• A Recurring Conundrum

         On occasion I find myself confronting a recurring conundrum. It’s one where it’s not about looking for the right answers; it’s about looking for the right questions.

         In this case, I’m talking about marketing, primarily promoting my writing and especially through the internet. The business and promotion end of things is often the most difficult for many writers, which is why so many of us don’t speak, market, or promote (or at least don’t like to)—instead, we write.

         Having said that, I have come a long way with the promotion aspects of marketing thanks to my friend Wayne Kelly at Onairpublicity.com. If it weren’t for taking his radio interview class last year I can only imagine how much of a dork I would have sounded like. (Any residual dorkiness you detect in an interview is purely me.)

         Trying to find time to market, promote, and run the business aspects of writing, while also working a full time job is indeed a challenge. I’ve been attempting to find the best ways to reach the most people and make sure my promotions budget gets the most bang for its buck. Unfortunately, there are plenty of internet scammers out there who prey on folks like me. Fortunately I haven’t wasted too much time and money on these scams.

         However, it’s left me searching for the piece of the puzzle to what feels like a gaping void in my marketing or promotion plan. Even if I could find the right folks to talk to, would I know what questions to ask? What works best, what works at all, what do I need, what could I do without, what should it cost?       

         I think I’m getting a little closer though when I realized I didn’t have to continue feeling around in the dark, I should just ask someone who knows. I recently asked my friend and mentor Wayne Kelly, who created his site, and I think I may finally be on the right track now. All I had to do was ask a knowledgeable friend about the right questions to ask. So, in the end it was simple. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask. Our networks are probably deeper than we think.

  • Just Stuff

    Figuring out how to get the word out about what you do can be frustrating to say the least. I can’t tell you the number of, “Reach Millions of New Customers–Easy!” scams I’ve checked out on the web. I can’t tell you because it embarrasses me to think of it. I’ve pretty much ended that venture (or misad-venture.) Now, I plan to focus on doing what I do the best I can and reaching folks one person at a time. Well, that is until such time I stumble on the way to reach millions! (Insert diabolical laugh here.)

    I found this website called, Authornation.com. Seems like some good folks over there. I’ve already “met” other writers, one quite successful from Hawaii, and another climbing the literary mountain like I am, from Florida. Lots of resources for writers.

  • Radio Interview

    The interview on radio station WAQY FM 102 in Springfield, Mass. for the Bax & O’Brien show, went well this morning. I liked their style; not serious at all. I had a great time. The interview will air tomorrow morning. The station can be received online at www.rock102.com .

    Funny, I still get nervous before these shows even though I’ve done plenty of them now. Here’s how I prepare, for any of you who might be in a similar situation. I get up at least forty-five minutes before the interview and either stretch or do a brief work out. I glance at a note sheet on my subject, but I don’t use it for the interview. It’s best to just talk without notes; after all, you’re already an expert on what they’re going to ask you about. I read the notes out loud just to get my voice ready. Otherwise, the first thing out of your mouth may be mistaken for my pet frog.

    I make a cup of coffee (at least half-caf) and begin drinking it fifteen to twenty minutes before the interview. Coffee tends to make me chatty, which helps for obvious reasons. I find the station’s website on the net and if they offer it, I listen live. This is better for live interviews than taped, because I’ve had good responses from hosts when I mention something they were talking about before our interview. I also have a glass of water or juice nearby if I need to clear a tickle in my throat. I find cold beverages are better than hot for that purpose.

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  • Busy Lately

    I’ve been a bit busy lately, but hope to keep up a little better with this blog in the future–yeah right; I know. Here are some of my excu…, uh I mean, reasons: Talk about Irons in the fire. What a nice “problem” to have. I’m still promoting my book, Is There a Problem, Officer?In that effort I’ve been pushing booking radio interviews. Did two last week–I think I sucked it up, but I’m improving–one in Oregon another here in Seattle with my friend Stubbs at KMPS. Tomorrow I’ve got one for a radio station near my hometown in Massachusetts: WAQY Springfield/Hartford (if you’re in the area.) 

    I’m desperately trying to get the first half of the manuscript for my new book, Seattle Curiosities completed by May. (Again, let me know if you know of any weird stuff I should know about Seattle; uh, “family-friendly” weird stuff that is.)

    I’ve been contacted by the http://www.officerresource.com/lawsite/ website to write articles for them. A publisher is considering taking on my novel, Two Up. And a local newspaper is considering a proposal of mine to do a column for them. And I’m sure there’s some other stuff I’ve forgotten.

    Met Brian Stampfl for a cup yesterday; he’s a writer friend of mine who used to be a real cop, but now he’s just a detective. (Sorry Bri, couldn’t resist.) He has an outstanding blog; check it out–you won’t be disappointed. http://stampfl.blogspot.com/