C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

Writers, Readers, Nonsense and the Perpetual War on Anonymity

I have secrets to reveal about the true source of my fearsome power. And jokes. And weird East Coast expressions. Click the cover to get that article.

I have secrets to reveal about the true source of my fearsome power. And jokes. And weird East Coast expressions. Click the cover to get that article.

We complain about having to market our books. It is tough and I wish there were more and better missiles for the War on Anonymity. A few things to keep in mind:

1. Traditional or self-published, you’re still stuck doing most of your own publicity. No one will save you. You’ll have to save yourself. If you’re in the right mood, that statement can, theoretically, feel empowering.

2. Some strategies won’t work. Dump them and move on. You will, however, have to make some forays and investments here and there. Don’t let holding on to a little money now hold you back from making more money later. The risk-averse always arrive late to the party after all the daring, beautiful people have gone home with each other for a Chess Orgy…or whatever it is the beautiful people do.

3. You are not above marketing. I mean, unless you don’t care if anyone reads your work. Hm…actually, that would be quite freeing.

4. Everybody can and should do something to sell their books. Too shy does not serve you. Bookbub costs money, sure, but it’s effective. There’s also a lot you can do that costs nothing but time. I’m doing it right now and you’re watching. Is it hot in here, or is it just you?

5. When something is less effective than it used to be (Bookbub, KDP Select, pleading for sex) that doesn’t mean it’s not at all effective. You may have to spank your rump harder to get going, that’s all. 

6. When I see those tweets from collectives trying to sell books for authors, more often than not, I’m turned off.

By the way, Crack the Indie Author Code 2nd Edition is out in paperback at $9.99. Smaller format, same old information if you need a NaNoWriMo kick in the inspiration. With jokes.

By the way, Crack the Indie Author Code 2nd Edition is out in paperback at $9.99. Smaller format, same old information if you need a NaNoWriMo kick in the inspiration. With jokes.

Sorry, it’s a visceral thing that is not routed through my brain. I’m not saying they’re all bad or that you shouldn’t use those services. It’s that image of one person acting relentlessly enthusiastic about the constant steam of recommended books that bothers me. Equally enthusiastic and paid to be so. It doesn’t feel organic.

I would say that if outsourcing to others is your only strategy, your rocket needs more fuel.

7. The best is when an actual reader loves your neuro-fudge book mojo so much, she has to spread the word to share the adventure to her friends so she will, in turn, gain love, respect and immortal life. Word of mouth is the hardest cake to find, but it’s the tastiest. You start by asking friends to read your book. If you’re like me, you run out of friends fast, so you have to get used to engaging strangers. I’ve made a lot of friends out of strangers lately. I like it. I wish I’d known how to chat in high school.

Facebook is your friend (except, of course, when Facebook is evil.)

8. Stop just looking for mentions of your Twitter handle and go discover more people through Twitter.

Blogs lie there, hoping to be discovered. Blogs used to be so come-hither and stick your tongue in my…um…ear. Now blogs are feeling entitled to the attention they no longer receive, getting drunk and screaming at the DJ to play Copacabana. (See, this is a blog and you’re losing interest now, but I’ll mention Silver Surfer, Klingon and a date gone bad soon, so read to the end.)

With Twitter, you go find people who are talking about your areas of interest. I’m fascinated by neurology, psychology, brutish and funny poetry, autism, comedians, alternative health, weird facts, pathology, writing, publishing and righteous vengeance as a lifestyle choice. I will never run out of new strangers who might become friends. You won’t, either. We’re writers. We’re at least a little interested in lots of things. (Search hashtag #zombies and #vampires and #agoraphobia, #writing, #insomnia, #anxiety, #depression and #headaches, slam-bam-boom…the info-cornucopia only ends when the EEG is a flat line and your heirs start arguing over your Hummel figurines.)

Aren't you sick to death of me telling you what to do? Click the cover to read jokes and confessions about my life in Not-Maine.

Aren’t you sick to death of me telling you what to do? Click the cover to read jokes and confessions about my life in Not-Maine.

9. Big-time authors who have an assistant tweet for them? Nobody’s “big-time” enough for that. Galactus could write a book and (even though he’s his herald!), if the Silver Surfer tweets about Eating Planets for Fun and Profit, we riot and unfollow.

10. There are dozens of technological solutions to most of your marketing problems, but you have to get out there. I appear, at times, curmudgeonly and a contrarian. The jokes make that easier to take…in short bursts. No technological solutions can help you if you’re a pain all the time. Don’t do that.

Do this: Be friendly. The more readers you gain, the easier it is to be friendly. Get out on Twitter and meet people. Learn about them. I like learning things. That’s an excellent place to start, and think of all the high school trauma I could have avoided if I’d known how to talk to humans.

Also, get off Twitter and meet real people at book signings, fairs, conventions and readings. Be the best you that you can attain and all that rah-rah Anthony Giant Within Robbins stuff. (Hey, that works for some cult members!)

I rush in where devils fear to tread.

On November 14 at 7 pm I’ll be interacting with actual humans in the Meatspace of London, Ontario’s Central Library. Author Mark Rayner and I will give readings and answer questions about publishing, writing and discuss the people of Whoville and how we can fight The Great Suessian Nostril Menace.

I will drink champagne from an old lady’s boot while doing a ventriloquist act with Mark on my knee. Then he’ll breakdance for about two hours straight while I recite Klingon love poetry. We work without a net, so if you’re in the area and want to see me stammer while being bludgeoned, this is the best blunt force trauma event of the night. (Lesser blunt force trauma will be at play after the show at Joe Kool’s.)

Last chance to read the blog post about Not-Maine. People with ten toes will want to check this out. Unless all the toes are on one foot. Those freaks need to move out from under the power lines and then click the link and get a few grim laughs at ThisPlagueOfDays.com.

~ Not to be too forward, but you’re very attractive and I’m feeling very drawn to you. Feeling down and vulnerable and mad at your dad? Oh, good! I thought you looked like the sort of adventurous person who needs something special tonight. The way that dress clings…I mean…wow, have you even tried fabric softener? How about you come with me? You can lie down, put some Nina Simone on low so she won’t burn, and have a sweet, hot book. C’mon back to my place. The drinks are on the bar and the books are in the sidebar. I’m Robert, by the way. Robert Chazz Chute…Isn’t that last name quite unfortunate? Buy my nonsense! Hold my books! Ease the pain…sir? It’s one night early for Halloween. I didn’t recognize you in that dress…dad. Well, this got awkward fast.

Filed under: author platform, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(Top 10 Things) Writers Fear:

1. the blank page. And yet, ideas for stories are all around us. Look in newspapers, magazines, real life, fantasy, the net, your dreams and in the back of your sock drawer. Everywhere. Augusten Burroughs says if you experience writer’s block, then write about that. That will prime your pump.

2. that someone, somehow, will steal their ideas. You can’t copyright an idea, and that’s a good thing. Ideas are cheap because (see #1) ideas are everywhere. Execution and completion is what counts. Lots of people have book ideas but never type long enough to even get to the starting line. You’re the best one to take your idea through to fruition. Also, come up with an idea and pitch it to 100 people. One hundred different stories will shoot out from pulling that one trigger. (Note: I won’t steal your ideas. I’ve got plenty of ideas! I’ve got more ideas than I have life left to execute them all! …gulp.)

3. failure. Yeah? Who doesn’t? Failure is in not even trying. Nobody likes a whiner. Shut up and type.

4. success. Just kidding. Nobody really fears success. Change, sometimes, but never success. Fear of success is something somebody made up in  80s to sell self-help books. Who still believes that now?

5. criticism. You won’t join a critique group so you won’t learn (or will learn very slowly.) That’s how I learned very slowly. The truth is, not everybody is going to like you or what you write. That won’t change, so accept that and look for people who give you caring yet constructive criticism. Flush all others. As Walt Disney said, “I’m not gay.” No, no. He said, “Always move forward.”

6. rejection. People very rarely get a book deal from the first agent they approach. (See #5) Not everybody is going to like what you write. If it’s any good, eventually someone will. Then you can crow all you want about all the publishers, editors and agents who said no before you found the one genius who agrees with you. Your definition of a genius is anyone who loves your manuscript and is in a position to market it to the world.


Anyone who agrees with Chazz.

7. revision. But your best writing is your rewriting. You know that. So go do it. Yeah, it really is that simple. That’s the same way everybody else who hates revision bulled their way through.

8. that our best friends will achieve astonishing literary success and we won’t. I guess you should start typing faster if you want to even have a horse in that race then, huh?

9. poverty. So make sure you get paid for what you write. Send out more queries. Suffer the day job until you achieve escape velocity. Keep the day job and enjoy both with a little less sleep. Be so adorable someone else will support you while you write (I am!). Launch a successful business you can escape to write. Make writing your successful business. Reality check: if you choose writing over riches, are you really going to end up in the street? Would the people who care for you really let that happen? (If so, you’re a right and proper bastard, aren’t you? You deserve homelessness. Maybe you should work on your social skills and bathe, hm?) Poverty isn’t so bad. Not writing would be worse. (If you don’t understand that equation, you aren’t a writer.)

10. anonymity. This is the worst. You fear anonymity because if no one reads your words, there goes your only shot at immortality. If you don’t achieve some success with your writing, soon it will be as if you never existed. You might as well have never existed if you can’t leave some kind of stamp of your personality, your brain and your thoughts on the careless, fickle future you’ll never see. The abyss is yawning beneath you. We are only a brief crack of light between two black infinities. If you don’t write, you can’t be published and if you aren’t published, you are forgotten. You are a helpless speck disappearing down the raging current of time. There is no return. Death waits for us all.


Feel that fear? It’s not just real. It’s good.

You need some fear in your life to keep you motivated.

Back to the keyboard, friends!

Filed under: getting it done, Rant, writing tips, , , , ,


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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