In this season of gift-giving, you should remember how God has gifted you with the ability to take words and fashion them into stories. Think about how excited you get when you find a book you can really get lost in for hours and go far, far away. Remember how you gave a happy, little sigh when it was done, already wishing you had another to sink your mind into? All of us are gifted in one way or another. I truly believe that. I’m in awe of good cooks and public speakers, but I always encourage others to try their hand at writing. It can be journaling, keeping a diary, or (yet another cause of envy), crafting hand-decorated notes to friends or clever mantras posted on the fridge to bring a smile to someone’s day. Maybe your own?
I believe everyone has at least one good story in them, a story that needs telling. A seed that requires watering in order to break the surface and see the sun. Sometimes, a story needs telling in order to bring pain to the surface so it can finally been seen and dealt with. It’s one way to deal with anger—by writing it down. Usually, whatever you’re angry about isn’t worth dying over. Let it go by writing it down.
There are a hundred reasons to write. If you don’t believe me, check out the National Writing Project’s “One Hundred Reasons Why I Write” and pick one that suits the circumstance. My two favorites are writing to find myself and writing to lose myself. To me, that says it all. You might write something down for clarity, or to finally get it right. To get it perfect before you say it aloud. I thought writing “to know what makes bad people good and good people bad” covers a lot of reasons why born writers delve into what makes people tick. Ever hear the saying about fools rushing in where angels fear to tread?
Consider writing a Christmas story this season and giving it as a gift to those you hold close in your heart. It can be a warm memory of growing up together, or a tale of the holidays that’s born in your imagination. It doesn’t have to be long—they’ll know it came from the heart.
Thanks for walking through the corridor with me, and have a Blessed New Year!
Promoting In Other Places
In a recent webinar cohosted by Mark Dawson and Joanna Penn, they reminded listeners to consider promoting self-published books in places other than America. In Amazon.au (Australia) and Amazon.uk (United Kingdom), competition is considerably less than here in the USA. The interest in other countries depends on content and genres. Sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, and contemporary romance are global and do rather well in Europe and Asia, while historical romances set in 19th century England might find a viable market in Britain, but not in Germany. Always keep your target audience at the forefront, whether you’re writing or promoting.
You’ve heard of grow where you’re planted? In today’s world, it’s promote where you live. You need a website. Build a social media platform, even if you’re technologically challenged like moi. Find a friend who knows how to navigate the morass of social media, or have a techy at WordPress walk you through it. More and more, agents and publishers expect authors to do their part of the marketing and promoting. So it would serve you well to start building that platform, whether you decide to go indie or traditional. You need a place for people to find you, and from that starting point, find your books so they can buy them! Potential readers can be directed from your website to read about and purchase your books and get word of those books that are coming soon!
A recent visit to Half-Price Books revealed shelf after shelf of audio books – they’re here to stay and gaining popularity. The initial financial outlay for audio may be a bit more, but you can grow a huge audience in a very short time. In that same vein, you might consider a Braille version for the sight-impaired, even donating a free copy or two to a local library. Consider having a promotion party at work after hours or during lunch. Have an email list to announce books that are out or books that will be out soon to your friends and acquaintances, telling them where it will be available and when. Don’t be shy! Have cards printed up with your email address and website information so people can find you. Promote yourself!
Thanks for walking through the corridor with me.