Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

Tag Archives: bookpleasures

Online reader networks

I have over the years been a member of Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing and other social sites that were geared toward book lovers where I have tried to post reviews, meet people and keep up with books, both new and old. I have found this very beneficial but at the same time it is just another one of those things that I’d love to have more time for but generally don’t know where to cut. In the past I also published reviews at BookPleasures and Gather and always on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Lots of overlap and duplication but also lots of community. And that, at the end of the day, is what what we do it for.

Self Publishing a Masterpiece?

Mark Twain self published Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain self published Huckleberry Finn

So you haven’t gotten offered a publishing contract after the umpteenth try.  Maybe you haven’t even been able to score a good literary agent.  All that effort wasted and still you just know that you have something valuable to say.  You know in your heart that the world needs to know you, the world simply must know your work, and now you are nearly convinced that the only way that you can see this getting your masterpiece out is by you self publishing your work.

I got ya…  But you are at a severe disadvantage, you know?

First of all you won’t have the resources of a major publishing house to properly design your book cover and edit your material. You won’t have major distributors out there selling your books in book stores around the globe. You won’t have public relations companies, book marketing firms and ad agencies at your beck and call.  But I didn’t have to tell you that, did I?

So without all of these resources and help from where will this masterpiece spring on to the waiting public? The same places all masterpieces spring from. From your own brilliance and perseverance.

If you are looking for some special key I just want to let you know now that this post is not going to offer you any magic formula.  I want it to be a bit more of a pep talk.  I have been reviewing books for BookPleasures for some time now and have read a good many books by first time authors and otherwise unknown authors.  Personally some of the best books that I have read in the past few years have been self published or authors who have published with small publishing houses for whatever reason. So you can believe me when I tell you that when I have read a good book I do my best to make sure that the world knows this is a good book. That is why I have committed myself to reviewing these books.  I promote the authors in every way that I can.

Ernest Hemingway originally self published under the pen name "Peter Jackson"

Ernest Hemingway originally self published under the pen name "Peter Jackson"

You see 99.9999% of all famous authors, whether fiction or non-fiction started very, very small.  They were unknowns who got their fame through their persistent work. Their bodies of work had meaning and they endured. And nowadays we have advantages that the authors who published before didn’t have.  For instance we more tools and resources at our fingertips than ever before.  These resources allow anyone working alone can promote themselves to a broader audience.   We have social media, videos, websites, blogs.  It isn’t just the press releases, reviews and book signings anymore.  We have much more control over our own destinies than any other time in history.  The fact that you are reading this blog written by me is proof of that.

I am certain that some of the people who I have reviewed already will be discovered by more and more people because they use their creativity to find their audience.   A good example of one I expect to reach this summit is my friend (who I have posted about before) who goes by the nom de plume “Maclean J Storer“.   Word gets out.  In the old days we called this “word of mouth” but nowadays we bottle it and relable it as “viral marketing”.  A great example of the word getting out is that I have a German friend who read Maclean J Storer’s Forward O Peasant and he sent an e-mail to 300 of his friends and family telling them to find this book and read it.   And twice within the past month I have been asked by people where they can buy this same novel.  My friend is gaining a following slowly but surely.   And so will you if your work is good and you stick to it.  Almost every writer who gained a large following started small with immediate friends and family – but success in writing is almost never bagging the big one.  It is more like farming.

Just remember what Vince Lombardi used to say: “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” It is not only true for sport but for everything in life. Write.  Publish.  Then get out there and promote yourself but most of all, stay at it!

How do you read?

Me?  A voracious reader? 

Some call me that but the truth of the matter is I read when I am at home, which is not often due to my social life and business activities.  But I have been working recently to become more efficient in my reading.  Of course, I am read up on the latest in speed reading courses and I do use the principles outlined in these courses to help me get even more reading done than normal.  But I think besides the amount of time available for reading I have a problem with the reading material itself.

For instance, I read for many reasons.  One important reason is research for my writing projects.  I also am a reviewer for BookPleasures.com so it is very important to get through this workload as well.  And just as important is the reading that I do for my own pleasure.  So damn!  I have one hell of a stack of books next to my bed.

I suppose if you were to take them out and count them you’d find 25% of the books are for research, 25% for my own pleasure and 50% for review.  But don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy them all!

So I have been asking myself if there is a system I can create so that I can spend more time with the books I read for my own curiosity.  If you know of one or if you think of one, let me know!