Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

September 1, 2010

Day 78 of 365

Books sold so far (May and June 2010): 246

In this issue:

  • Writing topic – Taming the Time Bandit
  • Marketing Topic – Keeping it Local

Writing topic – Taming the Time Bandit

How much time do you devote to ‘the craft?’ I’m not talking big picture things like, “I minored in creative writing in college”, or “Whenever I see someone on the subway or walking down the street, I can picture them as a character in my book.” I’m talking about ass in the chair, at your writing desk, pounding the keys, sweating the details, knocking out page after page time. Is it every day? It should be. Do you have a goal? You should. Is it in pages or in hours? Mine is pages. In my humble opinion, I think a page goal is better because it’s more concrete. When you complete 5 pages, you complete 5 pages. When you work for 4 hours, you may have been working or you may have been playing on the computer or watching spoofs of the Old Spice commercial on YouTube.

My goal for my new novel is 5 pages a weekday. Why a weekday? I save weekends for review of the pages from that week and for research. So let’s do the math:

5 pages x 5 weekdays = 25 pages a week, translates into 100 pages a month, so a 400 page novel should be done in 4 months.

Today is September 1. I still need a few days to finalize my outline, but I will start writing on Labor Day. So, I should be done with the rough draft by January 1.

What about you? How many pages a day is your goal?

Marketing Topic – Keeping it Local

Advertising is expensive, but one of the best advertising tools at your disposal is 1) something as a writer you can do and 2) is FREE. It’s the news release. Here’s the latest one I did to coincide with another news release about the Bank of Japan’s actions to stabilize its economy:

BREAKING NEWS RELEASE – Is The Brink coming true?

Posted on August 30, 2010

Today’s Bank of Japan action eerily close to similar event that sparks global meltdown in controversial thriller

Could a suspense thriller have predicted the future? Mark Fadden’s latest chillingly current novel, The Brink, might have actually pulled off that trick with the announcement of today’s Bank of Japan emergency meeting to take “bold action” in the currency market. The book follows a fugitive cop and a brilliant and beautiful economist as they race to Washington, D.C. from the Mexican wilderness with news of a secret society’s plan for global financial Armageddon. “I wanted the conspiracy in the book to be one that could actually happen in real life, with real, if somewhat mysterious groups involved.” These ’mysterious groups’ Fadden is referring to are the Bilderbergers, an alleged cabal of international elites such as financiers, media moguls, and members of royal families, that are bent on forming a one world government, thus destroying sovereign nations and individual freedoms.  Another organization Fadden brings into his latest thriller is America’s own Federal Reserve, which, Fadden says, is awash in secrecy. “By setting the interest rate, perhaps no other organization in the world controls our lives more than the FED. Yet most people have no idea it is a network of private banks that is not under the control of any branch of US government.”  

While Fadden won’t give away anything that might spoil the plot, he does reveal that today’s emergency meeting announcement by the Bank of Japan as reported by Bloomberg.com in which Japanese Prime Minister’s Naoto Kan is quoted that, “he expects the BOJ to implement monetary policy “swiftly,” and that the government is ready to take “bold action” in the currency market,” is eerily similar to what happens in the book.

“I wrote the book a few years ago and spent several years researching the financial aspects of it,” Fadden said, searching for his words carefully so to not give away too much. “Let’s just say that today’s Bank of Japan action is pretty close to what happens in The Brink. I just hope for our sakes that the timelines of factual events and fictionalized events split off from there.”

I put it on my website, but then I thought, “That’s great, but now, how can I get the word out about it?”

I Googled, “book marketing”, and came across this handy little tool I found while doing some research on book marketing. It’s a list, by state, of all the local newspapers and their news tips email addresses. Many PR services charge you hundreds of dollars for this list, but here it is for free. Now all you have to do is make up your own news release, send it out to your local papers, sit back and become famous! No, seriously, you’ll probably have to do some follow up with the different papers, but newspaper contacts are vital. They may not print your entire news release, or they may not print it at all. But they might print the blurb you email them about an upcoming signing. So play nice with them, okay?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  



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