Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Ready for My Close Up ...

Hey, remember a while back when I told you about an invite to do a guest post on Tony Eldrige's blog (Check My Smile Please) ... well, it didn't happen on September 27, as originally advertised, because Tony came down with a case of Strep and has been sicker'n a dog. But he tells me he is going to run the post today, Sept 30, between 10 and noon CDT.  I was worried about the poor guy getting out of a sick bed to do this ... but Tony assures me that it's okay ... so, roll film.

Oh, in case you plumb forgot, Tony's site is: Marketing Tips for Authors. Look for my shining face there sometime today!

PS. Oh yeah, I hate to lay any baseball stuff on you, but come on ... the Tigers are in New York tonight to play the Stankies in the ALDS ... be still my heart!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I know you are, but what am I?

   A recent post on the site, Fiction After 50 (I subscribe to it just for information ... not necessarily because I qualify for membership), caught my attention. It was titled, Don't Check Your Ego at the Door. It starts with an exchange between someone named 'Whippersnapper' and 'Me' (the poster, Ron Benrey). I could summarize this conversation, but it would be easier to just cite it:

Whippersnapper: Do you want to know the real problem with late-blooming novelists, as you call them?
Me: Do you have a specific problem in mind?
Whippersnapper: You bet… (Smug simper.) You’re all on ego trips. That’s why you insist on producing paper books to give to friends and relatives. And why you still crave to do book signings. And why you print bookmarks (that nobody uses any more) and tacky business cards that proclaim your title as: “Author.”
Me: [Not quite sure how to respond] Umm… well…

   Ron goes on to provide a more thoughtful response to Whip via his blog ... about how having a healthy ego is a good thing ... at least I think that is his point ... you'll have to read the entire post to form your own opinion. Anyway, my beef is not with Ron's response, but with the fact that he felt compelled to respond in the first place. I'm guessing the real reason that Ron sputtered at that end of the conversation wasn't because he didn't have an immediate answer to Whip's comment, but because it didn't warrant one. 
   If I was having a conversation with Whip and he whipped out that statement, my retort would have been, 'A sphincter says what?' I mean, if you're into a meaningless argument, you might as well go for it. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The devil made me do it.

Blog buddy, Alex J. Cavanaugh, started a blogfest this week ... a list of the worst movies ever made ... and I signed up for it, forgetting that this past weekend was my lovely daughter, Jennifer's wedding (which was boffo, by the way), so I didn't have any time to come up with a list ... but I will offer this: I'm a movie buff and I've seen a gazzilion flics over the years ... some have been great, some good, many mediocre, a lot lousy, and a few have been absolute atom bombs, but I've only walked out of one movie in my life: Little Nicky, with Adam Sandler and, the usually dependable Harvey Keitle. What a hot mess ... I couldn't, for the life of me, figure how that stink bomb ever got green lighted ... it was so bad that I was actually embarrassed for the actors ... so I left ... but not before I finished my popcorn, of course.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fasten Your Seatbelt

   I swore I wasn't going to mention the Tigers in this post, but they completed their third consecutive sweep on Sunday and won again last night ... first ten game win streak since 1968 ... holy schnikies! Okay, enough of that ... what caught my attention outside of baseball this week was a post by Lucy Marsden, titled: “Going FREE” on Amazon: Insane, Inspired Marketing From The Frontier of Self-Publishing. Actually, the post was from last week ... but that's part of the point I'm trying to make ... it'll all make sense ... I hope.
   The concept of giving a book away for free is somewhat radical ... but not really if you stop and think about marketing concepts over the past century ... manufacturers have often given stuff away for free to draw attention to their products. Oh, and don't forget your friendly heroin dealer who is happy to give you your first jolt for free ... he knows you'll be back with dollars to get more. So, if you have a book series, why not give the reader a look-see for free ... get them hooked on a character and away you go. Makes sense right?
   I suppose, but what really made my knuckles go white on the steering wheel was this quote from Lucy: "The market is changing at a remarkable speed. Today’s best advice might not be relevant next month." Now, that is scary.
   I'm grateful to Lucy for the info in this post ... even if I did get it a week late ... but that's exactly what has me breathing hard ... I mean, you stop to tie your shoes today and you're behind the curve.  How's a guy suppose to keep up with this?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Going Deep

   The Tigers had a good weekend, and if you are a White Sox fan, I offer my sincerest condolences ... that's  all I'm going to say about that. I do, however, want to say a little more about blogger buddy Alex J. Cavanaugh's latest venture, The Insecure Writer's Support Group. I understand the first Wednesday of the month is the day for members to post, but I noticed that Alex posted today, so, as a charter member, I'll take the liberty to post today as well ... besides, Tuesday is close enough.
  I don't really consider myself an insecure writer ... I'm comfortable in my writing skin ... it's the marketing of my stuff that gives me a case of the whim-whams ... the tooting of the horn, relentlessly, endlessly. First, being a shy person, I'm not comfortable drawing attention to myself. Second, being a good marketer requires a good sense of what's going in the world, and I've got no clue. Third, it helps to be a little tech-savvy to navigate the 'net ... not my thing. Forth, it requires focus, and I have the attention span of a goldfish. Fifth, and most important, good marketing takes endurance ... you've got to keep hammering away ... everywhere and forever ... heck, I get tired just thinking about it.
  I suggested an Insecure Marketer's Group to Alex, but he didn't bite ...  besides, I'm not sure if I would qualify as 'insecure marketer' or just a poor one ... so, I figured I'd infiltrate the IWSG and push my own agenda ... hope Alex doesn't bounce me.