Stop and Go: That Marketing Thing

Yep, it’s going to be one of THOSE conversations…

As many of you know, I have been experimenting with Amazon Marketing Services to get some sort of marketing thing going with my books. Unfortunately, I tend to have a leap before I look approach at times which while making for great anecdotes, leads to me slamming on the brakes when Reality sets in.

Me: Hot Damn, I want to do this.

Reality: You need to save up the funds to do this and develop a better plan of attack. You’re not quite the bestselling author yet, you know.

Me: But…but…

Reality: Patience, Wallace. You can only do so much. You’re a writer, not a salesman.

Me: But…but…

Okay, that’s generally what goes on in my head and while my head and my gut don’t often work in tandem (except for that one party a number of years ago that involved copious amounts of alcohol but that’s a story for another day) but when they do, it’s a rather jarring experience that leaves me at a brief standstill while I figure out what the heck happened.

I suppose the message here is to fight those impulses and move slowly unless you are fully confident that you are moving in the appropriate direction. Trust your first instincts.

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Adding Backstory to Your Backstory

One of the things that I enjoy the most about writing fiction is the world building aspect. Every story should have some history behind it no matter how much time passes within it.

So, I’m planning out the plot for Parallax: Genesis and considering the first scene where my intrepid heroes are stuck in Hyperspace and trying desperately to escape before their life support systems fail (Time works a little different in Hyperspace) and I wanted to share a story that the main character tells about a ship lost during the early days of Interstellar Travel. I’ve gone through several iterations of how that would play out when it occurred to me to have my people actually find the lost ship and cannibalize some of its parts to get them home and in the process solve the original mystery (Pratt has a knack for doing heroic things and ultimately bring unwanted attention upon himself…hehe).

My point here is that when you add historical elements that are particular to your story universe, you add depth and flavor that can potentially spur the reader forward. After all, when you are painting on a canvass that is as expansive as the Universe, you have plenty of room to fill in the corners.

Another Day, Another Few Hundred Words

I don’t stick to a daily word count when it comes to Writing. Some days I’m on fire and can easily knock out a chapter or two while other days I’m lucky to get a paragraph. That’s simply how it works with me.

I write because I enjoy it, which basically means that if I don’t feel like doing it, there’s a good chance that it won’t get done that day. Thankfully, I manage to get caught up in the long run but to engage in a set writing schedule is tantamount to throwing my hands up in the air and shouting “Please shoot me now.”

I do keep track of my progress though because it’s good to know where you are at and how far you still have to go. I’ve been making slow and steady progress between Lights and Shadows and Parallax: Genesis while working out some logistical stuff for getting L&S ready to go by the end of December and P:G by the end of March 2017. Unfortunately, the blog has been semi-neglected in the shuffle and while I enjoy updating you all on what’s happening over here, it’s a little lower on the food chain.

Before I forget, a small update on the paid advertising venture I was doing with Amazon Marketing Services. I didn’t run the campaigns for the full month as I originally planned but I did notice some significant results and am planning to restart Parallax’s campaign some time in November. I’m not thrilled with the expenditures involved but I’ve been told that’s what you have to do when you self-publish so I accept it.

Parallax: Genesis (The Planning Begins)

I’ve been getting a number of messages from people asking me when I’m going to start work on Parallax’s Sequels and though I am loathe to work on multiple projects at once, I’ve decided to dust off the files and get to it.

A little background on where I am at this moment:

Parallax: Genesis takes place immediately after the last battlefield scene in Parallax. Pratt and his crew find themselves trapped in Hyperspace after the ship’s Hyperspace Regulator module overloads and burns out. This poses a dilemma because while the ship’s fusion reactors provide a large amount of power, it is not infinite and when the fuel runs out (exacerbated by unique Time-Space conditions inherent to Hyperspace) everything including their Life Support Systems will shut down. In other words, if they don’t fix the problem, they will eventually drop into Normal Space feet first. Therefore, the first story event in P:G will be a race against time with plenty of opportunities for character development and drama. While I could probably put together a fairly good tale using this by itself, I plan for Pratt and Co to solve their problem and make their way to Earth, where the remainder of the plot will unfold.

This particular sequel is an expansion to the original outline I wrote for Parallax but decided to break into three parts because I felt that it was too extensive for one standalone book.

Kindle Scout

I’ve been exploring my options lately and realized that I’ve overlooked Amazon’s Kindle Scout. I’m considering submitting Lights and Shadows for nominations when I get it finished in the near future. I can’t use my other books since they’re published through Createspace and KDP but that’s okay.

The more I dig, the more potential options I find. Got to love that Trial and Error process, eh?

Anyway, more to come as I work out the particulars.

Going All In

I’ve never been one to shy away from a calculated risk. Granted, some of those calculated risks have blown up in my face in the past (not seriously) but that’s the price we pay for playing the games of Life.

What I am talking about is the new advertising campaigns that I created on Amazon for my books. I wanted to start out slow but in true “me” fashion, once I started the first one I just HAD to shoot the works and set them up for everything I had out there. After all, the point is to get the word out, right?

Will they work? Well, anything is an improvement over doing nothing and I abhor doing nothing.

Will it cost me? Of course. Everything has some cost attached to it, either in money or time. The trick is to minimize as much of each as you can.

Will Mary Jane come out of the coma and stop her evil twin from marrying Brad? You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out on the next episode of As The Stomach Turns…