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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

HOW TO MAKE AN IMPACT WITH YOUR BOOK






We all want to write a best-seller.  Not for fame nor for fortune.  

Just to be able to support ourselves living out our dream.

But how to do that?


I could date Margo Robbie, of course, but I think her new husband might object.  

And he is really big!

No.  

We will have to do it the old-fashioned way: by using the tools at hand the best way we know how.

HOW TO ULYSSES YOUR WAY 
TO NOVEL SUCCESS

1.) SUCKER PUNCH YOUR READER WITH THE FIRST SENTENCE

The thinking behind the studio's thinking on making movie trailers of late is 

TO MAKE IT SO COMPELLING THAT PEOPLE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BUY A TICKET 

no matter what the critics say.


The first sentence to my story in TALES TO BE TOLD AT MIDNIGHT is

"The rape had been the best thing to have happened to her."

How could you not want to read on?  

And remember the FIRST LOOK option on Amazon will hook your reader 

if you just set the bait correctly.


2.) LEARN FROM THE MOST POPULAR GIRL IN HIGH SCHOOL

BE FAST.  

Not free.  People value what they pay for.

But put out ... as quickly as you can with quality one after another.  

 You want to have other books to offer should lightning strike and you gain a fan.

Which leads me into the next point:




3.) BRAND YOURSELF WITH A SERIES

It won't hurt much, 

but it will give a new fan certainty 

of enjoying more adventures with the characters she or he has grown to love.

Readers who like one novel will confidently buy the next.

And the series name will draw the eye of past readers browsing thumbnails of your book covers.

Which leads me to my next point:


4.) LET YOUR TITLE BE LIKE THE SKIRTS OF THAT POPULAR GIRL

BE SHORT

Choose a brief emotive title. Pack it with meaning, menace and drama.

 Why short? 

Your cover will shrink to a fingernail on Kindle and other mobile devices. 

So make it legible!

James Patterson uses such titles: 

ZOO, THE FIRE, WITCH & WIZARD, THE QUICKIE

Which, of course, leads me to the next point as well


 4.) ATTENTION SPANS HAVE CHANGED

TV sound bites, Twitter feeds, Buzz feeds, Facebook posts ...

All of them have conditioned those who still read to bore easily.

A bored reader is more dangerous to us than any lion, for you will lose them as customers.

Keep your sentences as short as models' skirts.

James Patterson is the expert here. 

His sentences average just six words. 

His paragraphs are typically no longer than five lines and often just one line.

Tell your story your way, but if it is to make an impact there is a model to follow.


 5.) WE ARE A LONELY SOCIETY 

Give your MC a foil character with whom to talk ... even if it is only the moon.

Even Tom Hanks had Wilson, the basketball, 

with whom to share his innermost thoughts and fears on that island.

Conversations with the buddy character can introduce conflict to keep a scene alive, 

give the main character a plausible sounding board for their woes and triumphs, 

and also prompt the protagonist to reveal  information.

 Foil characters also furnish sub-plots. 

Get them into troubles of their own. Make them victims.
  
Use a foil as a series character in your every novel as I do with Mark Twain 

in my NOT-SO-INNOCENTS series and in my Egyptian Victorian fantasies.



6.) A PLOT WORTHY OF A MOVIE



Dueling vampire empires, alien evil clashing with ancient darkness, 

Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Nikola Tesla -- 

all worrying less about saving the world than 

saving their friend who is married to a demon-empress,

poised to set all the world ablaze with her dark ambition.

Outlandish but so was SHE and LORD OF THE RINGS.

You must strive to craft a riveting plot worthy of your reader.


7.) WATER COOLER DIALOGUE

My blood center still has a water cooler and coffee maker where workers chat a bit during the day.

Work to have your dialogue be quoted at the water cooler of today's culture:

Twitter, Facebook, Buzz Feeds, personal blogs.

There is a reason NIKE sells ball caps and T-shirts with their logo.

Be as smart as NIKE, have your fans advertise for you.

I HOPE THIS HELPS 
IN SOME SMALL WAY, 
ROLAND
 

5 comments:

  1. Hi Roland - attention spans are awful ... and then of course we get something that's not relevant, inconsistent etc 'chucked' at us ... how on earth are we meant to learn.

    I might write long posts - but I add the pictures in, and make the paragraphs pretty short ... we just need to engage readers ... You do with your posts ... there's lots for us to learn too ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    Replies
    1. I have so much to learn you could all I do NOT know in an encyclopedia!

      Your posts are lovely and warm -- just like you.

      May 2017 treat graciously and well. Thanks for always visiting when fatigue keeps me away from visiting my friends. :-)

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  2. Not sure I'm very quotable, but most of my titles are short. Of course, I've haven't written fast enough to keep fans hooked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Ray Bradbury pointed out: writing multiple short stories is one way to keep our names in the readers' eyes. Who knows what people find quotable in our books, right? :-)

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  3. You might be qualified for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

    ReplyDelete