If Walls Could Talk: Facebook Promotion

M.H. Norris

Last week I started talking about how there is so much more to a writer’s life than… well writing. As odd as it sounds you don’t have much time to let out a sigh of relief before you have to consider next steps.

This week, marketing. Even Millennials who grew up with the internet and social media (apparently the internet celebrated its 25th birthday this past week. 1991 was a good year) sometimes shy away from having to market a book.

Let’s face it, talking about yourself is hard. It is something I absolutely hate because on one hand I wonder what good things can I say about myself and on the other I can’t help but wonder if I’m crossing the fine line between promoting myself and being vain.

Even using social media is hard. Study after study comes out about how people spend far too much time on social media yet half of us (I’m going to include myself in this and social media was part of my degree) don’t know what to do with it.

This week, I’m going to focus on Facebook and share some things you may not have known or refresh both your memory and mine about a few other things.

While some people set up individual author profiles that their readers can friend, the most common way to promote an author on Facebook is to set up a page. Now this can also go one of two ways (or both if you feel up to it). There is your individual author page and your series page (especially if an author has multiple ones going). The same goes for podcasts, webseries, webcomics, anything and everything you need to promote on Facebook.

You set it up, categorize it. From there you need a professional author photo.

Here, I recommend that you get one of yourself. That way people can put a face to your name and it gives your page a bit of a personal touch. The cover photo is for either displaying a book cover or something fun. Do not leave it blank (these days I’m not sure you are even given that option).

Fill out your bio and stuff. Give your readers something to see when they visit your page.

From there you can update your page like you do your status. Announcements, blog posts, whatever. I try and update my weekly column but I’ll admit that half the time I forget. When I do remember to update my blog it automatically goes to both there and my Twitter. Honestly, both WordPress and Wix offer that feature, and there is no reason you shouldn’t take it.

Confession time.

I’m awful about updating my author page and will go weeks and even months without doing so. Right now, I’ve got about 40 likes on my page and I’m hoping to do some work and work on increasing that number.

But don’t follow my example. Update often. I’m trying to work on it. Though I did update last week because I had an announcement about my latest book. In case you missed it, The Whole Art of Detection is now on Amazon.

book cover the whole art of

Yes, I did have to do that shameless self-plug.

As I wrap up, let me take a second to talk about my least favorite part of Facebook pages. The infamous and dreaded algorithm. In the spirit of being open and honest with y’all I’m going to tell you straight off that Facebook set this up this way to make money.

Facebook uses an algorithm to determine how many people who have actually liked your page get to see your announcements. You post and a select, for lack of a better term, test group gets the initial post. If any of them like or share, Facebook sees this as a good post and then shares it with more or more.

So encourage your friends and family to like your post so that it becomes more visible. Or share it on your personal. Or both. Both work well.

I also like to discourage people from paying for ads. The only thing I feel like that gets you are click farm likes which basically sinks your page before you have a chance to get it going. There’s not much you can do to avoid them completely but if you can cut down on them as much as possible I would do it.

So as inviting as reaching hundreds of people with just five dollars sounds, it doesn’t actually work that way.

That’s Facebook for you. If you have any questions or want to chat, you know where to find me. See y’all next week as we talk about more marketing tips and tricks.

In the spirit of that promotion, here are some Facebook pages you should like right now:

18thWall Productions

Nicole Petit

M.H. Norris

If Walls Could Talk: Author Blogs and Other Disgusting Necessities

M.H. Norris

I tend to block out the not-so-glamourous sides of writing. I find myself being surprised because I don’t remember having to deal with some things. Add to it, when you attend a writer’s conference or read a book about the industry today, you hear so much about how it’s changed—and everyone seems to have an opinion on the best ways to approach various things.

Confession time.

I’m awful about updating my personal blog. Between a weekly column here and my articles over at Time Travel Nexus, I neglect my blog on my own site because I don’t know what to say. What is there to say?

But, deep down, I know I need to update my writer’s site and the blog that sits on it. Even though I don’t know what to do with it. But you have to have a niche and something that makes you stand out.

What makes you special?

Why should people visit your site?

What do you have to offer that no one else offers?

And here I sit looking at questions like these and shrug. I just want to write, and have fun doing it. Why do I need an image, a brand, a niche?

Sad but true fact, you have to—if you’re going to stand out against the massive amount of new authors. Some are doing it independently, others taking more “traditional” methods. But all want eyes on their book.

It’s something I’ve neglected. My website, and my social media, which is odd because I know how to do it. But I guess it’s similar to the idea that people hate talking about themselves.

Promoting yourself is hard. What’s relevant? What’s important? How often should you post? Hashtags or no hashtags? How many is too many?

And the thing is, there are no right answers to these questions. If there was a magic formula or some golden key someone would make a lot of money writing that book.

Well I guess we’ll have to take that journey together. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working on my own website and social media and I’ll talk about it here.

If Walls Could Talk: Troublesome Climaxes and Know-It-All Editors

M.H. Norris

For a bit longer than I really want to admit, I’ve been working on my short story for All The Petty Myths. I fell in love with the character, Dr. Rosella Tassoni—but for some reason, this story has turned into the story that won’t end. Every time I think I’m done, or that I’m almost done, surprise, something else needs fixing.

James and I have really been going back and forth on the story, “Midnight,” and the real problem is the climax. At times, not only was I justifying the end to James, I was having to justify it to myself. I was selling myself short because I just want the story to be done. But that’s not fair to me as a writer nor is it fair to you as a reader.

There are reasons that the easy way out is so tempting.

As I said, we were going back and forth about the ending and after an argument where we ended up agreeing to disagree, James comes to me and says that the entire climax needs to be rewritten.

We then proceed to spend time mapping out a rough outline of the new climax and I’m sitting here wondering, what happened to me being almost done with this story?

The easy route is so easy. The story is alright with the ending it has now and then I don’t have to work on it anymore. I get to check off yet another story and move on to the next.

Yet that is the easy way out for a reason.

By taking James’ advice and rewriting the ending, I get to show you all a stronger, better story. Plus, I’ve also built up a bit of a reputation for having strong climaxes and I know I can do better than what I have right now.

Rabbit trail time. If you haven’t already, one thing you need, as a writer, is a good editor, one you can trust. And before you tell me that it’s easy to find editors, let me add a caveat. You need to find a good editor that you can trust. I’ve done it both ways and the writing process is so much easier if you trust your editor versus working with one cold turkey.

They know when to knock you aside the head (literally or metaphorically) and tell you that you can do better and that it needs to change. And as annoyed as you get at them when they tell you this, you appreciate it at the end of the day.

Even as writers, we let ourselves fall for the trap of thinking of the glamorous sides of writing. We see the aha moment of coming up with an idea for our next story, the triumph of finishing it, and the satisfaction of our friends and family coming and telling us that they enjoyed the finished project.

I’ve said it here many a time. I tend to block out the not-so-glamorous sides of writing. Ask James. We’ve apparently had the same conversation multiple times because I’ve blocked them out with the things they involve.

But it’s part of the writing process and as much as I hate to, I tend to find myself hoping James doesn’t outright say “I told you so” when his suggestions are actually a good idea.

So far he hasn’t said it.

We’ll see how long my luck holds.

Those Magnificent Writers on Their Writing Machines #1 (8/3/2016)

James Bojaciuk

Welcome to the newest feature on the 18thWall Productions site, “Those Magnificent Writers on their Writing Machines.” Each week, we’ll see what our writers are up to, tease you on upcoming 18thWall releases, and sometimes give you other exclusive previews and treats.

What have our authors been up to?

Nicole Petit

Nicole Petit’s Just So Stories has released, featuring nine all-new Just So Stories in the immortal tradition of Rudyard Kipling. Even better, it includes a rare Just So Story from Kipling’s own pen, often left out of collected editions, and a rare introduction to his tales that only appeared once previously.

Watch this space for more news about Just So Stories.

Just So Stories Ebook Cover

Nicole Petit’s interview has become the most listened to episode on the popular Television Crossover Universe Podcast. Robert E. Wronski Jr. had this to say. “As a rule, I don’t discuss the podcast stats publicly because I don’t want our guests to feel that their numbers are any reflection on them. However, this is worth mentioning. Simon R. Green’s episode, our first episode, has held the # 1 spot since the show’s beginning… until today. Episode # 11, featuring Nicole Petit, has climbed up to our number one spot. I hope this is also reflective in sales of her books. Nicole, you just surpassed a New York Times Best Seller.”

Listen to her interview here!

After Avalon, Nicole’s upcoming collection, will be appearing in a matter of days. Watch this space for news.

M.H. Norris

M.H. Norris’ installment in The Science of Deduction, The Whole Art of Detection, recently released. Be sure to check it out!

More enticingly, The Whole Art of Detection teases characters and elements from her upcoming series. This is your chance to get in on the series before everyone’s reading it.

book cover the whole art of

Lisa and Gina Gomez

Two of our newest writers, the detective duo Lisa and Gina Gomez, recently attended Nerd HQ 2016, where they had a chance to chat with the crew of the BBC’s Sherlock. You can watch the interview here. Skip to 5:38 to hear Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss threaten to sue Lisa and Gina for infringement.

You should certainly look into Lisa and Gina’s debut novella, Moriarty’s Final Problem.

book cover Moriary's final problem

Hannah Lackoff

Hannah Lackoff’s After the World Ended is now available from Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe! If you’re in Boulder CO., be sure to stop by and pick up a copy.

Innisfree_Hannah Lackoff

Josh Reynolds

Josh made it onto Ellen Datlow’s honorable mentions for Horror of the Year: Volume 8. He narrowly missed the cut with his excellent “Seeking Whom He May Devour,” from The Lovecraft ezine #35 (you can read it here). We wish him the best of luck in making into Datlow’s collection next year; it’s an overdue honor.

Carnacki_The New Adventures

You can find one of Josh Reynold’s latest stories, “The Delphic Bee,” in Ulthar Press’ Carnacki: The Lost Cases.

Additionally, you can get two of Reynold’s previous stories–“Incident at the Plateau of Tsang” and “The Fates of Dr. Fell”–on sale from April Moon Books, in the collections Ill-Considered Expeditions and Spawn of the Ripper.

Short Sharp Shocks

John Linwood Grant

Science of Deduction writers strike again, scoring a second, third, and fourth story in Ulthar Press’ Carnacki: The Lost Cases. Mr. Grant, who should not be confused with J. Linseed Grant, also recently appeared in Martian Migraine Press’ Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis.

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You can find Mr. Grant at at greydogtales, where long dogs and readers eagerly await the next adventure of Mr. Dry.

James Bojaciuk

Making the collection something of a Science of Deduction reunion, James also has a story in Carnacki: The Lost Stories. He promises that it’s not the worst story in the collection.

J. Patrick Allen

In Dead West news, J. Patrick Allen has a sign. Admire it.

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Watch this space for upcoming Dead West news, including a special event regarding the first book, West of Pale, and announcements on the series’ future.

Robert E. Wronski Jr.

artworks_medium

Rob’s podcast, The Television Crossover Universe Podcast, continues to be a smash success. In the last 30 days, as of June 29th, 2016, the podcast had 4,496 listeners. Every week, the audience grows. Why not join the cool kids and listen in?

Recently, Rob and the TVCU Crew have interviewed John Linwood Grant, Guy Adams, Jim Beard, Godzilla (okay, it’s a discussion episode about Godzilla), and Micah S. Harris.

Elizabeth Hopkinson

Elizabeth, who has been featured in The Dragon Lord’s Library: Volume 2 and Those Who Live Long Forgotten II,was recently featured as r/Fantasy’s author of the day.

Be sure to check it out! It’s an excellent feature.

Editorial Staff

Staff Editor Tali is hard at work cataloguing our recent releases.