Writers Should Network

Blog 46 ImageI know that I should network to advance my writing aspirations. But knowing doesn’t mean doing, at least for someone like me, whose default is looking inward, not outward.

So this blog considers the reasons writers should network. Extroverted writers might shrug and stop reading. As far as I can tell, networking and its benefits come naturally to them. This post is intended for writers who need the extra push to connect with others.

First, however, a comment on what type of networking to engage in. Social media obviously offers many ways to connect. However, it’s very easy to post and dash, with the result that, at best, a superficial connection is created and the benefits of networking don’t materialize. So, in this blog, what I have in mind is old-school conversation, preferably face-to-face, or real social media interaction.

Here are the reasons I see for a writer to network.

It’s less lonely. Writers seem generally constituted to work happily over long stretches on their own. Most, though, need at least some human contact from time to time, which networking can help.

It’s enriching. Apart from helping her writing, networking will enrich a writer through what she learns and the benefits of friendship like an increased sense of belonging and the ability to share life’s stresses.

For content. This verges on crass, but a writer will be exposed to another person’s experiences, which in turn can be fodder for writing.

To help research. Lots of book research can be done using online and textual sources. However, interviews can greatly improve verisimilitude. Often, though, strangers will not give interviews without a reference. Networking can offer routes to and references for interviews.

For feedback. It’s possible a person with whom a writer networks has read her book(s) or knows someone who has. The writer may have an excellent opportunity to receive constructive criticism.

To promote. And if that person hasn’t read the writer’s book(s), the writer has an excellent opportunity to pique that person’s interest or induce him to think of someone who might have an interest. It’s best to promote with a soft touch, though.

For other opportunities. The person with whom a writer meets may know circumstances which could help the writer. There are countless examples, like the person having novel promotional ideas or knowing a book club that follows the writer’s genre.

For more networking. And that person will also have his own group of friends who might be suitable for further networking. In corporate networking, it’s often said that a person should leave a meeting with three new contact names. A writer can think in the same terms.

To offer help. The writer should be on the lookout for how she can help the person she’s networking with. Without intending to sound like a line from The Godfather, a writer who offers a favour may gain a future one.

Copyright ©2015 Peter Fritze

Where to buy The Case for Killing.

Follow me on Twitter @PFritze.

Writer’s Emotional Block

Blog 45 ImageI haven’t felt at all like writing in the last four days.

I don’t have writer’s block, in the sense of having the will to write but not the words. It’s emotional block, caused by life stuff that’s using all my processing power. The result is I have no words because I don’t have the will to write.

I’ve been thinking all day how to regenerate the will. In my blog, I offer all kinds of checklists; maybe there’s one for emotional block, too.

If there is, I haven’t found it. All I have is loose thoughts.

The first is that it should be possible to overcome emotional block with discipline. But I am disciplined, and that’s not working.

The second is that when serious emotions need processing, well, maybe they should be given some time to do so. A book, a movie or a walk may be a better remedy than aimless keyboard pecking.

And the third is that, at least for the two hundred or so words in this short, disjointed blog, the emotional block is starting to lift. I’m pretty sure there’ll be more words tomorrow, and more the day after, and so on.

I’m guessing emotional block requires some self-care – and patience. Time to exercise those.

Copyright ©2015 Peter Fritze

Where to buy The Case for Killing.

Follow me on Twitter @PFritze.

The Pre-Release Checklist

FalseGuilt_FrontCover_Blog 44Last December, I wrote up a checklist of things to do for the upcoming release of False Guilt. The checklist has evolved through the first weeks of 2015 and I thought I would share a summary for other self-published authors.

But, first, a snippet of False Guilt: the opening and closing paragraphs of chapter 1.

“Tell me this,” the man across from Paul Tews said. “What the hell is wrong with my son?”

Fifteen minutes earlier, moving a tray along a railing in front of a Greek fast-food place, Paul had heard his name. He’d been flattered that the President of Pan Canadian Securities asked to join him for lunch. Now he understood why. His question was a fair one.

. . .

“When [Art] was in L.A.,” [Art’s father] said, “the requests for money came faster and faster. For a long time, I sent him whatever he wanted. Then I made a few calls and figured things out. After that, I stuck to a monthly allowance, even if he complained, and then, when he came back last November, I cut him off and told him to get a job. And I told him if he keeps using cocaine I’ll write him out of my will.”

Paul’s face flushed and he looked away. “If it makes you feel any better, I know he tried reducing it recently.” He shot a hesitant glance across the table. “Anyway, he’s a brilliant guy. I meant it when I said he’ll get things working for him.”

“I don’t see him going to law school,” Art’s father said, snorting. “And he’s a failed actor as far as I can tell. I mean, right now, he pours people coffee for a living.”

Paul was at a loss. The lunchtime din suffused the pause in their conversation. Finally, Art’s father said, “Sometimes, Paul, sometimes I ask myself which one of us will die first.”

Another fair question, Paul thought.

And here’s the summary of my pre-release checklist for a self-published book.

Eight to twelve weeks before release date:

  1. Approach candidates for release reviews.
  2. Settle on print and eBook distribution platforms.
  3. Editor and author complete final manuscript proof.
  4. Draft marketing plan, including blogging and social media strategies.
  5. Assign cover design and interior design.

Four weeks before:

  1. Get print and eBook ISBNs.
  2. Obtain release reviews, and choose excerpts for back cover.
  3. Finalize cover and interior designs.
  4. Complete last front-to-back review and have final fixes made.
  5. Obtain necessary files for print and eBook distribution.
  6. Refine marketing plan, including developing updates for website and online profiles.

Two weeks before:

  1. Begin implementing blogging and social media strategies.
  2. Upload files to print-on-demand site; approve online and hard copy proofs as available.

Release:

  1. Upload eBook platform files and approve POD publication.
  2. Post release reviews on distribution site(s) and website.
  3. Implement other website changes and changes to online profiles.
  4. Announce release on blog and social media.
  5. Email interested readers and ask for reviews.
  6. Add book to Goodreads and/or similar sites.

I’ve actually broken down these steps further using a calendar.

I only wish I’d been this thoughtful on the release of The Case for Killing!

False Guilt will be out later this month.

Copyright ©2015 Peter Fritze

Where to buy The Case for Killing.

Follow me on Twitter @PFritze.

False Guilt Front Cover

Here it is! The front cover for False Guilt. 

Thanks to Tara Murphy for the original idea and thanks to Emma Dolan for running with it. And thanks to all who commented on its various iterations, especially Paul and Robert Fritze.

FalseGuilt_FrontCover_FINAL

 

False Guilt will be out shortly.

Copyright ©2015 Peter Fritze

Where to buy The Case for Killing.

Follow me on Twitter @PFritze.