I’ve been known to self-edit when I write… a lot. For the first draft of WoEM, I think I wrote and rewrote the first couple of chapters three or four times before I made any real progress on the story.
I’ve been knee-deep in the discovery draft of my short stories for a couple months, and it’s taken a while to convince my brain that it’s only the discovery draft.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written about actual marketing strategies, so I wanted to find a topic I could cover in greater depth over the next several months:
Promoting a New Book Release!
This topic is relevant to my own publishing efforts, since I’m writing and aiming to publish a two-part novella later this year. I’ll start off with a summary of different book promotion strategies, and then deep-dive into each topic in later posts.
As I write “Survivor”, my not-officially-titled duology, I keep thinking about how I might be able to organize my world-building canon better.
Most of what I’ve written in my fantasy universe has been in The Warden of Everfeld stories, of which I have one novel published and one in draft. “Survivor” is the first story that does not overlap WoEM, but shares some of its history and geography with those novels. And I want to make sure that what I write in one doesn’t contradict the other.
My son is eighteen months old now, and he loves listening to stories, turning the pages of books, listening to music, and watching cartoons. I’m not sure how much of any of it he understands, but it’s exciting to watch him experience those things.
A colleague recently told me how he was watching through all of the Star Wars movies with his eight-year-old daughters, hoping to bring them to the theater to see The Rise of Skywalker. He managed to catch it with them just last week, and he said their reactions and excitement in the theater was well worth it.
I’m not a huge gamer. The most recent systems in our house are a Gamecube, which I’ve had for over 15 years — maybe 20, which is scary — and a PS2, which we just took from my in-laws’ house because my brother-in-law didn’t want it anymore.
However, there are a few games that I will always love to play. The main one, if you hadn’t guessed, is World of Warcraft, an MMORPG that first came out in 2004. I started playing in 2005, and I played off and on until about 2014.
Once again, the drums of Warcraft are beating in my heart, and I’m probably about to start playing again. There are a thousand reasons why I love this game, but the primary one is my love of exploring this world.
I got Click. directly from the author after I won a contest on his site. I was the first to comment a random word from a video he posted, proving I actually watched it.
Click. is an exciting and action-packed story that’s easy to digest and hard to put down. As is typical with Siler’s stories, the dialogue is snappy and sarcastic, with one-liners and pop culture references peppered throughout.
This one was a sub-headline, but I still have issues with it.
Want to learn how to write good headlines? Check this out. Perhaps it’s time to write a post about creating good sub-headlines…
What this sub-headline does right:
Tells us the author’s purpose for writing the book… I guess?
What this sub-headline does wrong:
Takes a cliche expression and makes it blander.
Doesn’t actually tell us anything about the book.
History repeats itself, if we ignore history we are doomed to repeat it, etc. This sub-headline is essentially those cliche phrases except worded more poorly.
We can glean from this snippet (and the headline if you saw it), that this is for a historical novel. What type of history? That’s a mystery! (Not even the headline made that clear.) Maybe this book is really a detective caper where we have to guess which historical event it’s actually talking about, giving us clues along the way, but then there’s a big twist at the end!
The sub-headline of a press release is supposed to provide those little extra details that are just too wordy for a short snappy headline.
Here’s the how Google populates the press release I sent announcing that WoEM had been published. See that smaller text beneath the main headline? That’s officially called the meta description, but for a press release, that’s where the sub-headline would populate.
My sub-headline isn’t perfect, but it provides at least a little extra information. Notice how Google truncates it after about 150 characters? That makes it even more important that you front-load that summary with information that potential readers can act on.
What could be done differently:
Just rewrite the whole thing. Replace it with a description of the book, perhaps an actual piece of advice that could be taken from this mysterious history lesson. Or maybe tell us When and Where the book could be purchased.
As it currently reads, this sub-headline is effectively wasted space.
Plotting the first draft of a novel can be difficult. Oftentimes, you’re not sure exactly where the story is going until you get there. Weaving together multiple characters, their micro-conflicts, and the larger plot is impossible unless you already know how the tapestry should look.