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

Write and publish with love and fury.

What are you waiting for?

Here are Ten Rules About No One:

1. No one is waiting for you to get your life together. They want results, not excuses.

2. No one is waiting for your next book. They say they are, but they will forget you soon and they have plenty of other things to do. Be memorable and come back quickly.

3. No one is waiting for your next blog post, so don’t apologize when you miss a day or three. Get to the topic instead.

4. No one is waiting for you to organize or self-actualize. That’s your business. Organize to build your business. If business is good, you’ll get closer to self-actualization, too.

5. No one is waiting for you to get past your procrastination, so write now.

6. No one is waiting to rescue you. If you need help, ask. Otherwise, everyone assumes you’re fine. Chances are good you’ll still have to pull off your own rescue, though. We are all struggling.

7. No one is trying to hurt you…probably. What’s more likely is they’re taking a verbal or written swing at you because of their own crap issues. You did nothing wrong. You’re just the nearest target. Or they’re wrong. Or they’re just too stupid to see (or care) what you’re doing. Or, worst case scenario, they’re right. 

Never mind. We are sharks. To live, we move forward or we die.

By the way, if it’s a physical swing they’re taking at you, be brutal enough to get away, smart enough to stay away and strong enough to call the police.

8. No one is an extra in the movie that is your life. Each is the star of their own movie.

9. No one remembers what you said. They remember what it’s like to be around you. Give them a reason to come back for more.

10. No one needs you to succeed and some would prefer you didn’t. You need to succeed and you won’t succeed with everyone. You can succeed with someone, though. Start with you.

What are you waiting for?

~ Robert Chazz Chute is a suspense novelist. And tonight? He is pissed at himself and others. Make him happier. Buy a book. Thank you.

Now off to get some more writing done, because Chazz DOES NOT WAIT. WAITING IS OVER. Happy Monday!

 

Filed under: author platform, What about Chazz?, What about you?, , , , , , , , , , ,

Top Ten for Writers: What matters?

1. Don’t take a paragraph (or a whole post!) to apologize for not posting to your blog recently. They didn’t notice your absence. You have their eyeballs for a few seconds now. Don’t waste their time with throat-clearing or they’ll click away because you don’t have anything to say.

2. “Cover reveals” don’t attract anyone but the people who are already into you. They might not hurt. I’m saying they don’t help. Find a topic that matters to you and your readers instead. To spin an old quote, mere familiarity breeds contempt, but commonality makes friends.

3. Character interviews may be interesting to a few people, but only after they’ve read your book. It gets no new readers. Character is revealed through dialogue and action within the book. In promoting a book, it’s boring without narrative content and context.

A better suggestion:

Soon I’ll interview author Mark Rayner for the Cool People Podcast. When I asked him what he’d like to talk about, he didn’t say his characters, publishing or his writing process. He wants to talk about the themes of his book. I’m looking forward to a cool interview about the singularity and how technology affects all our lives, for good and bad. It’ll be less about him and and his book and more about readers. Then they’ll want to buy The Fridgularity, his funny, smart, entertaining novel.

4. Lose long dedications in ebooks. I’ve done this because I have much for which to be grateful, but it cuts into the online sample. Stick it in the back or put a link to it on your author site. Active links to your websites and other books will expand your circle. Your inner circle will understand.

5. The Table of Contents in your ebook doesn’t have to be in the front. That’s inertial thinking from paper publishing. For fiction, at least, stick it in the rear of the book. They can get to it on their e-reader, if they want it, by hitting “Go to”.

This is especially egregious when you have a long, dark poem as a TOC (as I do in This Plague of Days). It’s something else that cuts into the length of the online sample if it’s up front.

6. Do not complain about the demands of marketing your books. That’s telling readers that trying to reach them is a burden and they are unworthy of your time.

I’m still seeing this. Any potential reader who’s done manual labor, worked retail, been unemployed and/or worked for a boss? Yeah, they all hate you when you complain about being a writer. We have the best job on earth. Even if we aren’t getting paid for it yet, it’s still that awesome.

Instead, do what’s fun for you in otherwise unproductive time, after you’ve hit your word count for the day. If a Twitter account in the voice of your character is fun for you, try that. Unless your character is amazingly funny, profound, unique or wanted for spying by the NSA, it probably won’t pay dividends, but at least you’ll be having fun.

Connect on Facebook with people. My most meaningful interactions probably happen there. Since a reader helped me identify how my Facebook settings shut people out, I’m interacting with more people.

You can even go out and meet people in the real world. I understand non-virtual, human interaction is still a thing. I read about it on the Internet. It sounds dangerous, but you can sell paper books that way.

7. The demands of the work drain our energies so we talk too much about being a writer knocking back coffee. I’ve done it, too, and it’s cliche. Time to say something new. Something about wrestling elementary school teacher-dragons naked maybe. Hm. Gotta work on that metaphor so it sounds less fun.

8. Cramming too much information on your business card doesn’t work. Trying to cram the whole story on your book cover doesn’t work. Any promotional stuff that is too long doesn’t get read. Get your graphic design and white space to do more of the work for you.

The British Special Boat Service’s former motto was “Not by strength but by guile.” Good news! We’re writers! We have the resources to use guile. Writers and small publishers don’t have enough money to attack with strength.

9. Speak with. Engage with readers. Do not talk at readers so much. Talk less about you. Talk more about them. (Nice jammies you’re wearing today, by the way, and I especially like the lacy, red bustier…sir. Better turn off that laptop cam.)

10. Talk more about what you love and less about what you hate.

People enjoy reading about what people hate, but they don’t like the hater or even believe them. For readers to get to know you, they want to know what you’re for and what you read and what you think. Or that you think. Talk about what matters, both to you and to them.

Some writers steer clear of religion and politics for fear of offending.

Sounds like a quick way to be irrelevant and bland.

As a writer, your ability to communicate makes you important to any heavy discussion. You can even contribute as a human being. Your thoughts on violence, poverty and all the ills of the world are far more important than your little writing career. If someone doesn’t read your book because you’re a vegan, for instance, do you really think you’re missing out on a thoughtful and fair review from that person?

Kids are starving and you’re really worried about losing a few reactive sci-fi readers because you’re for X and they’re for Y? Really? Surely the kids are worth losing a few bucks, aren’t they?

I’d rather express my politics on Facebook from time to time. I’d rather win more readers I like. I don’t have to have readers who agree with me about everything. However, I don’t write books for dumb people. Trying to be liked by everyone is chasing a goose into an acid factory that’s on fire. We may be poor and desperate for readers. That doesn’t mean we have to be pathetic.

But yes, it does matter that reasonable readers generally like you. (So follow the Wil Wheaton edict and “Don’t be a dick.”)

I don’t want people to be excited to read the next This Plague of Days. I want them excited to read the next book by Robert Chazz Chute, no matter if I’m writing about zombies or Shakespeare or my funny assassin. Most readers tastes are very genre-specific, but if they like you, they’ll try your other stuff.

I’ve read all of Stephen King’s work except for The Dark Tower stuff. But I did try it. That’s all anyone can ask. After that, it’s down to individual tastes.

So be nice. Be authentic. Be committed to The Good.

And write good stories. Tell the truth through lies. Bypass prejudice and reach their minds by making them laugh first.

Writing good stories will get you more readers. Write great stories and that will come. Or maybe it won’t, but the writing and the stories matter. It matters much less than starving children and nuclear proliferation, but be fully in this world as you create better worlds.

To be heard, we must have something to say that matters to readers.

Filed under: author platform, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Jerry Maguire Moment: What is your blog’s mission statement?

I had my Jerry Maguire moment

Mission Statement

Mission Statement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(and yes, I know that didn’t go well for him in the short-term).

Ask yourself:

What are you trying to achieve with your blog?

Is it a blog or a blahg?

My mission at ChazzWrites.com is:

1? To inform readers of this blog about self-publishing, to the point where we and others think of self-publishers simply as publishers.

2? To make you chuckle here and there as you read so you’ll keep reading. (Failing that, we’ll murder a mime, which is always good for a chuckle.)

3? To raise all indie author boats, I promote fellow authors and spread the word about their books, their links and their awesomeness.

4? To swell the how-to tide of practical knowledge about writing, marketing, and promotion for success in independent publishing.

5? To bring the obscure but deserving into the light so they may be found by a happy readership. (Yes, damn right I’m obscure but deserving, too!) 

You ask yourself: Why the question marks after the five points of the mission statement? Is that a strangely persistent typo? No. I did that because Number 1 is not always going to be Priority 1. Sometimes I just provide an informative link and shoo you away elsewhere to gulp down factoids, nuggets and precious how-to wisdom. Sometimes I want you to curl up closer to my fire and feel the warmth of my heated rants. Often, I try to combine these five elements in one post. Sometimes I’ll just kill a mime for the heck of it.

The only thing that’s continuous through every blog post is this:

I try to do what Spike Lee requires of all of us in the movie Do the Right Thing.

I try to do the right thing.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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