Friday, January 17, 2014

HOW TO HELP AN AUTHOR WITHOUT REALLY TRYING


 
When my first novel was released back in 2006, many friends and acquaintances told me I had "made it" because the book was on Amazon and other websites!  What these well-meaning folks did not realize is the fact that millions of unknown authors stay that way despite their best efforts to the contrary.
 
I have had book signings in various places, asked to be featured on blogs and websites (reluctantly, I admit, because I am NO salesman!).  I have business cards and bookmarks made up touting my books, donated books to libraries, even advertised them on places like craigslist. I have also created a couple of "Amazon Blitz" days as well.  Authors today cannot just sit back and wait for publishers to do all the marketing, because that is simply not the nature of publishing these days.
 
I have enjoyed writing THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES books.  I initially wrote them as a legacy for my grandchildren so that they could know more about their great grandparents (my parents, Nana and Papa Duke) as well as other friends, notably Sellars and Renata, my parents' best friends from Alaska.  And, most of the adventures in my books happened just they way they were portrayed, minus the fact that the dachshund Sarge was there when they happened.
 
With that said, it is still nice when people I don't know read my books, post positive reviews online, or share my information elsewhere.  Word of mouth is still one of the best ways for books to get noticed, even these days with exploding technology!
 
Some Facebook friends often share my posts about my books or my page (Mavis Duke Hinton's Books), and that is appreciated.  I merely wanted, however, to set the record straight:  it is quite an uphill battle for most fledgling authors to get their books noticed, even in small part.  We can't all write blockbusters that are later made into movies . . . but we always have hope!
 
I wish to thank my family and friends who have helped me along the way.  To those reading this post, if you feel led to share it elsewhere, thank you in advance.  If not, well--that's fine, too.  At least you have read this far!
                                                          
 
At this point in my writing career, I have written five novels with two still awaiting publication, along with a few magazine articles published (the latest in the August issue of MATURE LIVING, entitled "The Pursuit of Happiness"), and have been featured in several newspapers and on a number of blogs and websites.  I have enjoyed the ride, too.  I tend to take my writing as a hobby--not "do or die" at all.  I want it to continue being fun, and if people happen to enjoy what I write, that's icing on the cake--because it fulfills a long-held dream of mine since I was a child.
 
So--where do I go from here?  With  several book ideas floating around in my brain, I maintain two blogs:  this one as well as http://the-dachshund-escapades.blogspot.com - plus my aforementioned Facebook page, a Twitter account @writer4dawg, and my website, www.MavisDukeHinton.com.  Since retiring from teaching in December, where decorating my room and bulletin boards was one of my most enjoyable activities (apart from actually teaching, of course), these websites are a great outlet for my creative energy!

Writing, to me, is not work . . . most of the time.  There are times when the words flow freely of their own accord; in fact, I just sit back and watch amazed at what I see on my computer screen!  Then, at other times, it is a little more difficult to get the words to flow.  But isn't that the way it is with every creative endeavor?  Artists have times where paintings practically paint themselves, I am told.  And athletes, singers, accountants, or sculptors have good as well as bad days, too.
 
In any case, I am thankful that the Lord gave me the creative power to write at all, and He gave me the ability to enjoy doing so.  That, my friend, is one of the reasons I write.

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