Is it bad to promote your own books?

Hi everyone,

RecommendA while ago I had an interesting e-mail exchange with someone who also writes books. This happens in writer circles, would you believe it? In one of the mails he wrote, “I’d like to recommend some of my books but since I’m the author…”

This raised the next  question with me:

Is it bad to recommend your own books?

Self-promotion and self-publishing.

I know, it’s bad to say self-publishing since it’s preferred to say Indie publishing. But that would make the first part “Indie-promotion” and that looks weird, doesn’t it?

So, back to self-promo for self/Indie publishers.

Promotion

After some thinking of the brainy kind I reached the conclusion that it’s not only a smart thing to do but even a necessary thing to do. It’s not done trying to flog your books to other writers, but there is a difference between “Hey, you, buy my book!” (which feels as if there is an “or else” coming up right after it) and talking about a specific, interesting kind of book and you’ve happened to have written some stuff in that realm.

And why is this a smart and necessary thing to do, you might ask.

Well… self and indie publishing kind of says it all, doesn’t it? You do it yourself. Independently. Which makes it easy in the following way:

If you don’t do it, who will?!

If you don’t open your trap about what you do, no one will do it, except your fans. Don’t just rely on your fans. Some are quiet so there’s not always much to hear from them. Self-promotion is part of marketing and marketing is something most writers aren’t good at. I mean, look at me: I don’t do nearly enough in that field so do as I say, not as I do, okay? (And let me know how you succeeded!)

Recommend. Really. Do it.

Tooting your own horn isn’t considered the nice thing to do but unless you have horn-tooting folk who can, want to and will handle that for you, it all comes down to you. Even if you have horn-tooters who stand up for you, it’s good to stand up and tell the world, “Hey, world. Listen up. Look at me and look at what I did.” It’s part of your branding. (Note to self: read this later. It looks damned helpful.) It’s not the book or books you are selling. You’re selling yourself.

So recommend your own work if and where you can. Do keep an eye on the circumstances. Don’t recommend your book on second degree algebra in a discussion about game consoles. This is highly recommended.

Recommend

 

Hilda 16 – The Cover!

Yes, dear reader,

It is that time again. A new book about the Wicked Witch is about to make it to the spotlights, as long as there are spotlights on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and all the other usual places.  May I present:

Hilda 16 the younger years

We all know the many adventures our beloved witch has survived so far. Some alone, some with Babs and quite a few with William and the cats. But what do we know of Hilda’s younger years? Before she was born? And more importantly: after she was born?
The answer to those questions are awaiting your reader’s eyes. Discover the origins of ‘shiny’ and ‘crappedy crap’ and many other things concerning Hilda who became the world’s most favourite Wicked Witch.

How dead are you?

Dear reader,
Til Death Us Do Join“Til Death Us Do Join” is now live!

If you feel alive too and up for a good laugh, head over to one of the online bookstores listed and go for it!

You can find “Til Death Us Do Join” at Smashwords, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, and Kobo books as e-book.

A paperback version (with a stunning backside) is available through Lulu.com.

As a special addition to this release I have prepared a little video to whet your appetite for this book, I hope you enjoy it.

Oh… in case you seem to recognise the person on the left… yes… that’s your’s truly. And the lady is a dear friend of mine. The photo was shot and the cover made by a mutual friend who runs a very nice website for her photo-work. If you care to have a look, run over to wauwfoto.nl!

July is Fantasy-month!

Dear reader,

Heart of the GodsYou may not know it but on Facebook, at this very moment, there’s an event taking place called Fantasy in July. You are cordially invited to join the event where many fantasy writers are talking about their work, offering their work even at discounts and the occasional announcement for new works coming out soon pass by as well.

You might find a mention of “The Source of Lightning“, an epic steampunk adventure by Donna K. Fitch, for instance. Or there’s Katherine Lee Pierret Perkins’ “Dawn of Steam” (indeed, more steampunk). But there is also proper fantasy, like “Servant of the Gods” by Valerie Douglas (a gorgeous book if I say so myself).

If you like fantasy and Egypt, then “Heart of the Gods” would be a good choice. So if you feel like indulging in something special then don’t hesitate and come have a look!

Hilda’s 13th adventure, Hilda – The House – is now available!

Dear reader,

Did you know that 13 is Hilda’s lucky number?

Crappedy crap, scribe, let me do this. I can see you’re going down Babble Road again and that’s not what people are waiting for! So here is the news for anyone who’s interested in news: THE NEW BOOK IS OUT!

Hilda 13 the house 320
You can find the newest book in the series at Amazon.com, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple iTunes and in print at Lulu.com. For Kobobooks you may need a bit of patience.

As 13 is indeed my lucky number, you can get the book at a discount for the first 13 weeks that it’s out. After that you’re not in luck, you’ll have to pay the full copper for it.

And while we’re talking about that, why is it only copper, scribe? Don’t you think my books are worth at least a silver?

 

Hilda 13 – cover reveal

Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers all,

Today already I can present to you what’s to become for real in two weeks. On the 17th of this month the 13th book in the Hilda the Wicked Witch series will see the light of day. For the occasion of this being Hilda’s lucky number, the price of the book will be $1.99 for the first 13 weeks! But wait, before you rush off to your time machines to make it to the 17th, first behold…

the cover…

And let me assure you that Hilda did not undergo a face change nor any other kind of plastic surgery.

Y. Yes. #AtoZChallenge

azbloggingY. Yes

Dear reader,

Yes! That is all I can say to this strange road that lies behind me. Behind me? Yes! Behind me. Almost four years of actual book-publishing lie behind me, and yes, it was an incredible journey. Even more yes, because I’m ready for more of this.

There will be more adventures of Hilda the Wicked Witch and if possible there will also be a sequel to the first Lily Marin novel. More science fiction and fantasy. I can only say yes to all that, and all this came to pass because of a writing contest I did with a few friends, someone who kept nagging me to publish that first little Hilda book, and because of all of you, dear readers. My heartfelt thanks for each and every one of you who have bought and downloaded my books, and who have sent me such encouraging words, such lovely and touching e-mails and so on. Also a big thank you to everyone at the Alexandria Publishing Group for their support, camaraderie and advice.

It’s taken many years before I reached the point where I could truly understand and embrace my love for writing. I’ve always loved books and reading, but writing added an amazing dimension to the world of words and I’ll be eternally grateful for getting there. Maybe there’s something of a lesson for each of us in this, dear reader. No matter how long something takes, if it’s meant to be, if there is love for something in your heart, it will find a way.

So what is more appropriate than to end this post with Yes, and their hit single Love will find a way:

Lily Marin – The Novel is available!

Dear reader,

Lily Marin Novel CoverYes. It’s done. This book, the novel about Lily Marin is available as of now, and I present it to you with great pride.

You can find Lily Marin – The Novel at Smashwords.com, Barnes & Noble, Apple Itunes and Amazon, while more stores are coming as soon as possible.

In print the book is already available via Lulu.com.

If you like the book, I’d appreciate it if you were to write a review about it, and if you like it so much that you’d love to see a sequel to the book, please tell me about it!

U. Unlimited places for the mind to wander – #AtoZChallenge

azbloggingU. Unlimited

Dear reader,

Have you ever considered where the limits of your imagination are? How wild and strange the places can be that your mind can bring to you, almost so vividly that your mind seems to take you to those places? That is how creating new stories feels to me. There are no boundaries, no limits. The only ones that might appear are those that the events in a story bring about.

ray bradburyIn that respect I follow the (to me wise) words of a genius author. His name? Ray Bradbury. In his book Zen in the art of writing he advocates the total absence of fear and limits. A person should be able to write without boundaries, about anything at all. Maybe there’s no one who will buy the story, not a person in the world who wants to read it.

This tells me that when the need to write that story is there, it has to be written. If only to get it out of one’s system. If you keep the words inside, don’t let them out of your system, they will start to revolt and block other words from appearing. (Writer’s block could be a result, literally.)

Somehow the boldness of writing with no holds or bars seems to work for me. When I look at the long line of Hilda the Wicked Witch books that are already out in the world, and the slew of them that are still to be written, that says something. A spin-off in the shape of the story about a ship that sails through space and time. It works. Of course, not every book is as successful as the average Stephen King novel but that is why he’s not me. I want to give him a chance as well. His writing is unlimited too (look at Carrie, or the Dark Tower series). Anything that needs limits will appear in the story. Stories don’t need those writing people to put limits on them. That would seriously limit the stories.