The Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. made for a quiet couple of days on the blogosphere (are the other bloggers out there in the Black Friday crowds, or still digesting yesterday’s meal?) but those who have contributed are, in some cases, really making some noise. Take a look.
Characters are the order of the day in the Craft section. The Kill Zone’s authors ask their readers to name their Favorite Minor Characters. Over on the WORDplay blog, KM Weiland (@KMWeiland) continues her week of promoting her new book by “letting” us Meet Dreamlander’s Cast of Characters. OK, so this is a bit of marketing (more on that topic below), maybe more than a bit, but it’s clearly part of a strategy on Katie’s part to engage potential readers (that’s not a bad thing) and at the same time, illustrate a clever technique she used to bring her characters to life in her own mind: imagining who would play them in the movie version of the book. Adding snippets of scenes in which each of the four major characters figure, along with their relations to secondary characters or to each other, is another marketing tactic—and a good one. Take note.
Marketing is mostly the topic du jour over here on the business side but I’m going to start with Ed Cyzewski’s (@edcyzewski) Grinchly post on Rachelle Gardner’s blog, Are You Ready for the Pain of Publishing? I suppose the best way to look at this post is as a case of tough love. Cyzewski pulls no punches on the pitfalls, land mines, and roadblocks that lie in the traditional-publishing (and, to some degree, self-publishing) path between “finished manuscript” and not just “published” but “successful book.” This post is one of those things that weeds out those who think they want to be published and successful from those who are determined to be. Do you have the right stuff to read it?
Over on Writer Unboxed, Dan Blank (@DanBlank) asks, Do You Cringe When Authors Market Their Books? I’ll bet you do, at least sometimes. A lot depends, of course, on how that marketing is done. Dan discusses how to make marketing less painful for those of us who aren’t naturals at it (make it about communication and trust, not selling selling selling, for one thing) and, citing Tad Hargrave, four reasons why marketing is valuable, even if you’re not trying to make a gazillion dollars. This is a fairly long post but if marketing is something you dread, or just don’t know how to do, it’s definitely worth a look.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Today’s final item is one that I honestly haven’t made up my mind about yet but am willing to call it to your attention so you can decide for yourself on whether or how to respond to it. Former publisher Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt) is making A Black Friday Special Offer for Get Published 21 audio presentation set (plus four “bonus” downloads) for $147 (claimed retail value for all of it $548) today, or $197 through midnight at the end of November 26th. Note that the offer is not for the CD set nor for the bonus item CDs or hard-copy books: the presentations are online access only and the bonuses are downloads only. A summary of the contents of each of the audio sessions plus the bonuses is available here, after the sales pitch. Is this worth you money (or mine)? As I said at the beginning, I haven’t decided. Check it out and decide for yourself.
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