So, today we have something very special: a guest post by author Ty Johnston! Special both because he’s written some interesting novels (I can personally vouch for City of Rogues–haven’t read the others yet, but I enjoyed that one), and because–and this is important–I don’t have to come up with something to post myself.
I’m just one step on the route of a blog tour that started on February 1st and will continue until the 29th, to advertise his upcoming novel, Demon Chains. Check out that cover–looks exciting, doesn’t it?
He’s also written a number of other books, including the aforementioned City of Rogues, as well as Bayne’s Climb, Ghosts of the Asylum, and more, all available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. For more information, check out his blog at tyjohnston.blogspot.com
Now, without further ado, here’s Ty with some thoughts on the world of digital publishing:
If you get a group of fiction writers together, each of them will have differing suggestions for how to “make it” as a writer in today’s modern world of digital publishing. One might tell you to give away some of your books and/or e-books for free. Another will likely suggest taking part in social networking, utilizing sites like Facebook and Twitter to build an audience. Still another might tell you to forget about promotions all together, just to keep writing and writing, and that eventually you will draw an audience.
All of that is decent advice, but the truth is there is not one single key element that can make a fiction writer successful. All of the notions mentioned above might work, or they might fall flat. You might write and self publish one novel and have it become a hit, or you might write and have professionally published a hundred novels and never draw more than a few readers’ interest.
The truth is, no one knows for sure what will be a big seller when it comes to fiction.
Now that doesn’t mean writers can’t do themselves some favors by performing certain tasks that can increase their chance of success. Being able to write a lot and publish a lot is a big boost, because the more material one has available, the easier it is for readers to find you. Social networking can also work to build that audience, and giveaways have been known to propel some writers forward.
But don’t bet on it. Never, ever plan on a promotional racket working. Why? Because they fail as often, if not more often, than they work.
Don’t give up. Don’t cry yourself to sleep at night. Just get out there and write.
More than that, get out there and do what you think will boost your writing career. Think for yourself. Be willing to try something new. Most importantly, be willing to fail, then to pick yourself back up and try something else.
If you write romance novels but find they don’t sell, give it a go at writing a thriller. If you’ve been giving away free e-books but find you still aren’t finding readers, do the opposite and hike up the prices of your e-books (within a reasonable range, of course). Change the covers of your books. Hire a professional editor. Hire a cover artist.
Do something different. Think outside of the box.
Yes, it is fine to draw inspiration and advice from others, but when it is all said and done, this is your writing and possibly your career we are talking about. Don’t take the words of others for granted. Again, think for yourself.
Ben, thanks for hosting me today!
This is pretty much where I’m at now, trying to think outside the box since what I’ve been doing has worked at a modest level at best. Writers are creative and need to bring that to their marketing as well, though that’s easier said than done at times.
Thanks for dropping by, Charles.
Yep, I’m trying a few new things right now. Only time will tell if they work.