Since Lisa has already posted a blog or two, I thought I’d scribble something down, too.
2013 has started off crazy-busy for us, and busy is good, but I can’t believe it’s already halfway through January. Okay, not quite halfway, but we are now done with the second week, so it’s close.
I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone coming by here writes, and most of us try to find the time to read. Part of it is occupational hazard – you have to read to keep up with the book biz.
Are you still able to make time to read just for fun any more?
I know once I got into radio (way back in the last century), the magic of being a listener was greatly diminished. Most of what I heard wasn’t the music, or the fun, but instead, it was the mistakes being made by whoever was on the air. As I went into producing, that actually became part of my job – find and fix the things that go wrong.
I go for a drive now, and I hear the piece of audio that our “Jack” station uses, with clips of lots of songs to show you they really are playing whatever they want. And instead of being enamored with the variety, or hearing a piece of a song I hadn’t heard in years and thinking that it was cool, I become a critic. I think that the whole piece was too long (or too short). The clips were better than the first song they played. That first song was late (or early) because that whole thing should be played right at the top of the hour.
I punch around the dial. The classic rock station is probably playing Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. The “Best of Then and Now” station is playing that same 80’s track they played this morning, or yesterday (lately Talk Talk “It’s My Life”). The Top 40 station is advertising. The Adult Contemporary station is playing Nickelback or Taylor Swift. And the Oldies station is playing a song that I’m not ready to admit is an oldie.
Does that happen to you as a writer? Can you read something without thinking about their wrong word choices, not-quite-plausible motives or obvious info dumps? Are you jealous because they got a better cover than you, or do you feel sorry for them because they got a terrible cover?
I’ve heard many writers say that when they sit down to start, there is nothing more frightening than that first blank page. I feel the other way about that. To me, it’s filled with possibilities and opportunities.
That’s how I used to feel about going into bookstores. There could be anything in there. I had that magic and wonder that only those who love books can really understand.
There aren’t so many bookstores now, of course. And when I do go into a Barnes and Noble, I can’t help but look at their displays and turn back into a critic instead of a fan.
So-and-so has a new book out from Publisher X? Hope she got an advance ‘cause she’s not getting any royalties. How clever?! A book about teenage vampires/werewolves! What an original idea! Seriously? Reality Star Z got a book deal? I didn’t know they could read, let alone write!
You get the idea.
Occupational hazard. It’s hard to be a fan in the business you’re in.
All that said, there are still a handful of authors that I do geek out over. For them, the inner producer seems to go away. I still get excited when I hear they have something new coming out, and I do my best to make their book my top priority, even in a crazy-busy world where we all have ninety-seven top priorities.
So I’m still excited when Stephen King puts out a new book.
Every writer has a favorite, a writer who made them want to write. King was that writer for me. The Shining was the first one of his that I read. And that changed everything. I devoured every book eagerly, savoring the characters, the descriptions and fantastic storytelling!
By the way, that's probably not the real cover for Dr. Sleep.
And for those who haven’t read him, and only know Stephen King from the movies, you’re missing out. Those blood-soaked gorefests aren’t what his books are about.
I’m very excited that later this year, King will re-visit my favorite novel, and give us a sequel to The Shining so we can see what Danny’s been up to over the last thirty-plus years. That will definitely be the book in 2013 that turns me back into a fanboy.
How about you? Is there a writer today that you still read for fun? Someone that pushes you to be better? An author that makes you set aside all that Inside Publishing nonsense and just enjoy the magic?
Leave a comment and let us know what you’re looking forward to reading this year!
Author Elf is pleased to announce our partnership with Bewitching Book Tours!!!
Book Blog Tours are a great way to spread the word about your new releases, as well as broaden your readership. Bewitching also assists in distributing your book for reviews!
I worked with Roxanne at Bewitching Book Tours for Night Walker’s release, and gained great exposure from the well-planned Book Tour.
Your Author Elves keep all of your release information, excerpts, and book covers together, so getting ready for your Book Blog Tour will be quick and painless.
Through our new partnership, all Author Elf members will receive a discount code for 20% off of all Bewitching Tours.
We’re excited about this partnership and look forward to helping our authors benefit from the extra exposure for their books.
If you have questions about Author Elf or our new partnership, you can email me at Lisa@AuthorElf.com
Welcome to the Author Elf Blog!
We’ve got plans to post lots of interesting articles on author promotion, author inspiration and interviews with different writer’s groups.
We hope you’ll subscribe and come back to visit us often. The blog is open to everyone whether you’re a current member or not.
For our first blog, we thought we’d share a little background on how Author Elf came to be and what we hope can grow from this handy network.
I’m Lisa Kessler, and I’m a fiction writer. My first novel, Night Walker, was released in 2011, and then re-released again in mass-market paperback in 2012. My eBook novella, Night Thief also released in October of 2012. It’s been a big learning curve for me as a writer to balance all the facets of my new career path.
My husband, Ken Kessler, is also a writer. His TV trivia book, You Watch Too Much TV, was published through a traditional publisher a few years ago and he quickly learned all the promotion fell onto his shoulders. His career in radio and social media makes him a real asset to Author Elf, plus he’s detail-oriented and fun to work with. Bonus! J As writers ourselves, we think we bring a fresh view to assisting authors, because we’re in the trenches with you! We both understand what it’s like to be a working writer and all the juggling that entails.
In school, you read the classics and picture Hemingway, Bradbury and Shelley penning their masterpieces in a dimly lit room, and then the masses flow into the bookstores to read it. Simple, right?
Sadly, the reality of publishing these days isn’t nearly as simple. Readers have to be able to find you and your book. There are millions of titles out there, with more popping up on Amazon every day. You can no longer write a book and wait for readers to grab a copy.
How do readers discover you and your books? What good is your book if no one ever reads it?
The flip-side is, if all you're doing is promoting, then you’ll never write another book. It’s a crazy cycle! As a writer, I often have a tough time juggling my calendar and my projects. It seems like I turn around and my monthly author newsletter has become bi-seasonal.
We really need assistants to check to be sure our websites are up to date and the links are working, scout for positive reviews to highlight, and nudge us when it’s time for another newsletter to show readers our new book cover, etc.
But most of us can’t afford the manpower.
That’s when my hubby and I came up with Author Elf. After helping a few writers with Facebook release parties and Twitter training, we realized that each writer has different needs, but it all starts with organization.
Writers need an elf working behind the scenes to keep them on track!
That’s where we can help. We’re setting goals with authors and building calendars with reminders. We’re also setting up Google alerts for reviews and checking websites to be sure they’re current. All the minutia that, as writers, we know is important but we never find the time to take care of. That’s where your elf comes in.
In keeping the costs down, we’re hoping to be able to help lots of authors, whether traditionally published, ePubbed or Self-Pubbed. We’ve already lined up some fabulous elves to help with specialized projects like revamping websites, building author street teams, etc.
But we know we’ve probably forgotten some special projects, so if you need something that you don’t see offered on the Menu of Services, please email us and let us know. We’ll search out the perfect elf for the job! :)
Thanks for checking us out and subscribing to the Author Elf blog! We’re planning on bringing you lots of helpful info all year long.
Look out 2013! It’s going to be an amazing year…