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

Write and publish with love and fury.

Book Launch Prep: Funnels, marketing, and tap dancing as fast as I can

A cross-genre flurry about  society's collapse under the crush of the Sutr Virus combined with a boy's love for odd words, Latin dictionaries and his father.

A cross-genre flurry about society’s collapse under the crush of the Sutr Virus combined with a boy’s love for odd words, Latin dictionaries and his father.

As the launch of my serialized novel, This Plague of Days, approaches, there’s still a lot to do that has little to do with writing the book. This preliminary work is about charming the unsuspecting into the back of my mind candy van, building happy buzz and marketing funnels. It’s time I gave you a glimpse of some of the things I do in that vein. (For more, check out Crack the Indie Author Code and Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire.)

I’m working on reaching out beyond people who already know me to the people who don’t know me yet. It will come as a huge surprise to you, that figure is still in the billions. (WTH?, man?!) Being unknown is the curse. And so we put ourselves out there to grasp for the blessing of new readers who will fall in love with us (dammit!)

This is, in part, what I did this weekend to reach out:

1. Approached an author about seeing an ARC of This Plague of Days in hopes of getting a cover blurb. (I get all squirrelly about this, but I have to do it more.)

2. Published several articles to my newest and fastest-growing blog, DecisionToChange.com. It’s about weight loss, life’s struggle, healthy recipes and becoming a healthier, happier person. (I know that doesn’t sound like me at all, but I’m playing against type.)

Click it to grab it. Just 99 cents!

Click it to grab it. Just 99 cents!

3. Posted something similar to #2 on Vine*. (Repurposing is not rehashing, so it comes across as much more amusing on video.)

4. Published a full excerpt of the first chapter of TPOD at ThisPlagueOfDays.com

5. Published the excerpt to WattPad. I haven’t used Wattpad enough. It’s an easy way to share stories and help readers find us.

Cool+People+Podcast+Final6. Published a new Cool People Podcast with erotica author Eden Baylee. The podcast is about the lovely and smart Eden and her cool worldview (but I’m there, too, so it counts.)  I also tweaked the site so it has a new slider bar which will draw attention to recent guests on the podcast.

7. Researched innovative ways to further publicize the coming launch. Innovative, as in different and untested. I’ll let you know how it works out once they are tested.

8. In giving someone else advice on merchandising, I figured out a new way to do that better with TPOD. (I’m not being coy, but more on that in a different post once I experiment with it.)

9. Wrote this post, giving you links to a couple of my other blogs you wouldn’t otherwise check out. (Hope you like the excerpt and sneak peeks.)

10. Most important: 

I worked on the revisions of This Plague of Days and added a new beta reader to my team. I wrote new scenes with more action where it was slower. I tweaked old scenes so they sparkle anew. I’m writing the best book I can. No matter what else you do to promote your book, #10 is the principle that’s most solid.

My luckless hit man is a funny guy in big trouble.

My luckless hit man is a funny guy in big trouble.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is writing horror instead of a funny hardboiled thriller for a change, but he loves it all and hopes you will, too.

*Want to reach out to more people and discover more about the Vine app? Go here to find out more about Six Seconds, The Unauthorized Guide to How to Build Your Business with the Vine App.

Filed under: book marketing, My fiction, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, self-publishing, This Plague of Days, Vine, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Triberr: Problems and Solutions

A kronosaurus, the prehistoric sea monster, ate my blog traffic. Many blog subscribers will already have seen the wonderful and helpful posts listed below (even if I say so,

Kronosaurus queenslandicus

Kronosaurus queenslandicus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

my own damn self). However, due to some technical glitch with Triberr, a lot of people missed these ChazzWrites.com posts (and crucial extras, like links to my new book sites, ThisPlagueofDays.com and onlysixseconds.wordpress.com or tap the grooviness at CoolPeoplePodcast.com or hear a reading at AllThatChazz.com).

Disaster

I discovered the other day that my Triberr marketing teams haven’t been retweeting my blog posts for quite some time. Curses! Foiled again! What to do? And why is Triberr so important for bloggers, marketers, authors and, ultimately, readers?

Woe

My blog traffic and Twitter mentions had slowed remarkably. I blamed myself for a lack of awesomeness at first, of course. I mean, self-loathing? That’s just what I do! However, I put my head down, close to the keyboard, and tried to double up on the awesome. When that didn’t work, I began to look for other reasons for the aching distance between me and the popularity of Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World. Perhaps the new cologne wasn’t working out? Then I discovered the Triberr problem.

Frustration

I’d been diligently retweeting the best of the tweets from my tribes (and I’m in awesome tribes with wonderful bloggers and writers). However, my blog posts weren’t getting sent out to their followers in turn.

As soon as I discovered the problem was somewhere in Triberr settings, I tried to solve it myself. Result: Failure.

Then I asked for tech support from Triberr. I received no response.

I waited several days, became impatient, sent another plea for help and…still didn’t hear from tech support.

Then I figured out what was missing and finally fixed it myself yesterday.

However, I come to praise Triberr, not to bury it.

This is not an indictment of Triberr, but when it didn’t work recently, the social media marketing tool certainly showed me its value. Good posts get more hits, anyway, but they get even more traffic with a boost from Triberr. Without Triberr, I’m not spreading the word as effectively. With Triberr, my reach is, theoretically, 6 million people plus whoever the 6 million retweets to. That’s a lot of eyeballs coming here to taste my flavor, fall in like, buy some books and tumble into full-force love. 

Now that the problem is fixed, my traffic stats are bouncing back up. My Twitter connections are ablaze again. Soon, this very post will be sent out through the cyber-ether by my tribes and who knows where it will land, or how many new subscribers and Twitter followers I’ll gain? (Crosses fingers, strangles a mime for good luck.)

People appreciate value and boy, do I try to give it. However, hiding our lights under  cliched bushels and waiting for it to happen magically and organically doesn’t help new readers discover us quickly. Triberr gives more people the chance to fall in love with what we can provide. Where else are you going to read about publishing and mime-stangling? See? I’m so unique.

Triberr helps.

And usually? Triberr works

.

In case you missed my redesign of this blog, thoughts on optimizing books and sales, podcasts, announcements and changes in publishing strategies, here are some those articles. Also, please enjoy the odd mime-strangling. (Don’t do it every day, though. If it’s every day, it’s not a treat.)

Odd and Unfamiliar Literary Genres

Book Marketing Problems and Solutions

Amazon Goodreads. Mostly? So What? 

How to End a Chapter: Shorter Chapters, Better Books

On Writing Well: The Challenge of the Slow Open

Ebook: What Makes a Good Cover? What Makes a Bad One?

Rebelmouse: How I got all my blogs and podcast on one glorious page

The All That Chazz Podcast: More Fury

Amazon Throttled

Getting a Bigger Boat: Adapting to be a More Effective Publisher

Writers: Shorter is Better

Blog Comment Rules and How to Become Batman

What Jedis Know About Fear

Author Platform: Problems, Solutions and Stuffed Speedos

Filed under: blogs & blogging, book marketing, ebooks, publishing, Rant, Triberr, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writers: Action Items and Mega-links!

Laptops were made for stickers

Image by ifindkarma via Flickr

Most to-do lists are torture devices that never stop. You make your list too long. You never get to the end of the list and, to assuage your guilt, you start adding things to said list that you were going to do anyway — and possibly couldn’t even have avoided—just so you can cross it off. Put on hat. Took off hat. Sit down. Cogitate. Sit on toilet. Cogitate more.

But, after my recent Writer’s Union of Canada symposium on the state of publishing (the movie poster tag line would read: Brace Yourselves! It’s the End of the Beginning!) it’s time to commit to a plan.

Out of the blue, I have been approached by an agent. Agents are useful for lots of things (more on that in another post) but since that’s all theoretical so far and may come to naught or be complementary…

I’m going ahead with these action items:

1. Switch my browser to Opera. (Already had Chrome and that’s recommended, too. Migrate away from Internet Explorer. IE is inferior. I also like the way Opera remembers my tabs for quicker zipping around.

2. Get Dropbox. Dropbox is a free tool that keeps your data safe across multiple servers (AKA The Cloud.) It uses the same security tech your bank and the military use and the system’s more stable than say, one server in California. I’m replacing my fee-for-service backup software with Dropbox and I’ll be able to access my files across multiple computers. I don’t plan to use it for file sharing with others, though that may prove useful in the future.

3. Learn more about HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, a formatting language.) Boo, scary.

4. Find a web developer capable of putting up an interactive, standards compliant website for me that looks good, works and can sell stuff. Also get said website hosted through one of these top three services: Rackspace, Dreamhost or Slicehost.

5. Most important: finish the polish on my WIP. By April 15th goddammit. I’ve been dawdling through perfectionistic tendencies. I have other books already written and more ideas for more books. As writers, we have all sorts of ideas but time is trouble. This is a time management, make short-term money working on other people’s long-term plans. I’m grateful for the work, but Ive got to find the balance and get it all done!

6. On completion of #5, simultaneously get new work (short stories, fiction, non-fiction) on website to sell using Smashwords. (I’ve heard one bad review of Smashwords and several good ones. Guest blogger, the fab Rebecca Senese, will be telling us about her Smashwords experience soon.)

7. Research blogging a book, using Create Space and podcasting a book. Blogging a book through a service like Blurb is a cool idea. I’ve heard about it but haven’t explored in detail. Basically, it’s a cheap and fast way to make a book out of the blog content you already have. I joined the Create Space community to hang out and see how it’s working for them. I will do the same with Kindle’s Writer’s Cafe (a good tip I picked up from Mike Plested’s podcast over at Irreverent Muse. Plus, Mike has asked me to join him on a podcast. Can’t wait to do that after I get the majority of this list done.) For podcasting — radio across the Internet for those of you who aren’t on board yet — I have a book and people I can consult about that.

8. Start using Posterous for blog posting. It’s described to me by writer and self-publishing guru Ross Laird as a “pre-built content management application” that posts everywhere you want in a single, elegant click.

9. Explore alternatives to word processors (like VIM). I posted about this a few days ago. What? You missed the bit about dumping your word processor?! (Don’t get annoyed. The link is just below this post.)

10. Live free and love hard, keep rockin’  the mic and the black fedora, keep connected and reach out to give to get, fight The Man, love what’s to love and transcend what’s to hate, make fun of the hopelessly powerful, pity the stupid as long as they aren’t in power, do: do not wish, bring comfort to the afflicted, chocolate every day (non-negotiable), help the poor by not being one of them, embrace the human zoo experience and stop to smell the coffee!

Well, I’ve got most of it covered…

And, yes, I have fancy plans and pants to match—

nod to Mr. James James, the man so nice they named him twice.

And if you get that reference, I love you, you big freaky nerd you!

Ahem. This is a good start.

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Filed under: ebooks, getting it done, publishing, Rant, self-publishing, This Week's Missions, Writers, Writing Conferences, 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

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

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