Tag Archives: editors

Novelists and Marketing

Be A Novelist New Open Doors

In the wake of the gigantic emergence of online and digital publishing, many new doors have opened to authors that never before existed.  Many authors from past decades (and centuries) would have given anything to live in our day.

No longer do we need to wait months to get an answer from a publisher, just to have to move on to the next publisher and wait a few more months. And if a title was accepted, then it required a wait of many more months before publication date. Now with programs such as Amazon’s Create Space, Book Baby, Smash Words, Lulu and the like, we can see our titles up and going in a matter of weeks.  And with e-reader sites it’s a matter of days. It truly is an exciting time for novelists and authors.

It’s Up To Us

However, there is the little matter of marketing. In the bygone days of yore, the author expected the publisher to do all the marketing. (Whether thatBe A Novelist perspective was correct or not is beside the point.) Now that’s not even a consideration.  In this new era, the marketing is up to us. No marketing means no one can find you in the millions of other books out there.  You have to make a mark. You have to have a web presence.

Are there parts that can be hired out?  Yes. However, just from my personal experience in the past I have wasted months of time by relying on so-called publicists who weren’t all they purported to be. The fact is, if writing is your calling, if you want to be a known author, if you want to sell books so you can write more books, so you can sell more books, you have no choice but to learn how to market online.

You Can Do This

Plenty of books have been written (and seminars and courses presented) about marketing online. Like it or not, this will be your responsibility. Learn what you can and apply what you can. As you do, you will begin to discover more and more ideas and strategies. It will be a learning curve, but you can do this.

I started with this blog site and grew from there. I use a great deal of social media as well. If you’re ready to get serious about learning how to take charge of your writing career, you might want to check out Guy Kawasaki’s book APE Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. Tons of ideas and tactics are included here. Add it to your library.

My Advice

At this point, I’m certainly no marketing expert, but I’m much further down the road than I was say, three or four years ago. My words of advice when it comes to marketing :

  • Don’t hesitate – jump in NOW. Don’t let fear stop you.
  • Don’t get discouraged. It’s a big new world out there; but you don’t need the whole pie – you just need a piece of the pie which is your own select audience.
  • Learn from the best. Find out what’s going on out there. Don’t just rely on the word of other authors (although they may have some great tips). Learn about online marketing from genuine online marketers.
  • Be patient. It takes time to build up your following. Keep in mind how much time would have been required in the old days to do a ten-city tour. And how exhausting. Now you can have an online blog tour and never leave the house!

Be A NovelistI happened to have had the questionable privilege of being published by what used to be known as legitimate publishers. I know the hassle and the waiting games, and the complete loss of control. I would prefer never to go back.

Are those established publishing houses still going? Yes. Are they still needed? Of course. Do I need them? Not so much…

It’s a new day for novelists and authors. Embrace it with all its good points and all it’s challenging points. Enjoy this new-found freedom! I know I am!

 

Be A Novelist

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In the six-month writing course that I call the Be A Novelist, Six-Month, Finish-My-Novel Challenge we talk a great deal about what might stand in the way of your novel creation! It will be like looking into a mirror as you see yourself more clearly. This course offers six full months of guidance and instruction. Guaranteed to light a fire under your novel-writing attempts and to launch you into a pattern of consistent writing! Details right here!

Be A Novelist

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The Power of Three in Plotting

Real Life Examples

One of the more powerful techniques of plotting is to capitalize on the power of the number three. While you may be vaguely aware of this technique, still and yet, you may not fully grasp how it can strengthen your plotting capabilities.

Stepping away from story form for a moment, let’s look at real life examples.

  • First of all we have the Creator God – one God in three entities: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • He created the earth as earth, sea (water), and air.
  • In the earth we have animal, vegetable, and mineral.
  • And in the human body there is blood, flesh, and bone.
  • In the human cell there is the cell wall, the nucleus, and cytoplasm

Be A Novelist

This list can go on and on, but you get the idea. Threes are everywhere.

Now you may be thinking, this is all fine, well and good, but how can this awareness affect my plotting?

Threes in Children’s Stories

Perhaps it will help to consider the pattern of three that shows up in the plots of stories from your childhood:

  • Goldilocks and the three bears
  • The three little pigs and the big bad wolf
  • Cinderella and two stepsisters
  • Rub a dub dub three men in a tub – butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. (And that’s not even a story just a little nursery rhyme.)
  • In Dickens’ story of the Christmas Carol, how many spirits were there? Three.
  • And when Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz clicks her heels together while wearing the ruby slippers, how many times does she click? Right again, three.

Be A Novelist

Threes are Everywhere

Once you have turned your attention to this concept, you will begin to see it everywhere as you read (and research) different stories and novels.

Our novel-writing trinity is: character – action – plot.

The action is the bridge for the two. What the character does (action) creates the plot.

And if you want to take this trinity concept further – your novel has a beginning, and middle, and an ending.

It has been said that: One is an incident; two is a pattern; and three breaks it.

The Triangle Plot

Let’s say you begin your plot with one character. One single person. So you have a protagonist but no antagonist. Will you have a story? Probably not.

The very nature of fiction is conflict – someONE against another someONE – or against a someTHING.

Now we bring in that someone or something against which the protagonist is struggling. This is the antagonist. In short stories this is often as far as things go. One person against nature, or against the forces of evil (perhaps within himself), or against the villain and so on. However, for a novel there really needs to be a third element to make it all fascinating, interesting, and compelling.

Be A NovelistThe most common use of this concept is one we’re all familiar with – the love triangle. No one could begin to count the times that the concept of a love triangle has been used in stories, novels, plays, and movies through the years.

Threes in Your Novel

As you are reading this blog, I hope your mind is going to your own novel. Think about how your characters are situated. If you have limited the action between one protagonist and one antagonist, you may want to back up and take another look. How could a third element be brought in to make the fireworks happen?

The dynamics of the triangle has a factor of six – notice it grows geometrically not arithmetically.

You have character A, Character B, and Character C.

The story will take in how A relates to B and C. How B relates to A and C. and how C relates the A and B. Now you have six relationships. Fascinating, right?

If you attempt four main characters, now you may have trouble. The dynamic is now twelve – that’s twelve relationships and sets of interactions to deal with. That’s a lot even for the more seasoned novelist.

Two Sets of Threes

Rather than grow the set to four, a better idea is to create two sets of triangles. For instance you might have a set of three major characters, then weave in a set of three minor characters.

While the main character in the major triangle may participate in the second triangle, beware of confusing the reader with too many relationships. Be A NovelistKeep it as simple as possible

I’m not trying to confuse you, but rather to help you be aware of and to appreciate this age-old fiction strategy. The more you notice it, and the more it is at the forefront of your mind as you plot, the better able you will be to master it.

Growing in your knowledge of plotting techniques is one of the best ways to improve your writing. Never stop learning or growing in your craft.

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In the six-month writing course that I call the Be A Novelist, Six-Month, Finish-My-Novel Challenge we talk a great deal about what might stand in the way of your novel creation! It will be like looking into a mirror as you see yourself more clearly. This course offers six full months of guidance and instruction. Guaranteed to light a fire under your novel-writing attempts and to launch you into a pattern of consistent writing! Details right here!

Be A Novelist

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