Ready, Fire and then Aim? Huh?

Is it even possible to break through the algorithm barrier and make your book discoverable? I’m still on a learning curve, but I wanted to share something you don’t want to do, fire without aiming. Ready? Writer’s write, it’s what we love doing. Editing is sweaty, the part most writers would like to skip. Fire? That’s rushing a book into print without a marketing plan. Aim? What happens if we are ready and fire before we aim? What’s wrong with that order? Book marketing strategy begins by asking your inner writer a simple question.  Why do you write?  What feeds your writing journey?  Are you looking for fame, awards, and accolades?  How about the money?  Are you looking for a way to finance an order for your new Lexus with your royalties? I remember a conversation. “I’m not making any money.  In business school, they teach about return on investment, ROI.  I do not see a return on my writing investment.  Why should I continue writing?” There is nothing wrong with earning money, don’t get me wrong.  I would love a large royalty check, and I have just the luxury car in mind.  But I ask myself why I write?.…

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A MAN AND A WRITER GO INTO A BAR

    A man walked into a bar. “Writing a novel is easy, right?”  he asked. “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a bar, but a table at a book fair. I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass a test. The written part is the hardest,” I added. “I had no idea,” he said again, starting to sound repetitious. I’m sure he didn’t get my joke about the written part. OK, the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. Still, we’ve all had one close to that. We’ve been asked where we get our ideas. Is it hard? How long does it take to write a novel? I did have a woman tell me she would like to write but didn’t have an imagination. I would be…

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Writing a novel is easy, right?

A man walked up to my table at a book fair. “Writing a novel is easy, right? “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass a test. The written part is the hardest,” I added. “I had no idea,” he said again, starting to sound repetitious. OK, the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. Still, we’ve all had one close to that. We’ve been asked where we get our ideas. Is it hard? How long does it take to write a novel? I did have a woman tell me she would like to write but didn’t have an imagination. I would be lost without my imaginary friends and enemies. I’ve been fortunate to have Alec telling me his story that chronicled his journey to Spain…

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Go and find a character

I read my instructions to find a character for a story. It was simple. “Your mission, Chuck, should you accept it, is to spy on people. Take note of the little things that happen. Then you will discover a character.” If I was uncomfortable with being a blatant spy I could say I was merely a keen observer, the instructions added. I set out, notebook at the ready. I would give it a try. I would find my character. Hah, this will be easy. It’s funny how the little things around us is just part of the landscape. That is until we look at it differently. Maybe it something we notice with a quick glance out of the side of our eye. While I sat, I was drawn to the front window. Outside the wind was playing nice with palm fronds. Taking a closer look, I could differentiate different shades of green, shifting patterns as they swayed. They had some inner core supporting their ballet. Does that not suggest a character? Is it like someone who bends with the wind, yet remains firmly rooted to the tree? Characters like that tree grow, have a life span, then pruned to make…

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