Do we give readers what marketers say they want, or what we want to write?

Over the past year or so I have paid for a number of marketing courses to help me sell my books. Unfortunately, when I signed up I didn’t realise that when they promised that I would sell tons of books if I followed their plan, that the books they were talking about wouldn’t be mine.

What do you mean? I hear you say.

Well, I mean, that these courses are designed to help you sell books that sell, which may not necessarily be your books. They cater for genre pulp fiction or non-fiction self-help type books. If you don’t write stuff like that, then from my experience, you won’t sell that many books. If you  follow the training in all of these authorpreneurral type courses where a few writers make millions out of selling novella style crime/mystery/whodunnit stories, then you will succeed. Especially if you are prepared to give most of your books away. Literature in general is suffering because of this influx of junk food style prose, in my opinion.

Readers don’t always want safe, they want different. Give it to them – please!

I don’t want to write like everyone else.

My motivation for writing does not come from the desire to make money, it comes from the desire to write for the thrill, the fun, the wonder of the written word. I am passionate about my writing. I laugh, cry, hurt when I write. I feel exhausted sometimes after I have spent a few hours struggling with sentences that won’t work, or characters that say things like, ‘Paul, we’ve done it!’ Ah! Done what? Now I have to figure out what they’ve done. It’s called imagination and you won’t find that in any course.

So, writers, not authors, writers – write from the heart, the gut, the soul – not from the bank account.

red-tulip

Here is a wonderful poem by Charles Bukowski which sums up my rant beautifully.

So You Want To Be A Writer

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

 

If you would like to know more about my work, please visit my website  Oddly Books:

http://www.oddlybooks.com

 

Author Spotlight – Peter Scott

I have decided to do a series of blogs promoting new authors that live in East Anglia, in particular, Suffolk. Why? Because I live and work in this beautiful part of the country and have come to know a lot of new and established authors that also live here.

I have recently been hosting a series of workshops designed specifically for authors who are either new to publishing or new to marketing and promoting their author profile online. I have had the pleasure to meet several fabulous people who have self-published their books and are in need of some support.

So, to celebrate the varied talent from Suffolk and East Anglia I am proud to present debut Indie author Peter Scott and his novel Pimple.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself Peter:

I have lived through a period of considerable change, particularly social and demographic change. Joining RAF probably saved me from the local borstal, and set me up for a career in aircraft maintenance. This would have been about the time that ‘Bill Hailey and ‘The Comets’ came over to stir up our youth – including me. A first posting to Kenya jump started me into an awareness of a wider world and fascination for wild places which I was able to satisfy via various overseas contracts.  Later, following a period of self study and in a completely different role as a careers advisor it was rewarding to help young people come to rational decisions in a complex educational and working environment.

I suppose my de-fault position is that of a lucky so and so enjoying happy personal circumstances, but with a deep underlying foreboding about the massively growing numbers of our own species, many of which are programmed to inflict horror on each other and the natural world.

ABOUT PIMPLE – THE BOOK

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Pimple is about a very ordinary lad with limited self expression but great sensitivity. Quite unknowingly he is recruited into a hopelessly optimistic scheme to make the world a happier place. The scheme was devised years before his birth, and an extraordinary tune was created to act as a ‘recruiting agent’ tailored to select just the right band capable of creating music so inspirational it would create a global climate of love and co-operation.

As the story unravels Pimple encounters some bizarre situations and characters who are not quite as they first seem. It is of course a ‘tall story’ but during a trip to the USA they make an astounding discovery which could indeed change the world.

WHAT WAS THE BACKGROUND AND INSPIRATION BEHIND THE BOOK?

I used to play traditional jazz in a Lincolnshire pub and on one occasion a lad came up with a trumpet during the first interval and asked if he could ‘sit in’ with the band. Young ‘sitters in’ usually come with loud warning signs, noisy coteries or doting mums, but this one was different. For a start he was alone and wanted to play ‘Poor Mans Blues’ – a slow tune which should really be sung, but he just liked the tune and asked for it to be in Bb because it was his ‘easy key’ and he didn’t want to make too many mistakes. There was something genuine about his approach and something very genuine about his playing. He exactly captured the feel and sadness of the tune without any attempt to show off and I sensed it had been a consoling experience for him. Thanking us for letting him sit in he wandered off some time later and we never saw him again.

He made quite an impression, but no-one asked his name so we remembered him only as ‘Pimple’ because of a prominent pimple on one of his cheeks.

Some time later a particularly nasty incident in war – torn South Sudan started me wondering if a melody could be sufficiently powerful in its emotional impact to modify general nastiness and unkindness. I doubt it, but it developed it a ‘what if?’ fictional possibility, with Pimple as a central character. His limited verbal self-expression coupled with his sensitivity made him an ideal ’sounding board’ for the various characters and happenings around him.

WHAT WERE YOUR LIKES AND DIFFICULTIES WHEN WRITING YOUR BOOK?

Perhaps the most satisfying part of writing was creating believable characters. It was also satisfying to succeed in making commonplace events seem interesting or enhancing a character by describing a simple action.  The most difficult part was producing the manuscript and cover suitable for an ‘e’ book .  Right now it’s marketing it on the web, however, Nikki McDonagh: http://wwwnicolamcdonagh.com  has been really helpful in her training sessions, so hopefully I’ll get there soon.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?

Much of Pimple was written during overseas contracts, and only recently did I think it  ‘had legs’. I didn’t change it much except to make it more succinct and more ‘grown up’. So perhaps writing a book is a maturing process – or I’m just old.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE WRITING PLANS?

I have a few short pieces and rants which I hope to compile.  I also have a monster of a concept which I cannot yet resolve, but which also refuses to go away – hopefully something will go ‘click’ and I’ll move forward soon.

Thank you, Peter for a very interesting insight into your life and your writing process.

Pimple is on offer right now for only $0.99 £0.99.

So grab your copy NOW!

Available on:

Amazon.US: https://www.amazon.com/Pimple-Peter-Scott-ebook/dp/B008CFHDPA

Amazon.UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pimple-Peter-Scott-ebook/dp/B008CFHDPA

PETER1

 

Authors – Free Promotion and Twitter Marketing Guide

Greetings fellow authors.

This is a quick post to share some interesting FREE Book promotion and tips for marketing on Twitter.

Now, I’m not at all savvy when it comes to Twitter. In fact, I don’t have a clue how to use it properly. So, I was quite delighted when I received this email from HubSpot in association with SocialBro, earlier today, offering a FREE guide on how to use Twitter to your advantage.

HubSpot –  “Is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, converts leads, and close customers.”

SocialBro – “Everything you need to optimise your Twitter strategy.” http://www.socialbro.com/

The Email from HubSpot:

“How do you construct your Tweets? Do you know if you should put the URL at the beginning, middle or end? How many characters does your #hashtag need to get engagement? Is it true what they say about images in Tweets?

HubSpot and SocialBro analysed data from over 200,000 business Tweets to uncover the science behind what makes a successful Tweet for brand building, lead generation, engagement and retention. Download our guide to find out how you can get the most out of every Tweet you send!


<< Get your copy here >> ”

I’ve just downloaded it and will be perusing it avidly as I just happen to have a FREE promotion coming up of my Dystopian/Sci-fi novelette. Part of The Song of Forgetfulness Series:

Changeling Fog will be FREE to download from Amazon on 28th-29th January!!

Fog_novelette_crop1

US:  http://amzn.to/1ZJAVL5

UK:  http://amzn.to/1PnNPn1

The next exciting FREE thing is for the chance to get some premium newsletter features to promote your books for FREE on BookHearts.com

All you have to do is click below and enter for your chance to win.

http://bookhearts.com/giveaways/win-free-promo-spots-on-bookhearts-com/?lucky=128

I hope this information has been helpful.

Take care.

Oh, and please, could you download my book? It’s FREE.

UK:  http://amzn.to/1PnNPn1

US:   http://amzn.to/1ZJAVL5

 

New Release – Changeling Fog – A Novelette from The Song of Forgetfulness series.

I have a new release. Changeling Fog – the novelette.

Fog_novelette_crop1

It was just a short story. A free download when someone bought Changeling Fog, book 1 in The Song of Forgetfulness Dystopian/Sci-fi/Fantasy adventure series.

It is an introduction to the post-apocalyptic world of Adara and her troubled life in Cityplace. We learn more about the plight of this future world, meet some the mysterious inhabitants and get a glimpse of the supernatural in the eerie, scary Carnieval show that reveals just how devious and cruel the Agros really are.

Then I began to tinker with it, you know introduce some new aspect of the heroine’s character via action scenes. Before I knew it, the short story became a novelette. That’s when I realised it could be used as part of my overall marketing strategy to gather a list of reader subscribers.

So, I am offering a pretty good deal.

If you buy Changeling Fog at only $0.99 and £0.99 you can get a copy of Whisper Gatherers absolutely FREE!!!

WhisperS8front cover only

Is that a good marketing ploy?

I hope so. Anyway, it’s worth a try, I guess.

Here it is then – Changeling Fog.

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The Carnieval horror show hits town.

Cannibal renegades – Carnies – have entered the quiet confines of Cityplace. With them comes a clinging fog that turns the gentle occupants into savage beasts.

In the future the world is ravaged by famine and disease, almost all animal life is extinct, people are starving and living in fear of the cruel Agros that rule NotSoGreatBritAlbion. Yet there is a haven amongst the desperate, scattered population – Cityplace – a closed community of peaceful folk, living a germ-free, worry-free existence.

Within this sanitised metropolis, lives a seventeen-year-old girl who is different – a girl with a special power. She is Adara – Catcher of birds.

Available to purchase from the following distributors:

Amazon:                     http://bookShow.me/B017Z4WOVG

Banes and Noble:     http://bit.ly/1Yi4Y8l

ITunes/apple:            http://apple.co/1PPmP3w

Kobo:                            http://bit.ly/1O58Qa6

Scribd:                          http://bit.ly/1QvXb5G

Want to Come to a Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party? Then Read On – Meet the author – Nicola McDonagh

Prior to the Facebook Extravaganza – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party I am spotlighting each author taking part. Today, the day of the event, I am spotlighting – Myself!

In June, my publishers closed down and I gained the publishing rights to my YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi series The Song of Forgetfulness. So I self-published the books with an addition of a Prequel, Whisper Gatherers.

So, this is me:

me and storm b&W

Nicola McDonagh is an author, creative writing tutor, and photographer. She lives in Suffolk, UK, with her musician husband and a plethora of rescued/feral cats. She came to writing prose late in life and is trying to make up any lost time by dabbling in more than one genre.

Nicola won the Suffolk Book League’s Short Story Competition 2011 with her story, ‘Glimmer’. The anthology of short stories – Glimmer and other stories was given a Certificate of Excellence by All Authors Publications and Promotions in June 2015.

Nicola was short-listed for the Escalator Genre Fiction Competition 2012 with an extract from Echoes from the Lost Ones; book 2 in her YA dystopian/sci-fi series, The Song of Forgetfulness.

You can contact Nicola and learn more about her work below:

 Email:                          nikki@nicolamcdonagh.com

 Author Website:      http://www.nicolamcdonagh.com/

Book series site:     http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/

 Facebook:                https://www.facebook.com/thesongofforgetfulness?ref=hl

Blog Page:               https://nicolajmcdonagh.wordpress.com/

Twitter:                      @McDonaghNikki https://twitter.com/McDonaghNikki

Re-Launch of The Song of Forgetfulness-Dystopian/Sci-fi Series  

“A story of trust and faith…it is an adventure that takes you to a time and place like no other.”

“A brilliant and unique read for adults and young adults alike…reminded me of Patrick Ness’ Walking Chaos Trilogy.”

                    sof covers

http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com

 The struggle to survive just got harder.

In a land disfigured by famine and disease, fear spreads throughout the scattered population of NotSoGreatBritAlbian when the Agro Empire cuts food supplies and kidnaps special children – The Meeks. But there is hope. Adara, with her secret power.

 I’m Adara. I’ve got six fingers on each hand, and a secret I cannot share.

There is a rustling in the wind. Lights beyond the boundary fence.

A sign of Agro threat.

A murmur haunts Cityplace.

Something is coming.

 Shock-faced moon

“The moon shone bright. A shock-faced ball in the black sky that looked down on the three of us as if to shout, “Prevail. Stand steady.” The wind whipped around our feet and legs, and a swirl of ash and dry earth spiralled up before us. I coughed and spat out the filthy soil that bore the taste of Agro boot.”

Synopsis of The Song of Forgetfulness:

The Song of Forgetfulness is an unsettling and mysterious vision of the future where animals are almost extinct, humans are subjugated by the sinister and secretive Agros, and gifted children know as Meeks, are going missing.

After her brother is snatched and her Santy is injured during a ruthless raid on Cityplace, Adara embarks on a dangerous quest to find Deogol. But her journey through the ravaged terrain of NotSoGreatBritAlbion is fraught with danger when her search is jeopardised by lustful Woodsmales, savage Wolfies, and sinister monks in the Monastery in the Clouds.

Yet Adara finds friends and allies who help her to realise her true potential as a Bringer and deadly weapon. When she encounters powers greater than hers, Adara must use all her courage and skill to battle against evil forces to save herself and those she loves from being slaughtered by Agro spies.

As filthy battles ensue and loved ones perish, Adara must sing The Song of Forgetfulness one last time if she is to save not only the Meeks, but all the folk of NotSoGreatBritAlbion, from a life of slavery and despair.

There is hope. The Meeks have a hidden weapon that only Adara can unlock. Outside the Agro headquarters, folk are gathering. A legion of Woodsfolk, Clonies, S.A.N.T.S, Holy ones and Ladies, are on their way.

There’s just one problem Adara’s bro – Deogol.

You can purchase your copies of the books in The Song of Forgetfulness series on Amazon.

From 18th July to 25th July, all three books will be on sale for $ 0.99 and £ 0.99 What a Bargain!

Plus! there is a short story Changeling Fog Free to Download when you purchase a copy of Whisper Gatherers.

author banner for FB event

http://amzn.to/1GSFkQQ

I hope you found my books interesting.

Don’t forget – join the other authors and me Today – 18th July for – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party

Facebook  book banner

https://www.facebook.com/events/577034945770324/

 

Meet the Authors of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Steampunk Bargain Books Facebook Event

I thought it would be a good idea to remind folk that on Saturday 18th July 5.00pm GMT and 12.00pm EDT – there is going to be an exclusive Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Steampunk Facebook Extravaganza!!  https://www.facebook.com/events/577034945770324/

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This will be a chance for readers to meet some writers, of whom I consider to be the best Indie authors in these genres. They will be part of a mass promotion to enable people to become familiar with their work. Books will be drastically reduced for one day only.

I can now officially reveal the authors taking part – in alphabetical order:

Jeffrey Cook

Jane Dougherty

Alesha Escobar

Devorah Fox

Samantha LaFantasie

Nicola McDonagh

Exciting stuff! So do not miss out on the chance of grabbing a bargain in your favourite genre, or best-selling, award winning author. At such low prices, you might even want to try out something new.

The Dark Citadel cover for Amazonthe king's series cover   DoSGotSCoverpng  Made to Forget adjusted

There will be a chance to chat with the authors, ask questions, find out about new releases and future projects, as well as entering Giveaways, signing up for newsletters and much more!

I am promoting a New Release – Whisper Gatherers, the prequel to the Action Adventure Dystopian Sci-fi series, The Song of Forgetfulness. Not only will all three E-books in the series be $0.99 – but also – I am Giving Away A Signed Paperback Copy Of Whisper Gatherers to one lucky winner. Plus – you can download a FREE Song of Forgetfulness short story – Changeling Fog.

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So, if you love speculative fiction, then spread the word and join us on July 18th for a Fabulous Exclusive Celebration of all things Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

This week I will be posting information about each author participating so that you can get to know them and their work.

Don’t forget to join the event and pick up some Bargain Books!

Facebook  book banner

Here is the Link to the Facebook Event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/577034945770324/

FREE ANTHOLOGY OF SHORT STORIES

I haven’t done a lot of blogging lately, been burying my head in a book promotion course in an attempt to prepare to self-publish my YA series, now that my publishers have gone out of business. So I decided to experiment with Glimmer and other stories. I re-edited my collection of short stories and changed the cover. Then I targeted Amazon’s key word section, looked at a few successful short story anthologies, and got some ideas to describe my work. After changing the sub categories in Kindle, I sold some books and gained an excellent ranking in two new sub categories. All part of my drive to become better at marketing my books. I hope it works.

glimmer front red 2

To celebrate the slightly altered Glimmer and other stories, it will be FREE to download on Amazon Kindle from 16th-20th April 2015. If you do decide to take advantage of this offer, there is another FREE story for you to download as my way of saying thank you.

A brief description and 5* review snippets to help you make up your mind:

From metaphysical speculation to sophisticated eroticism, these beautifully crafted tales explore human nature in all its diversity. Sometimes disturbing, sometimes inspirational, they all have a metaphorical richness that will take you into an uncanny world that straggles the line between the real and the imagined.

“Glimmer and other stories is a miniature treasure chest of jewels. I absolutely loved these short stories….they were mesmerising, masterful, original, eloquent, lyrical, clever.” Review by Lesley Hayes

“Ms. McDonagh has created a world that is like an out-of-body experience almost. The stories took me out of my confined world and took me into science fiction, a little horror, drama, and wonder.” Review by Oscar William Case

Don’t forget that Glimmer will go back to it’s normal price after 20th April, so please do take advantage of this limited offer.

Amazon links where you can download my FREE book:

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimmer-Nicola-McDonagh-ebook/dp/B00H89AN1M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?

 http://www.amazon.com/Glimmer-other-stories-metaphysical-supernatural-ebook/dp/B00H89AN1M

 

 You can follow me on :

Twitter:                      @McDonaghNikki

Facebook:                   https://www.facebook.com/nicolamcdonaghauthor?ref=hl

Website:                     http://www.nicolamcdonagh.com/