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Authors: Social Media Will Not Bring You an Audience.

It will help you keep an audience when you’ve got one.

That’s not what this post at Book Designer starts to say, but that’s what they end up concluding. The lede is buried here:

Your key to more followers isn’t posting more frequently or having more conversations. Nor is it constantly checking your feeds to see who said what.

A readership develops because they have something to value and talk about. The best way to accomplish that is to give them more fiction. Writing good stories, as always, should remain your top priority.

Good storytelling will lead to a fan base, and then social media will start returning results. You’ll see more links, retweets, and likes. Your voice will start circulating and your reach will expand.

Joel has even proposed not significantly investing in blogging until you have a readership. I think that makes a lot of sense.

Suggestion: Work on your craft, refine your voice, polish and publish. That’s what matters most. The better your writing, the better social media will work.

I’ve been operating under the If You Build It, They Will Come idea since I started self-publishing. I’m glad to hear that I’m not out of my mind.

Content? Fie Upon Your “Content”

Is there anything lamer than  having two “Sorry I no blog” posts in a row?

But I seriously had a good reason. Seriously.

Seriously.

Anyhoo, while I prep for the school year, here’s some nonsense. First my first feedback on Solar System Blues from someone who doesn’t know me and is therefore under no pressure to say they liked it (Goodreads link):

This book was just amazing. I won it through a good-reads giveaway and was so excited when I won. The whole idea and aspect of the book keeps you on your toes and excites you to turn every page. I recommend reading this book.

So there, people who have not the readiness to slam down $2.99 (more for dead tree) for a copy of an “amazing” book! How stupid do YOU feel?

Yeah, not very. I get that. God carried away. Sorry.

Here’s some vintage 1978 French punk rock, by way of an apology. I know, but listen to it:

That just rocks, that’s all that does…

My Daddy Drives a UFO….The Official Launch of Solar System Blues

Solar System Blues began as a spoken-word element of a band show for The Fest, a music and arts festival that my brother and his friends used to put on in Lancaster, PA every July. It’s the first thing I consciously created a First Draft for, and circulated said draft for comments from friends and family. That was back in 2009, and I’ve futzed and tinkered with it ever since.

To the particulars: the story is set in the late 22nd century, in a dystopian/cyperpunk future, when six or seven leviathan superstates battle for dominance with terrifiying weapons. One wounded soldier of these wars, employed on a secret project to enable humanity to survive nuclear war, instead steals the ship, and with a self-aware computer, a store of frozen genetic material, and a teenage first mate born in space, goes in search of a new planet for humanity to live on. Everything goes according to plan, except for what doesn’t.

For me, this book is less about future shock and more about human community: how it is destroyed, and how it can be restored. Is it really possible for humanity to have a mulligan? Or would we just make the same mistakes under different stars?

Anyway, it’s available in paperback and Kindle form. Hie ye to Amazon and buy (Think of it as “Hitting the Freaking Tip Jar,” as a wise man of my acquaintance once said). Darling Daughter needs new shoes.

She puts plenty of miles into the ones she has.
She puts plenty of miles into the ones she has.

To Lulu or To CreateSpace?

How recently would that question have made no sense at all?

Having played around a bit with Amazon’s CreateSpace service (Those books on the sidebar: They’re mine, I swearsies), I find it functional, intuitive, and free. Zero complaints about how the system works or how Amazon pays out. Yeah, you don’t make tons of money, thanks, everyone who’s ever tried to be an author. If you want to see your name on a book cover, they will take care of that for you and even throw some royalties your way. I haven’t heard that Random House does differently.

But I’m not the kind of guy who never wonders whether that turf on the obverse of the palisade is indeed more verdant. I bought the Wife a Nook HD+ for Mother’s Day, even though we’re an Amazon/Apple family, as much to check out a different platform as because of the sale. Since self-publishing had the Stigma Removed, I have looked about at all manner of publishing sites. Smashwords seems altogether too “YEAH! PUBLISHING!” But Lulu.com and I have had a long online flirtation. I like the aesthetics of the place, the cornocopia of services, the lure of publishing a HARDCOVER BOOK (that’s right, Millenials: Generation X still reads books printed on Paper, because we’re old).

The only thing that’s held me back is the suspicion that to really get anything that looks like a saleable book, I’m going to have to plunk down a not inconsiderable amount of money. One thing CreateSpace does is offer up a free library of images to help you design a cover: I’ve used that, and I’ve used my own images. Lulu only seems to offer a set of Modern Library-esque texture covers for free (and, of course, anything you own the rights too). Which, for certain monographs, wouldn’t be bad, but not for the sort of books I have in mind.

It’s something to wrack the brain about.

So Have I Mentioned That I Have a Book Called “Typing Into the Void” Out?

I feel like I have, but I can’t swear to it.

Click for link.

 

This is the result of me wringing out the best of my various pre-andrewjpatrick.com blogs (still out there, under the names Revolutionary Nonsense, and Genre Confusion) and other scribblings into a single collection. I culled it down to the best, and am selling it for $6.99 on Amazon, right in time for the holidays. Makes a great gift for your struggling blogger friends!

Also available on Kindle.