Category Archives: A&E Extra

Marketing Self-Published Work

If you have ever taken the first step into the abyss we call publication, you may have realized that turning your manuscript into a bestselling book is not an easy process. Turn a blind eye to the hundreds of quick method peddlers that title themselves as “publish in a week”, or “write the novel in a year”. The roads to publishing seems daunting but the truth is, publishing is not your monster—marketing is your foe.

To begin you must consider your audience above all else, for they are who will ultimately get you from “barely known” to “bestseller.” Finding an audience is about ten percent what your genre is and ninety percent getting attention. People need to see you more than your book; they know you’re an author, now they need to know why they should care.

Walk into just about any coffee shop today and you’ll meet a handful of supposed “writers.” This has become commonplace. You, however, must show why you are different than the rest; as an author, and as a person. How did you get into writing? This is the most common question you’ll get, and you should have a quick answer. What is your book about? For a number of reasons, this is a hard question for many authors. A big one is that we are too close to the story or world we have built, and often can’t give a short summary of it for people we meet. To build an audience willing to support and buy your works you need to, though.

So when do you start this obstacle course of grunt work to pull in the masses, or advertising? It depends on you and how you want to sell. If you are only selling hard copies, then start when you’re almost finished with the manuscript. As you end the book begin printing and set up distribution—take you social media apps with you. Give people pictures, share your excitement if they see you that way, more will be curious. It also tells them this isn’t all talk. You have the backing to your name now, and with that turn yourself into your brand. When people talk to you or see your web pages they should see a commonality.

As an author, we are allotted very little personal space. Once you have your brand established, you have to keep it up. Gain followers—even traditional publishers won’t look at authors no one knows about—though once you have an audience, why would you need anyone else?

Being A Writer Today

Being a Writer Today

A craft descended from the greats such as H.P.Lovecraft and J.R.Tolkien is a huge burden to writers now a days. Claiming to be writer of any genre creates immediate comparisons to those who have come before us. Often this is enough to dash any hope of being published, let alone gaining fame for your works. How can a new fantasy writer measure up to the legendary “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy? Why write horrific tales of science fiction when Lovecraft’s tales of “Cthulhu” still haunt the dreams of people today?

Writing novels today is just as creatively difficult as it was thirty years ago, but more often than not a new idea is labeled as similar to this and there for not new. We stand still in the shadows of the stories we read as children and are smothered out of the pursuit to write by them.

Comparisons aside many other daunting tasks prevent most creative writers from taking the leap in publishing. Nowadays it seems impossible to get your darling story into the hands of an agent and before the eyes of an audience. What’s worse is now you don’t actually need to submit works to anyone. One would ask why this is so bad? Well when anyone can publish their work for public access, it means anyone will.

With the wonder that is the internet loosening the flood of publications through kindle and nook how can you make your well edited and original story shine through such a mob of haphazardly created slush? The question actually leads to many issues that past writers would never have thought of. The traditional write-and-submit-to-publishing-houses method is almost dead. Even using an agent to pump up your work is borderline useless. Why, you ask? Well, in truth, the nail in tradition’s coffin is social media.

In today’s markets writers must have a dedicated following of hundreds to even catch a glance from publishers. Agents will tell you the same, and in a weird “catch 22” of sorts you must have a fan base before they will publish what would build a fan base. Honestly, it is from a fear of failure on their part—why invest in a nobody when someone else already has fans?

Self-publishing is the new way that is rising at an astronomical rate, and many writers are catching on. At least they should be if publishing is their goal.

Next time I will be talking about the steps to self-publishing and what it is like doing so in today’s market.

Weekly Time Wasters: 2CELLOS and Lindsey Stirling

During Electronic Entertainment Expo last June it was revealed that the Master Chief Collection will make Halo’s first appearance on the year-old XboxOne. Why not celebrate with Lindsey Stirling’s rendition of Halo’s theme song?


Lindsey Stirling makes the Assassin’s Creed III theme her own.


Keeping with the music theme, check out this awesome version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” played by 2CELLOS.


Now that we know we love 2CELLOS lets splice in some “Welcome To the Jungle” by Guns N Roses and the always-lovable Ellen DeGeneres.

Weekly Time Wasters: Panic at the Disco covers Queen

If you’ve heard of Panic At the Disco then you know they love to switch up their style, but this video takes it to a new level.

You’ve probably heard about “50 Shades of Grey” but odds are you haven’t discussed the novel with your grandparents.

A child thats ten years or younger would consider the xbox360 and the PS3 the oldest gaming consoles they’ve been alive for. If you’ve ever wondered how these kids would react to a classic Nintendo then this video is am must watch.

Weekly Time Wasters: Volcanic explosions and spider dog!

This video is just beautiful. What’s not to like, there’s volcanic explosion, a massive shockwave, and a man trying not to swear like a sailor!

This video game mash-up shows us just how absurd some of our favorite video games would be in real life. Perhaps bad graphics can be a good thing.

You could lose entire days in Roller Coaster Tycoon, just imagine if it was a 4 dimensional game!

It’s official, we love Mutant Giant Spider Dog! Who doesn’t love a sinister idea with an adorable twist?

McConnelling WHIMified

Senator Mitch McConnell was featured in a new wordless ad and is essentially two and a half minutes of clips of the senator making faces and dealing with crowds. Jon Stewart and his team had other plans. They released a segment in which they dubbed any and every song over the original ad and challenged their viewers to do the same. Continue reading McConnelling WHIMified

Weekly Time Wasters: Super Bowl special

The Super Bowl is this Sunday, but you should already know that. In case you’ve managed to live in this football-obsessed society without knowing the basic dynamics of the game, here’s a brief guide.

 

Now that you know the basics of the game, listen to what football players aren’t saying.

 

Richard Sherman is possibly the biggest hothead in the NFL.

 

After Sherman caught an interception to end the game and send the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, he had this to say.

 

And now, because we all know kids are impressionable…

 

With all this talk about Sherman, lets not forget about Peyton Manning; he’s an action toy!

 

The Manning brothers tell us that we can get football on our phones!

Weekly Time Wasters: The best and worst commercials

You might be kicking yourself for choosing 8 a.m. classes this semester, but Twizzlers don’t have that problem.

I believe Old Spice has finally surpassed Doritos for the best commercials on television, at least until the Super Bowl rolls around. This new commercial mixes their trademark absurdity with an almost uncomfortably catchy jingle.

You probably thought this article was alive — nope, it’s Chuck Testa.

Weekly Time Waster: Relax, it’s just finals

If you haven’t heard about the shocking end of the Iron Bowl, then you must live in a world away from television, the Internet and cell phones. After four full quarters of the biggest rivalry in college football, Chris Davis returns Alabama’s failed field goal attempt for an insanely improbable touchdown. If you’ve already seen this, do yourself a favor and watch it again.
Continue reading Weekly Time Waster: Relax, it’s just finals