Big Book-Marketing Mistakes I’ve Made

UbjHlBR2

Big Marketing Mistakes I’ve Made

After a US Navy tour, college, much traveling, teaching, acting, marketing, sales, always searching for the ‘white buffalo’ – romancing and searching for pieces of me. I’m on an 80-acre spread in SE Arizona called ‘The Lazy Rabbit Ranch’, a second home for a while and a wonderful stretch of desert that charges my imagination. The house sits on a hilltop looking south toward Mexico and the Sierra Madre Mountains. To the east, there are the Chiricahua Mountains. To the West, there are the Dragoon Mountains and the legendary ‘Cochise Stronghold’. To the northeast, there are the Dos Cabezas Mountains.

‘Well, what are you doing there’? you can ask. That’s presuming you might be interested. Of course, you already know I’m going to tell you whether you are interested or not.

‘The Lazy Rabbit Ranch’ was solitude and space, a setting ripe with old west history and lore, cowboys and Indians. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Cochise, sat tall in their saddles, had their gun fights, and all gathered to write Chapter One to open the west.

Tombstone, the town too tough to die, home of the infamous ‘OK Corral’ and ‘Boot Hill’, was just a thirty-minute drive from the house, with a stretch of desert that can titillate or eliminate. In short, TLRR was a wonderful spot for would-be writers, poets, novelists, and the artists with their easels and brushes.

It happened that I did fairly well for myself after leaving Appalachia and my hill country ways. After shedding some of my Tennessee mountain charm and going into that bright neon-world of confusion and doubt. Believe me, there was surely enough extended education in that glitter-dome big city living. Not all of that good life was pure and wholesome. I worked a lot and I played a lot, and no extension of verbiage here can get me to an ‘All-American’ salutary status.

I lost most of my Tennessee ‘down-home’ accent, met and dated some very lovely ladies, all of whom I adored. Admittedly, certainly not glowingly, there was a very active hedonistic culture to which I quite easily and shamelessly inured.

But, back to ‘The Lazy Rabbit Ranch’.

Perhaps surprisingly to the reader(s) of this post, I taught at one point an ‘Advanced Writing’ class to high school college-bound seniors and had in the young years myself dabbled in poetry, singing, and writing. At ‘The Lazy Rabbit’ I began to write book one of a six-book series entitled ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’. “An Arizona Tragedy” – Book 1 was inspired by the brutal murder of a personal fellow actress friend of mine in Phoenix, Az. (Incidentally, that homicide is now a ‘cold case’ for the Phoenix, AZ Police Department. If anyone can add anything of value to this ‘cold case’, please contact the Phoenix PD.)

All but one of the remaining ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ were inspired by true crime events. I have always had this fascination for the evil that shocks and angers our world, the fodder that makes millions for the movie makers, game makers, and some authors (he writes, enviably!).

During my time at ‘The Lazy Rabbit Ranch’, I was using a ‘Star-Writer’ word processor to peck out my narrative brilliance. (Okay, how many of you did I lose, if there was anyone to lose?) The digital age was advancing fast, and the Wizards of the Web had already figured out how to create technology that would add to their billion-dollar caches every few years by coming out with extra software. These added goodies would provide more speed, more apps, more games, and more frantic competition.

So, except for books 4-6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’, I had three boxes of manuscripts gathering dust on the shelves.

Eventually, Julie and I moved to the ‘Sea of Cortez’ in Mexico. I must admit, we lived in penthouse luxury, the sand and beach just outside our windows. The cobalt Sea of Cortez greeted us each morning, and it was near perpetual sun-shine every day. The SE Arizona desert had been an alluring habitat for writing, but the Sea of Cortez could really get the juices flowing.

So, I finished the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ books 1-6, plus eight other titles while in Mexico, some non-fiction, mostly fictional forays inspired by true crime events.

Okay, I’m guilty of parsing, or, likely, a better word would be, rambling. My title suggests ‘mistakes made’. And, WOW! Did I make them?

Take a look at my laundry list of amateurish mistakes! To beat it all, I was in Sales and Marketing most of my business life! Look, I know how my next lines might sound, but the impulse is there, so I’m writing them.

My books are good, readable, and should have a wider market than they now have! If I’m wrong and fooling myself, more time will tell. AND, I won’t be ashamed to admit it!

Read Them! If I’m wrong, tell me. If enough of you tell me I’m wrong, I WON’T STOP WRITING! I’ll just spend the next fifteen, twenty years entertaining myself! If the Pre and Post Marketing damage is irreparable, guess I’ll just keep re-reading my own books… There is always the rare chance that my writing is not as good as I think it is! NAW! That can’t be possible, he says HUMBLY!

Take a deep breath and look over my list. BE GENTLE AND KIND WITH YOUR REMARKS! We folks in Twilight need special handling – sort of!

The List:

  • After exhaustive editing and re-writes, I took the six dusty ‘Bailey Crane Mystery’ manuscripts and simultaneously published them on CreateSpace… NO LAUNCH OF ANY KIND! Just started tweeting! CRAZY! I ought to be in a looney bin!
  • I used CreateSpace FREE book ..okay, thanks CS, some are nice but your covers don’t compete with the BIG BOYS AND GIRLS! AND, I’m a SCROOGE, first order!
  • Did I mention? I’m a SCROOGE!
  • NO Beta Readers or pre-reviews! With my “Mama’s Madness” title, without soliciting, I got sixty reviews, most of them 5-Stars. The other books, precious few reviews, mostly 5-STARS.
  • BLOG ABSENCE for years. Now, I’ve written over 350 posts… My mistake: wrote a book and several posts giving my political views. NEVER AGAIN! Also, it’s better to leave religious beliefs at the door, although I’m not ashamed of my faith in God! Seems to me there’s got to be more than ashes in an urn to scatter on a mountaintop, the ocean/sea, or a hole in the cold hard ground.
  • Platforms: This is tedious business, picking and choosing writing platforms, at least for me. I’ve tried some, but unless I’m willing to put out the bucks for P/R and Advertising, I’m guessing I just need to enjoy the process of writing and be done with the marketing and selling sides. Writing is my therapy so it shouldn’t bother me so much if the books are not selling… But, everyone enjoys good reviews and kind support… Perhaps I’ve found that now with #RRBC, #RWISA, #ASMSG, #IAN1.
  • TWILIGHT! As my ‘About Me’ section at http://billyraychitwood.com states: “I’m a young man in an old man’s body… AND, I’m thinking I’ve got more books to write. I’m midway in writing my fifteenth book and damned well plan to finish it – and others. THE QUESTION: is age a factor for people buying books? For books not selling?
  • ‘SOCIAL MEDIA: I’m spending too much time on social media and NOT WRITING. That has to change but I can’t give up my good followers on my blog, twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, google+, et al. I’m on Goodreads and find it difficult to navigate, e.g., I’ve had new Book Covers for my books for well over a year, have written to GR librarians for help in changing the old CreateSpace covers to the newly designed covers, but get no response. The old covers that appear on the Goodreads dashboard are not appealing at all…another big mistake! I’ve tried on GR changing of covers myself, but, not allowed.

INEPTNESS – MY OWN! I Truly cannot believe how incredibly naïve I was in the beginning of my publishing efforts (likely, still am!). To be sure, there are other items I’m leaving out of this list and I’m reasonably sure it could be much longer.

Although my embarrassment shows ‘big time’ here, perhaps someone beginning her/his publishing efforts will heed these remarks and make sure the chances for success are much better if you don’t rush the process as I did.

In the meantime, to show you really ‘like me’ and ‘care about me’, you could start some viral BUYING of my books. I’m not begging! I’m just saying!

download (1)

Billy Ray Chitwood – HAPPY NEW YEAR! – January 1, 2018

Please PREVIEW my books of Mystery, Suspense, Romance, et al at:

http://billyraychitwood.com

Please FOLLOW ME on:

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

My BLOG:

http://brchitwood.com

My Amazon AUTHOR PAGE

https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 1470749

cropped-rwisa-oval-lavendar.jpg

1398809272 (1)

2379025

15 thoughts on “Big Book-Marketing Mistakes I’ve Made

Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing Billy Ray. You are refreshingly honest about your “mistakes,” but I think you are being much too hard on yourself. I see your list as “learnings” more than mistakes.

    You’ve done a wonderful job in following those who appear to have a good plan. As you will probably agree, persistence as an author is much more important than raw talent. Readers are fickle, and their tastes change. Ultimately, your stories and books must please YOU more than they do anyone else.

    No matter what you do in your marketing, you still need the books.

    On that front, you are well ahead of the pack. You are doing the hard work, and though I recognize some of your marketing mistakes, (as you call them), it is much more important that you have continued to write. You have learned as both a writer and marketer.

    Becoming a better author is what I see with your approach, and you’re improving all the time.

    I wish only good things for you in 2018, Billy Ray, for you surely deserve them.

    xox
    eden

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fun post, Billy! I love the name Lazy Rabbit Ranch. It conjures up sorts of images that would fuel a writer. I would find limitless inspiration on the sea. I enjoyed your list and I am guilty of the same beginnings. I hate marketing but love writing. Yes social media is time consuming I agree:) While others want to retire I feel like I am just getting started. I guess we all wait for thst special moment when it all comes together, but the journey there is a lot of fun and we get to meet so many amazing people. Happy 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Billy Ray, for sharing so honestly. Marketing is rugged for most of us. We stumble around in an uncharted world, hoping for clarity and direction. I wish I could offer sage advice, but I have none. But, I hope you keep writing. I loved Stranger Abduction and look forward to reading more of your books. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a north GA-TN native who moved to the southwest (came home to a place I’d never been before) and foolishly left it, endlessly struggling to get back… well, I’m a little envious. It was good to learn more about you. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. For that particular part of “home” I have to agree with Thomas. New Mexico became home the minute I got out of my car. I like to think it would not apply to the desert southwest. Although I’ve reached the point, that I don’t feel physically able to make another 2000 to 3000 mile move…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Billy Ray & thanks for the follow.

    I can relate to much of what you have experienced as a self-published writer. My naivety was, I assure you, just as great & in hindsight, I would have adopted a somewhat different approach. But hey….hindsight isn`t a science.

    As far as social media is concerned, I feel like a camel with 3 humps……everybody insists I need the third one but as far as I´m concerned it detracts from my writing & the constant stream of self-published authors touting their books almost begging for reviews……..at times it feels all too much & just gives me……the hump!!!

    I began writing in 2014, & released my debut book in March 2016. Since then I have written numerous blog posts for various magazines, won a short story prize & even said the word “shit” live on BBC Radio (albeit inadvertently, still it wasn’t entirely appreciated by my host.).

    Happy New Year mate, & remember….the path to success can be a tricky one so be sure to take a clean pair of shoes with you for the journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We so often cripple ourselves with our writing efforts! Too damned many self-publishers clogging us up! (Should only be you and I – or, me, or, Shit! Idon’t know! (Okay, now it’s floating around in the blogosphere!) 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

writing to freedom

words to inspire and empower

The Mystique Books

Celebrating Books!

When Women Inspire

You can make a positive impact too!

Come and Go Literary

Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry Journal

The Shower of Blessings

Giving and Receiving Blessings

thoughts and entanglements

A collective of poems and photos.

The Final Curtain1

BR Chitwood - MUSINGS: Authors - Books - The World

Hugh's Views & News

A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

charles french words reading and writing

An exploration of writing and reading

Anna Dobritt -- Author

Where the imagination soars on glowing wings! May the words ever flow!

Annette Rochelle Aben

~ Communicator, WordSmith, Artist, Guide, Mentor, Muse ~

Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales

Manic, obsessed, driven to story - all story. Read, write, think, do; dabble, plan, play, do. Do more - More - MORE!

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

The Angry Scribbler

Home of Kester James Finley

irevuo

art. popular since 10,000 BC

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Fiction Favorites

with John W. Howell

Nesie's Place

Totally Unsupervised!

Sean P Carlin

Writer of things that go bump in the night

roughwighting

Life in a flash - a weekly blog on daily living

Jean's Writing

Jean M. Cogdell, Author-Writing something worth reading, one word at a time in easy to swallow bite size portions.

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Simple observations, analysis, and common sense comments

Fiction in a Flash

Fiction in a Flash spins stories, short in appearance but big in essence. Some are specks of imagination while others reflect life itself.

Anneli's Place

Books, reading, writing....

Story Empire

Exploring the World of Fiction

Kate Gale: A Mind Never Dormant

The life of a writer/editor

K. D. Dowdall

Pen and Paper

dVerse

Poets Pub

Capt Jills Journeys

She sails the seven seas in search of FREEDOM

Journey

A personal view of my observations.

#FILMose

Crítica para quem gosta de Cinema.

Penny Wilson Writes

A Bit of Me in Every Key Stroke

Notes Tied On The Sagebrush

Writing About Life

Grass never grows on a busy street

"Hindsight & perforated toilet paper are what set man apart from the apes" : rbn bookmark

MakeItUltra™

Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

Lorraine Ambers

Writer & Queen of Daydreams

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Nail Your Novel

Nail Your Novel - Writing, publishing and self-publishing advice from a bestselling ghostwriter and book doctor

Books and Such

YA author supporting other authors

The Ink Owl

"If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story." -Terry Pratchett

Emotional Shadows

where all emotions are cared for!

Shining Seeds

writing myself into wellness

Keith Kreates (closed)

Now at https://keithchanning.wordpress.com

%d bloggers like this: