By AK Dale
First, I would like to extend my gratitude to Mr. Pat Douglas for allowing me to take some time and space on his personal site, where this column could end up as a guest blog on his site.
Secondly, I really don’t know why I was asked to write a blog about publishing and telling tales.
I mean, who am I?
Aren’t I a lot like many of you who are toiling on your craft every day? Maybe I know less than you? Maybe I realize ten times more than you about the profession? Does it really matter?
I mean who am I?
I am just a guy, like many of you, trying to make it the dream of being a full-time author a reality.
Many have offered me advice, some asked for, some not.
So, if I were to give you readers some advice, I mean what could I say? Who am I, right?
Well, I am going to try. I really am. Because I believe that everyone should have the equal chance to be successful at whatever they attempt to be great at.
Yet, we must always realize if it becomes too hard of work then either we are doing something terribly wrong or maybe, we just aren’t good enough and must re-evaluate.
But…until that happens…what to do?
Well, I am new to the world of self-publishing, self-promoting, and self-everything else.
I have written for two decades, but mostly as a journalist, and a good one.
Writing books? A totally different journey.
Still, I believe being new, being different, and coming from a profession that tends to challenge convention, I may offer you some new kinds of advice that may shock some and motivate others.
- Do not follow convention. You have to ask yourself, “who is giving you the advice?” Many of those who offered me “helpful” advice tended to be those who didn’t follow their own advice. The closer you look, the more you realize that the ones offering you advice and contradict it are toiling in that huge marketplace of persons really wanting to make it. Why follow their advice if they don’t adhere to it and are still struggling to fulfill their dreams?
- Play clean, play honest. First off, do not let anyone try to bully you out of your rightful place, regardless if you are new to the scene or a quiet veteran. Ultimately the writing speaks. Yet, if you are in any type of competition of find yourself under any type of adversity due to zealous competitors who may play it below the belt, always take the high road. Always try to get better. Always work to be the better, good, writer, not the better of the bad ones.
- Get yourself out there. I hear complaints of spamming and “over doing” it. I tend to disagree. But of course, that’s because I am willing to support others as much as I promote myself. Get on Twitter. Get a Blog. Once you get a Blog, produce often, and daily. I went from six subscribers to 220 in a month and 10 hits a day to 200 within a month. Create promotional videos, causes, and groups for your product. Talk to reviewers on blogs and just pound the pavement. Promote yourself and tell the world who you are.
- Back your fellow writers. Give them a hand where they need you to. Do not give faux good reviews if you don’t like the work, but there is no harm in doing basic favors, like liking a page, or telling people “to give this guy a try.” You aren’t endorsing, you are simply spreading their name out. Write a review if asked. Never lie, but never undercut.
- Find a team that backs you. Write about something you believe in and something that others can find merit in. When you do, try to get an artist, readers, editors, and fans that will help you because they believe in you as a person, but also because they believe in what your work represents. Entertaining people is one thing, but giving them something to believe in is just icing.
Just remember, whatever you do, do not sell out your fellow writers, never sell yourself short, and as long as you do things that allow you to feel good about yourself, go for broke. Until those who give help are paying your bills or making your dreams come true…just go for it all.
It can be a pretty fun experience.
Alan Dale is the author of the soon-to-be-released “Dead Nations’ Army” trilogy and it’s first book, “Code Flesh”. He is also an award-winning sports, news, and features journalist who currently runs a new Indie Entertainment, Politics, News, Social Issues, website WERZOMBIESPRESS.com.