|Like Lee Allen Howard, author
When you’re a self-published writer, if you want your book promoted, it’s up to you. The same as it was for the writing, the revision, the editing, formatting, and publication. All yours. Every bit of it. But when it comes to reviews, you can’t go it alone.
Although I’ve read a lot of books in my life, I’ve reviewed very few. This is changing. Why? Because now as a self-published author, I need reviews. And I believe in the Golden Rule of Indie Publishing: Scratch the Backs of Others as You Would Like Yours to Be Scratched.
In the world of e-pubbing, I can’t count on the publishing house’s marketing department to push my book. (Not that it would anyway, had I gone the traditional route.) Nor can I depend on my personal fame to attract strangers to praise me. (I traipsed around in a platinum wig and meat suit like a monster, and all I did was draw flies.) I need the handful of people in my literary circle to pull for me, reading and posting reviews wherever my work appears.
According to the Golden Rule of Indie Publishing, if I want my stuff reviewed, I need to write reviews for others—at least for those who write in the genres I read most. I must comment on their Facebook posts, like their author pages, recommend them to others, visit their blogs, RT their Tweets.
Those who just jumped on the bandwagon should realize that indie publishing is a collaborative effort based on personal relationships and mutual favors. We are the literary Amish, raising each other’s barns.
Even if you don’t yet have a well-established blog or writer’s website, a Twitter account, or a Facebook fan page, one thing you can do is to start building goodwill for yourself among your writing peers. Someday when you get all of the pieces of the business figured out—or enough of them to put your work out there for public consumption—you’re going to need reviews.
You’ll find your hours must be divided between putting stuff out and requesting help from others. When it comes time for reviews and promotion by others, you’ll want to have a full account to draw from. Your back will one day need a good scratching. The best scratchers are those whose backs you’ve already scratched.
Begin now to put people in your debt for those favors you’ll need tomorrow. Instead of your launch stalling, you may find it will take off and soar.
“Don’t look out only for your own interests,
but take an interest in others, too.”
–Php. 2:4 NLT
My pubs, THE SIXTH SEED, STRAY, and SEVERED RELATIONS, are available for review. If you like horror and paranormal fiction, hit me up on my Contact page to request a free coupon of whatever you’re willing to write a review for.
And if you enjoyed this post, please click Like, promote it among your peers, subscribe to my blog—scratch my back. Thanks, karma buddies!
Why am I a horror writer? Because I can’t be anything but.
Well, I can write dark fantasy, dark crime, dark suspense, and dark erotica. And technical manuals. All horrifying. You can see the general theme here…
Writing horror began for me at a young age: I wrote my first story on ruled tablet paper in second grade. My teacher passed it on to the elementary school principal. He read it at a meeting of the local Lions Club, of which my father was a member. As president of the chapter, Principal Sprunger fined my father a dime because the preacher’s son had written such a sordid tale full of skeletons, witches and blood.
What does horror do for me, that I’m so attracted to it as a genre? Steeping myself in horror may seem toxic for someone who has struggled with depression for most of his years. Yet when I read a dark book or watch a chilling movie, I get charged up. (Perhaps I’ve developed an addiction to my own adrenalin—there’s a story idea!) Or maybe it’s because, when I consider characters with such awful problems, my concerns seem piddling, and this brings me hope.
Somehow, a horrifying story—one that creeps me out, makes my mouth drop open or my hair stand on end—has always filled me, strangely enough, with life.
What I read, I write.
Reading and writing horror not only stimulates me, it makes me laugh. I don’t understand this, but often when something particularly horrible happens to a character, I’ll LOL it up. Among other horror writers, we share a good chuckle. But in the wrong crowd, busting a gut when a character bursts into flames in their hospital bed (à la Let Me In) does nothing for their already dubious opinion about my sanity. But I don’t take it too seriously. Horror is fun. If you don’t think so, go find the pliers and pull all your teeth. Hahaha! See?
I write horror because I have always seen things from a dark perspective. But I have a spiritual side, too, as revealed on my blog, Building the Bridge). A masters in biblical studies came in handy when I edited an anthology of dark crime and horror based on the Ten Commandments: THOU SHALT NOT… .
My latest dark novel is THE SIXTH SEED for Kindle, Nook, and PDF readers, a dark paranormal fantasy fraught with suburban Pittsburgh horror. And SEVERED RELATIONS, a duo of deadly stories featuring blood an cutlery is just released.
These aren’t the only reasons why I’m a horror writer. The best way to find out more is to read and discover. 🙂