The business side of writing

You’ve finished that book you’ve been slaving over for the past several weeks, or even months. Pulling just the right word or phrase from the depths of your mind was like passing a kidney stone, painful, but leaving you feeling like you’ve achieved something great. You think, now, the hard part’s over, and all you have to do is hit ‘publish,’ and then you sit back and wait for the accolades to come rolling in.
Well, I can assure you that, unless this is your first book, (in which case you already know this, so you can stop reading at this point), your work has just begun.
Writing is admittedly difficult, but it pales in comparison to the effort you must put into making sure your work gets read. Wait, you thought that writing it was what it takes to achieve that? No, like having a child, there’s a lot more effort required to make sure that child makes it in the harsh world that awaits. Writing is like procreation, it’s the creative part, the merging of sperm and egg to create that magical being. But, like a child, if you don’t do the nurturing and educating to prepare it for the real world, it will wither.
The really hard work for a writer is all that comes after—and sometimes, before—you put all those beautiful words on the screen. Those of you who have been at it a while know what comes next; the dreaded M word. Yes, marketing what you write. Your words mean nothing unless you get them in front of readers, and then entice those readers to . . . read them.
Marketing is the process of getting word of your words (okay, not very creative, but you get the point) to as many potential readers as possible, and convert those potential readers into not just readers of the specific book, but hopefully, customers for the next, and the next, and the one after that. Now, I’m assuming here, that you’re not a one-book wonder.
This won’t be a primer or guide to marketing—save the thanks, just read my books, that’s all the thanks I need—just a cautionary word to every writer out there. While you’re writing, don’t forget the need to get the word out.
You can do it in a number of ways. You can buy ads, give talks, blog, etc. Buying ads can get expensive, and unfortunately, until you become a known quantity, don’t offer much return for the investment. The talk circuit is not for everyone. Some writers are painfully shy, and like most people, fear public speaking more than death. Blogging is a relatively inexpensive way to get the word out, but takes time away from what you really want to do—write books.
Despite the problems, if you want to be known as a writer, want people to read what you write, you’ll have to take a deep breath, gird your loins, and dive in. I’d like to say it gets easier with time, but it doesn’t. It’s a slog. For every two months I spend writing a book, I spend an equal or greater amount of time promoting it. I also have to budget time to promote my back list, and in my case, with more than 60 books on that back list, this is not insignificant. In the end, though, it will pay off (and, I’m assuming here that you’ve written something people will want to read).
So, keep writing. Write every day. But, you will also need to carve out time each day to do the often unpleasant, and always grueling work of promoting, marketing your work.
That, my friends, is the business side of writing. If you want to know more details about my marketing activities, stay tuned. When I have time, I’ll do a short piece on my marketing plan, from which, I hope, you’ll get some ideas that you can use.

End-of-Year Free Book Specials

Vixen

As a special treat to my readers, I’m making four of my books (Kindle version) available for free each month in November and December. Just click on the link to go to the book’s page on Amazon.
November 2017
If I Should Die Before I Wake — November 4 – 8
Portrait of Africa — November 11 – 15
Buffalo Soldier: Range War — November 18 – 22
Vixen — November 25 – 29

December 2017
Death of Innocence — December 1 – 5
Buffalo Soldier: Family Feud — December 8 – 12
Wallace in Underland — December 15 – 19
A Good Day to Die — December 22 – 26

 

My Outlaw Publishing books to be reissued under new imprint

Daniel's Journey

Due to some technical problems, my books under the Outlaw Publishing, LLC; Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey and Wagons West: Trinity have been temporarily removed from Amazon’s site (both paperback and Kindle version), so I’ve also removed them from this site. They will be reissued soon under the Rusty Spurs imprint, at which time I will post new links. Good news, the prices will remain the same, and keep an eye out for two additional titles under the new imprint, Wagons West: Bounty Hunter and Fatal Encounter: The Adventures of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal. 

For anyone who might have clicked on the links for the two removed books in the past couple of days, my apologies that you reached a ‘Page does not Exist’ on Amazon. J.C. Hulsey, the publisher at Rusty Spurs, assures me that he and his team are working hard to get all the affected books back on line as soon as possible.

Murder is as Easy as A,B,C – A new Ed Lazenby Cozy

front cover 2

Ed Lazenby allows himself to be roped into being a volunteer tutor at a local middle school. Retired, he has little else to do, other than play golf, hang around with his friends, Ernesto Cardozo, and the Wertheim sisters, Violet and Rose. Oh, and occasionally stick his nose in police investigations. And, since it’s only a couple of hours, three days a week, what can go wrong?

As Ed finds out the first week of his volunteer stint—a lot. When the school principal, an officious bureaucrat who rubs him the wrong way, is found dead in his office with a pair of pruning shears in his chest, Ed is the number-one suspect, because he found the body. The only way he can clear himself is to find the real killer. But, how do you do that when you’re the one the police think did it?

If you want to find out, check out Murder is as Easy as ABC, the fifth book in the Ed Lazenby cozy mystery series, available in a few days in paperback and Kindle version.

New Al Pennyback mystery, Bad Girls Don’t Die, available

Bad Girls Don’t Die, the newest Al Pennyback mystery, is now available in paperback and Kindle version.

Gabriel Birdsong is found in the basement of his house, with his throat cut. The killer left no evidence, no weapon, and the police can’t determine the motive for the killing. What they do know is that his granddaughter, Lena, who has been living with him since the death of her parents, is missing. Her aunt hires Al Pennyback to find her, but offers no clues to where she might be, or with whom.

As Al searches the city for the missing girl, he begins to uncover secrets about the reclusive Gabriel Birdsong that shake him to his very core, so much so that he’s not even sure he wants to find Lena.

One of the rawest yet in this series, this story covers a subject that some readers might find uncomfortable—Al certainly did. But, if he could deal with it, I’m pretty sure my indomitable readers can as well.

Take a look, and when you’re done, tell me what you think by leaving a short review on the site where you purchased it.

Here are the links:

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692930248/
Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074FP81X2/

If you’re enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, you can save the $3.99, and get it for free.