don’t get much traffic. 3. Where can you get more info on this topic?
The Internet is a great resource, but be careful to check the info for accuracy. 4. Will you need to research anything for it?
Most articles, and informative pieces need to be researched. 5. Where can you be best served for research?
Again, Internet is a great resource, but maybe your local library might have more accurate info. 6. Gather your research, or other info and put it into an outline.
Outlines are great and so are beat lists. Those help me when putting together a piece for publication. 7. Write a tidbit about each part of it under each outline heading.
Look up research articles on outlining for more info. 8. Read it over and see how you can enlarge it.
This is what I did for this post! 9. Make it longer.
It needs to be no less than 300 words. 10. Proofread it.
Errors creep into written pieces as easily as ice melts. Be sure to double-check!
I recently met up with Jesse V. Coffey at Imaginarium 2015, a creatives conference held in Louisville, KY. She graciously accepted my invitation to be a guest on WG. Here then is her bio, interview, images, and links.
Jesse V. Coffey wrote her first books as author, J. W. Coffey. She first published in 2001, when she completed her first novel and made the decision to “put it out there for the world to love or hate on their own.” That first book was titled The Savior and as she calls it, “the most personal of all of the books I’ve written.” Ms. Coffey is a member of ASCAP, the Kentucky Independent Writers Network, and the Erotic Authors Association. She currently lives in Lexington, KY with Whiskers, her feline queen, for whom she acts as chief cook and poo-pan cleaner.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My latest book is the romantic thriller, Wilde Mountain Time, written under my nom de plume, Siobhan MacKenzie. I released it this past spring with Edin Road Press:
It happens so fast and seems to go on forever. He’s no longer flying; he’s smothering in a white cloud that’s appeared out of the blackness. His body is tossed this way and that, his headache turns into a brutal assault on his brain as he smacks against something hard and cold. thing grips him across his chest; it feels like he’s being cracked open like an egg.
And the sound of screaming. Screaming and the smell of burning. The sound of metal folding in on itself. Louder and louder and louder, the screaming. Who’s screaming? What the hell is going on? Why can’t he see? Who the fuck is screaming? The sound of screaming and the taste of scotch and blood in the back of his throat. And his head aching, his chest aching; every part of him is in pain.
Screaming . . . the pain . . . the taste of the blood . . .
Then, nothing again. And when he wakes in the morning, all he’ll remember is the sound of the screaming and the taste of the blood and scotch. And vomit.
And the feeling that it was his fault.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Three things fascinate the heck out of me – Religion and why we worship/feel the way we do; Certain windows of history and life in those time periods; and the idea of traveling in time. My first book was The Savior and I got to add them all together in one book. The story itself fascinated me the most, so I wrote it.
How did you come up with the title?
Wild Mountain Thyme is an old Scottish folk tale. I liked the idea of playing around with that title. Thom Mitchell is the protagonist of the story; he’s a folk/pop singer and that song is off his latest album. I also made it a fictitious mountain the Presidential Range of New Hampshire. Thom’s goal, while he’s on his vacation, is to hike/climb that peak. Everything happens in the shadow of Wilde Mountain and that became the name of the story.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Actually, there are quite a few, but I would consider Donna McDonald, Robyn Peterman, Seraphina Donovan, and Kallypso Masters to be my mentors. They are very successful indie writers in the romance genre and I’ve learned a lot from them on the back end stuff. As well as plotting and writing and all of that. They’re great examples to follow in the footsteps of.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Fashionably Dead Down Under by Robyn Peterman. Her books are funny and witty.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
Um, new to me, but I have found some new authors – J. G. Ballard, Sabrina Benulis, David McAfee, and Rod Rees. I’m also reading Teresa Reasor and Sondra Allen Carr.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I know a particular reviewer that wanted me to change EVERYTHING but, no, I wouldn’t. I am very pleased with the story – it came out exactly as I wanted it to, which is a rarity really. Most stories will let you nudge them a little, if you’re lucky, but this one let me have full control. And it came out with lots of romance and thrills. I love it.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Diana Gabaldon and Stephen King are my two favourites. They have amazing abilities to write intricate plots that suck you in but never sacrifice the characters they create just to further that plot. And these people live and breathe as if they could step down off the page and walk among us. I love those kinds of books that just sneak into your being and stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Selling them. Marketing has never been my strong suit but it’s an integral part of the process – getting the book(s) out there to a reading public. And that means finding your niche in marketing, finding that audience, and convince them that your book is so amazing that they really need to read it. It’s a hard thing to do. People go to school/college to learn how to do that. I don’t have that luxury.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Get on social media and find other authors, writing groups, and soak up all the knowledge you can. Not everything will apply to you or work for you but it never hurts to learn it. And try it. Ask questions and listen to the answers. This new media has been amazing for letting you meet the people who create these worlds you come play in. If writing is your gig, then go talk to them. Engage them. Learn from them. And then sit down and apply what you’ve learned. You’ll be all the better for it.
Quick fire questions: Favorite food: My Mom’s broccoli casserole Favorite music: Indie stuff lights me up these days. Favorite TV program: Castle and Game of Thrones Five things you like: Long walks, Long walks in the rain, chocolate, hot tea and a good book, and my family around me. Five things you dislike: Ignorance, intolerance, Klingon Opera, misogyny, and reading that last page of the story when I want more of it. Five words that describe you: Scattered, devoted, protective, adaptable, and a little too serious.
Writer Groupie Podcast brings you discussions, insights, and insider details on planning, producing, promoting, and profiting as a writer.
Welcome to Writer Groupie!
In this flyby episode, I discuss things that will possibly be topics of discussion on the site.
I love doing video interviews, audio podcasts, and author interview question/answers. So you can look forward to more of that soon!
Thanks for listening! You can find show notes, contact form, and more at http://www.writergroupie.net