In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Make Finding Your Books Easy for the Reader
* About Dean Wesley Smith
* Re the Livestreams
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“Writing by a deadline can be a really good thing and does wonders because you don’t have time to think. Just relax and follow your characters around and they take care of the rest.” Christopher Ridge, Horror writer
“I lost some time once. It’s always in the last place you look for it.” Neil Gaiman
Make Finding Your Books Easy for the Reader
Yup, for some of you it’s time to be on the receiving end of a finger-wagging session. (grin)
Emails are one of the most often overlooked marketing tools. I know several writers who, although they seem to be serious about the craft and about making money from their fiction, don’t include even the URL of their own website at the bottom of their emails.
Don’t have a personal author website? No problem. How about including the URL to your Amazon author page? Or your author page from other sales venues if you have them?
Do you have a Facebook account? Included the URL.
Any other social media accounts? Include the URL.
And make any URLs you include live links, meaning clickable. A reader is more likely to click through if s/he can simply click a link than if s/he has to highlight, copy, and then paste the URL into a browser address window.
So what else to include? Use your imagination.
I don’t include my Twitter URL in my signature, but only because the stuff I post on Twitter comes from one or another of my blogs.
Oh, the signature—Anybody who’s received an email from me has seen my signature.
When I say “signature” in this case, I’m not talking about my name or initial. I mean the email program signature, the bit below the text of the email that provides valuable intormation for anyone who wants it.
If you’re a writer and you have an email account, set up a signature. If your email provider doesn’t offer a signature that will be appended to all outgoing emails, change providers. It’s that important.
The signature enables your email recipients to see at a glance where they can find your website, your books, etc. It can help them get to know who you are.
My signature is at the bottom of every email I send out, centered between two sets of three spaced asterisks. I recently updated it, so it now reads
* * *
I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at 5 a.m.
Note that I made the text of the next to the last two a link, but I also included the partial URL of those sites so the reader would see them. Hey, the more times your name is in front of a prospective reader, the better.
The location of the URLs and links matters too. What’s important to you?
- In my signature, I put my YouTube channel up top because it’s new and I want more people to check in.
- I put my Amazon author page and my publisher site next because that’s where folks can most easily find my books.
- My author website and this Journal are in the middle because they’re less important. I don’t think subscriptions for even this Journal have changed by more than 10% over the past 9 years. And
- I put Free Story of the Week last so it would stand out. Discoverability. I like to believe folks will read my stories, enjoy them, and go online to look for more.
Where you put your links is completely up to you, of course, but give it some thought. The purpose is to make it easier for readers to find you and your books.
While we’re on the topic, it’s also a good idea (IMHO) to set your author website as AuthorName.com. (Note: If you write under a pen name for some strange reason, use the pen name.)
In addition to harveystanbrough.com (plus hstanbrough.com and hestanbrough.com and all three in .org) I used to have websites for my major pen names (ericlstringer.com, nicholaszporter.com, gervasioarrancado.com).
In fact, I still have my Gervasio Arrancado magic realism persona and website. Gervasio might well be back to spin some more tall tales, so I’ll keep that one alive for awhile, though at the moment there’s nothing there.
I also had websites for a couple of my stronger characters (wescrowley.com and charlietask.com) as well as for my thriller series (blackwellops.com) and my magic realism tales (cantinatales.com). I will allow those to fade away.
Finally, I also strongly recommend making your primary email address YourName@emailprovider.com. Why?
Because (again) it puts your name in the reader’s mind.
You can also use YourName@yourwebsiteURL.com (e.g., Harvey@harveystanbrough.com). But any emails addressed to my URL email address are redirected to email@example.com anyway, so (shrug).
Okay, I hope some of this helps.
About Dean Wesley Smith
Listen, if you’re just starting out, Dean Wesley Smith is a great source of information on the writing craft. Or rather, his online workshops (especially the classics, which are also half-price) and lectures and WMG Writer Guides are great sources of information.
But if you want the occasional, rare gem from his website, you’ll need to bookmark his site and visit it yourself every day.
After yesterday’s assinine post on his blog, I won’t be pointing anyone in his direction anymore. I’m through supporting him. God knows when the chips were down and he could have supported me, he turned his back. (Yes sir, a rising tide lifts all boats, but only if you’re allowed to put your boat in the water.)
If you’re trying to pull the trigger on writing into the dark or adhering to Heinlein’s Rules, really you just have to man-up and do it. Or woman-up and do it. Whatever. But if you need help in that regard or guidance or a cheering section, frankly you have me.
As a bonus, I won’t charge you an arm and half a leg, or probably anything at all. Because in my camp a rising tide truly does lift all boats. And I won’t try to sell you a bill of goods or a load of political or otherwise biased horse excrement.
Re the Livestreams
I’ve decided not to worry about how many are able to attend livestreams. Numbers of those willing to view the recorded event are much higher anyway. I think maybe five viewers were able to catch the previous livestream, but a scant hour or so later, over 90 viewers had seen it.
So thanks to the few of you who responded to my question, but I’ll just go live when it feels right and you can catch it live or on the flip side, as we used to say. (grin)
Oh, and hey, you Bradbury Challenge participants, don’t forget to get your titles, word counts and genres in before the Journal goes live on Monday morning.
Talk with you later.
See “Character Type & Trope Thesaurus: Lover” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/character-type-trope-thesaurus-lover/. I wish I’d had the idea for all these writing thesauruses.
The Journal…………………………………… 1200
Writing of Rose Padilla (WCG10SF5)
Day 1…… 4283 words. Total words to date…… 4283
Day 2…… 3963 words. Total words to date…… 8246
Day 3…… 1463 words. Total words to date…… 9709
Day 4…… 2445 words. Total words to date……12154
Total fiction words for June……… 12154
Total fiction words for 2023………… 110022
Total nonfiction words for June… 18450
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 127870
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 237892
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.