Having read some of his stuff, it is my absolute pleasure to have Jerry McKinney step in for a day. Sit up, pay attention...and you...the one in the third row shooting spit balls...yes you Mister Rosamilia...to the principal's office. Now, please give a warm welcome to Mister Jerry McKinney...
First of all, I’d like to thank Todd for having me on his blog. It certainly is an honor. I was unsure about the topic of “Getting myself out there”. I can promise you, I am definitely no expert and we all keep learning every day. But then again, I have been proceeding along with my “career” in writing quite well, taking into consideration I probably spend actually about six hours a week writing. Yes, I said writing. With a full-time job working 12-14 hours a day, it really limits your ability to just sit down and pound out a novel; hell, even just a story. And the rest of the time is divided into sleep and, err…Facebook.
Yes, the ultimate time-waster is also one of the best tools I can think of as an independent writer. Promoting your work and yourself was never easier, if you get into the right groups. Some frown upon “pimping” your work in their hallowed halls, but that’s their choice. And guess what? You can make your own. Spend time in the established groups and comment on posts and be positive. Always positive. Invite people to your group and they will come. And why not? It doesn’t cost them anything. Be pleasant and thank them for joining and try to keep a good base of people in the group. Appoint some friends to administrate the group. And most of all, post about yourself, your works and hell, even your friends’ work. They always seem to reciprocate. Spread those posts around, get them seen. Get yourself seen.
One tale won’t make you rich. Write, write, and write. You can have the best reviews on the web on a book. Then the reader moves on. You need to try to keep a consistent flow of stories for the market. Build that fan base, be remembered. Which brings me to another point: don’t be remembered for poorly edited stories. Sure, some reviewers will rant on about how they found a misplaced comma in a tale. These aren’t the ones we are talking about; they read the story looking for errors and couldn’t possibly have enjoyed it to the fullest. But the average person, who has a hard time finishing it because of the grammatical mistakes. Proper editing is so important; I cannot stress this enough.
When Amazon started the KDP program last year, I dragged my heels. I had a hard time removing my work from a market with mediocre sales and making it exclusive to one I was struggling in. I understand that some authors did well with this program. By the time I decided to try it, the market was glutted with freebies. Kindle users were filling their memory card and going to the next. Like I said, I heard it did well at first.
Nobody said it’s easy. Every small victory must be followed by another. I have invested in business cards for my website. I sign the backs and leave them on bulletin boards and café tables. I send them to my friends around the country and even the world and ask them to do the same. We must strive for success; it won’t look for us.
I’m going to leave with a short paragraph from my story “Feed”. Actually, Todd didn’t care for this bit or preaching. But I feel it does pertain…
“Walking the streets, I found myself looking into the faces of people. I wondered how many were feeling hunger. It is more than food; it’s also the need to dream. Just as important. You can always die if you choose it. Others choose by living mundane lives…never dreaming…never reaching…never feeding their hunger. So many blank faces, tilting back their beers and staring into space. Perched on their barstools as a television drones out the daily sports scores that will not matter to anyone when they’re dead. Were they dead already? Never to taste the nectars of life or feel the sun upon their face? I see more clearly now through the eyes of a demon the humanity we all should cherish. Our precious time with each other is often the price we pay for our hunger, our need to…feed.”
Jerry W. McKinney
Return tomorrow for more from Jerry!