Showing posts with label fiction author. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiction author. Show all posts

Friday, September 28, 2018

Start your book with a bang! The importance of chapter one 🀩

Chapter one is your chance to grab readers by the throat and make them want more!

We see it all the time in television show pilots. It's up to that original episode to captivate its audience and make them coming back for another week. Something has to shake things up in order to create an interest with the viewer and books are no different. 

So what do people want to see? It really depends. Some people are drawn in by action, adventure, drama, violence, and sex, while others might be intrigued by a unique character, an unexpected action or perhaps the protagonist is going through something that connects with the audience. The main point is that the start of anything, whether it be a movie, book or television show must make the reader or viewer want more. 

I always say that you should start chapter one in the middle of something relevant to the rest of the book. For example, in my last book And the Devil Will Laugh, the protagonist and his associate are visiting the (soon to be) editor of a large newspaper in hopes of swaying him to write articles in favor of both himself and a political candidate he is backing. Meanwhile, across town, the protagonist's wife is murdering the current editor, who didn't go along with his previous wishes. This ties in with the rest of the book because violence and media manipulation are a huge part of the entire book. Also, this is in the middle of the action. I didn't start chapter one with the characters discussing their plan to bully the media or the protagonist having breakfast before he left the house, I jump right into the action. 

Catching a reader's attention is very important. With so many other books, the Internet and of course, Netflix as ways to be entertained, readers can easily pass up on your novel and move on to something else; so give them a good reason to not want to put it down.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How to make to make your book stand out on social media πŸ’»

Sometimes you have to be very creative when coming up with ways to promote your book. Depending on the subject matter, your resources and the expected audience, you might want to consider various methods to capture some attention. Although the media is probably the best way to get noticed, it's sometimes easier said than done. Taking out ads, purchasing bookmarks (although I find this a great form of marketing) and giving away books in hopes of getting reviews can get very expensive.

The beauty of social media is that it's free. Sure, you can pay extra for ads but that isn't necessary and if you do choose to do so, it's actually quite inexpensive. However, for today, let's focus on the free stuff and I will throw a few ideas at you on ways to show off your book!

First of all, I'm not an expert. I'm just giving you advice from my own experience as an author. Most of what I do is just experimenting and seeing what works. Here are a few things I do:

- Share images of the cover with quotes from the book. This quote could be a jarring comment made by a character, a line that stands out or even a portion of the synopsis. Essentially, you want to give the reader an idea of what they are in for if they get your book. πŸ˜‰

- Share an image of a review. This shows potential readers what other people are saying about your book.

- Share a blog or YouTube video where you talk about your book. Sometimes people want to learn a little bit more and why your book stands out.

- Share some images of your most recent newspaper articles (as well as the links) discussing the book.

- Take pictures of your books in various settings; someone reading it, you holding a copy, an animal staring at it with interest....use your imagination. This is great for Instagram users.

- Answer people's questions. If you are being asked where to buy your book etc, address it in a post.

- Announce when your books are in local libraries, bookstores etc. If you can, take a picture too.

- If you have a book signing, an upcoming interview etc, make sure to highlight this on your social media and create an excitement about the event.

This is really just a few ideas off the top of my head. Again, I'm not an expert but I know sometimes people are new to social media or publishing and aren't sure what to do. Also, make sure to reply to people who take the time to comment on or share your posts. And last but not least, if you don't have time to be consistent, try to schedule your social media. You can find tools online to do this and Facebook allows you to do it right on your page.

But most important, talk to people, not at them. Social media should be fun and be cool! 😎

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Why do I do YouTube videos? πŸ“Ή

If you are a writer and have a new book coming out, should you do a YouTube video? What if you are a more seasoned author, should you dip your toes into the world of YouTube or run the other way?

Actually, many people choose to run the other way because it is a bit scary. Recording a video (and even worse, later playing it back to watch yourself) isn't always an experience that people look forward to trying. Having said that, it's usually not that bad and sometimes it can actually be a huge confidence booster.

I started to do YouTube videos a couple of years ago and it was with some reluctance. To be honest, I was terrified. I wasn't exactly excited about watching myself talking on video. It reminded me of those days of public speaking in high school that made me want to hide under my desk, however, I recognized that it was important in my overall goals and so with so reluctance, I gave it a shot. I now have over 80 videos on my channel.

The beauty of recording a video is that you don't have to post it. You can simply take the time to get comfortable with speaking to a camera, explaining your topic in a satisfactory manner (notes help) and of course, you have to stop finding fault with your appearance. These are probably the three things that make most people hesitant. We live in such an overproduced world when it comes to both 'reality' television and even YouTube videos that we often forget that we don't have to look, sound or be perfect in order to record a video. In fact, if you sound, look and seem too perfect, it actually might make you slightly less relatable to your audience.

Having said that, make some effort. Don't roll out of bed, not comb your hair and rambling on for 20 minutes without making a point either. You should lean more toward showing the best of you than the ill-prepared, sloppy version of yourself. It might give the impression that you don't really care and if you don't, why should anyone else?

So why did I start doing YouTube videos? I wanted my audience and potential audience to learn about me. I didn't want to be the anonymous face behind the books or the mysterious author that no one knows. I wanted people to learn where I was coming from, why I was writing about the topics I chose, to explain my books to people who wanted to get more of a sense what they were about and as time went on, it also gave me an opportunity to answer some of my most asked questions from either new authors or people interested in writing.

Most important of all, I believe that YouTube videos are about connection. For me, it was important to connect with people especially those who are interested in my writing. I don't do them because I want to be an internet star or because I want to gather tons of followers, I simply have them available as another option for readers to learn about me, my books and my thoughts as a writer. The beauty of YouTube is that you never know who is watching.