Let’s get to the first email.
How do I get my site on the Midweek Content Roundup?
I don’t solicit links, if that’s what you’re getting at, Ricky. I also don’t typically include links people send me in email…mainly because no one does that.
Well, maybe 1 or 2 a month – if even that. No, where I get most of the links to the articles you may or may not be reading each Wednesday is on Google+.
As you know from my previous article on Google+ communities, I’ve got quite a few groups that I actively visit and post to and also pull links from.
You could go and do this, but the thing is, you have a job and I don’t…well, you know what I mean. I can sit at home and allocate an hour or 30 minutes each day to going to those groups and sifting through the detritus to find the worthwhile content.
We call this curation and I’m pretty good at it, perhaps because I have a history degree and we were trained to do that…to some extent. I’ve had to train myself to do it a lot more, and you can see my five history books to see what that looks like.
So how do you get on Midweek Content Roundup? Probably by being an active blogger that publishes useful shit and that also shares it on one of the Google+ groups that I frequent.
How do you make enough money to not work?
So I write stuff for other people. I used to do a lot of content writing work, for people’s websites and such. Now I mainly stick to eBooks and editing jobs. I do alright, although some months (like this month) it feels a little tight.
What tips do you have for starting a fantasy trilogy or open-ended series?
- Characters: Have characters that people can identify with. Have a separate sheet with some characteristics, looks, and other little things that make them stand out.
- Places: Have similar places that you can return to. I mean, if you were in one town, maybe go back there later. This kind of planning can allow you to use locations to further your plot, fool readers, or spring surprises.
- Story Arcs: If you want a series you really need to use these “***” or these “~~~” and they’re called page breaks or scene breaks and they let readers know you’re transitioning. You’re going to have a lot of story here, and you need to break that up into different stories, almost like smaller books.
- History: If you want a series you need to have history. Characters can reference this, your world will be built upon it, and it’ll give you excuses to do things. “We have to attack the Regidians…they attacked us back in that war two wars ago!” These little ‘outs’ help you move along.
I could go into more on this but I just don’t really have much else to say now. Check out my ‘writing fantasy’ category for lots of articles on writing fantasy novels or series.
You have a lot of great cover designers in your cover designer article, but can you narrow it down more?
Let’s explain that:
- Price: You need to stick within a certain budget. If you want to spend $150 but that guy wants $250, then that’s a sealed deal, unless you want to wait until you have the money.
- Experience: Has this person done similar work before? They might have a great detective image, but if you need sci-fi and they don’t have any in their portfolio, I’d go somewhere else.
- Needs: This gets down to our last one, and that’s needs. What do you need? If you can get by with something standard for your genre, go for it. But if you need something intricate and specialized (think fantasy and sci-fi) then maybe saving up for a month or two is worth it, to get that $400 custom image or whatnot.
Everything I try for eBook marketing doesn’t work, what should I do?
- Write More: If you have one failed book, why not give it company and write another? Maybe a whole series! This is my main marketing strategy, and I’ll tell you, it doesn’t work that well because most books I’ve written this year do…not…sell.
- Market More: Writers love doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results because we’re crazy. So spending more money on marketing might be the ticket, although I’d try different services, or even go from email marketing to blog tours to Facebook ads to banner advertising in forums. Lots of options, try a few.
- Do Nothing: You could just give up and quit, and if you do this, leave the books up. One might take off in a few years and make a lot of money, and you want to be ready to act upon that. Of course not writing for a few years might make that difficult, so…there’s that.
Alrighty, that concludes this edition of the Monthly Mailbox. Thanks for writing…or not.