People won’t just come to you.
Now that there are so many entertainment options choose from, people (rightfully) feel that they should to be courted by creators who want them to read/watch/hear their work.
In truth, it may have always been this way.
Selling the First Wheel
So, if these systems have been in place for millennia, then what can I do to compete?
Building An Audience
Step One: Blog Regularly
The weekly blogging schedule I’ve taken up has helped keep me sharp and focused. It doesn’t hurt that I changed my branding a little bit to better fit my personality and interests. The Writing Teacher was fun and I liked the dual usage of the word “Writing” in the title as both an adjective and a verb, but it didn’t allow me to comment on the topics that most engaged me.
Cynical Sci-Fi gives me some range and helps me be truer to who I am, which is important. This authenticity has contributed to an increased follower-ship on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Step Two: Broaden My Market Base
It is hard to find new ways to promote old work. Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan has had thousands of readers and I am very proud of how it has influenced the Peter Pan mythos, but it is a three-year-old book among many, many, many newer similar titles.
Therefore, I am working with the Audiobook Creation Exchange to make both Captain James Hook titles available on Audible and iTunes. As of this post, I have one audition already submitted and I am using my audience base to promote this opportunity to others. (Expect to get updates on this process as it unfolds.)
Step Three: Collaborate With Others
Working with others in a creative field can be a real pain. Many will actively try to cut you down so that you do not get a leg up on them or will try to rip off your ideas while discouraging you from pursuing them.
It is important to find a partner (or group) that will encourage you while being constructively critical. I am fortunate that my writing partner is as talented as he is insightful. Hundreds of thousands of words have passed between us: read, commented, and revised.
This isn’t for work that we share credit for either. These are solo titles, made better through joint effort.
The followup step is to get myself into book talks, social groups, and conferences.
Step Four: Create New Work
This is often the hardest part. You tweet. You post. Distractions pull you this way and that until hours have passed and you find that your daily word count is under 1000. It doesn’t have to be this way, though.
- Develop new ideas
- Set a schedule
- Stick to it
This simple process has given me two new series of short fiction, the first titles of which are already done and ready to go. More are on the way as July and August are typically big drafting months for me (teacher’s schedule).
Step Five: Experiment
I’m taking a different route with the new titles. Their lengths allow them to be submitted to genre magazines and I feel that they have a good shot, so I’m trying that first before diving into a self-publishing model.
As with the audiobook creation process, expect that future posts will include updates on which magazines each title will be submitted to and what the responses are.
New is only new for so long, then you have to learn what comes next. These are both new journeys for me and I’m excited to take them on as a lifelong learner.