Archive | August, 2016

Writing Minus Promotion Equals…..Loneliness

30 Aug



Priorities, right?  There are only so many hours in a day, and when that day runs out, some things fall by the wayside. I’m afraid blogging is one of those things.

If someone can solve the “time” problem I’m all ears.

Today we’re going to talk about promoting your writing career….if you have one, of course.

But first, the quote of the day.


“Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing!” P. T. Barnum

Writing is an introverted activity/pursuit.

Promotion is an extroverted activity/pursuit.

Therein lies the problem for a great many, dare I say majority, of writers.

Myself included.

I hate to promote myself.  In a  perfect world I could sit in my writing studio and crank out words until the cows come home and never once face the buying public, and while doing my imitation of an ostrich my books would sell like proverbial hotcakes.

Sigh!  Now back to reality.

I hate it, but if I have any visions of ever being more than house-bound recluse with books no one has ever read, then I must promote

Here is my five-step promotion formula.  Use it if you find it helpful.

  • Plan……if you don’t have a sound marketing plan, there is no better time than now to write one up. If you don’t know how to write a business plan, now is the time to do some research on that matter.
  • Start local….forget about going national if you are an indie writer. You’ll have your hands full just handling your local scene with local newspapers, local magazines, bookstores, libraries, book clubs, etc.
  • Build a buzz about your product…..blogging, social media, books clubs, etc.
  • Widen your reach….from local to regional to national. The only limits you have are the ones you set on yourself.
  • Be consistent…..for every three hours you set aside to write, one hour should be devoted to promotion. Set a schedule for promotion as well as writing and stick to it.

I’ll talk more about all of this next week.  In the meantime…..

Get busy!


I’m glad you asked.  I’m at the 20,000 word mark on my new Shadow novel, “Shadows Over A Hangman’s Noose.”  It’s going well. I hate to predict a completion date because so much can affect that date, but I see no reason why I can’t finish by November…..heck, maybe I’ll get energetic and publish it on my birthday in October, a gift for myself.B.T.K.C. x5A

Or not!


While we’re on the topic of promotion, check out the following:……use this site to send customer e-mail invitations and a promotional event like a book signing.…..list your event and it will be distributed across the site’s media network.….a great place to find special interest groups by location and topic….for future speaking engagements.….also a great place for authors and topic experts to promote.


Let me share the opening two lines from a poem called “Breathing Lessons” by one of my favorite poets, Audrey Howitt….

“The dead must breathe sometimes,
inhale their memories”



I just think that is brilliant writing.  How about you?

I wish for you a very successful week of writing.  I wish the same for me.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”  #greatestunknownauthor





A Simple Message of Gratitude

16 Aug

003As many of you know, for ten days our lives were turned upside down and inside out, with Bev in the hospital and the experts not knowing exactly what was wrong with her.  It’s a humbling and helpless feeling to have a loved one hurting and not be able to make it all better for them.

I’m happy to report she is once again home and our lives are returning to some normalcy.  We still don’t know what caused the infection in her intestine.  All we know is the antibiotics did their job and she is once again fine.

I kept everyone up-to-date on Facebook and quite frankly, I was blown away by the flood of well-wishes and prayers as the ordeal unfolded.  There are times when I am, well, a cynical bastard.  I’ve just seen too much pain and hatred and meanness during my lifetime, and during my darker moments I have very little hope for mankind.  But then something like this comes along, and relative strangers reach out and give us strength when we most need it.  Not that any of you are strangers, but I think you know what I mean.  We have never met in person and yet you stopped what you were doing to reach out to me when I needed you.

So thank you!  I have nothing else to give you but those two simple words, but thank you!

And Bev thanks you!

Now please, can we get back to normal?


“Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” Misty Copeland

In my “Mailbag” series on HubPages, there was a question last week about family members not supporting their writer/family member, and I’m still a bit surprised by the number of us out there who share that commonality.  For whatever reason, many of our family members don’t take the time to read our articles and books.  They show support in other ways, but actually reading our work seems to be beyond their capabilities.

It no longer really bothers me.  I still find it curious, but I’m not bothered by it.

And one of the reasons I can toss it aside is the fact that so many writers loyally support me, complete strangers who have climbed about my wagon and been with me through every article and every book.  I find that amazing and encouraging and uplifting.

I wish I had the money to buy all of the books that all of my writer friends have written, but I don’t.  What I can do, though, is make every effort to read their articles and blogs, and I am pretty good about doing that.  And I will always have room in my blog should they want to guest blog on it, and I try to mention a fellow writer from time to time…..

So, the point being, make an effort to support your peers.  In some way, reach out and give them a boost.  We all need it.  We all need each other!


A shout out to my young and talented friend Kailey.  You can find her on HP under the name “Social Thoughts,” and that name perfectly describes her articles.  This is a no-nonsense writer who cares deeply about her causes.  She is at times crude, at times painfully blunt, but she is always honest and passionate, and I respect those traits greatly.


I hope this week is filled with a dazzling display of craftsmanship by you all.  The world needs you to spread your wings and fly.



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Try Something, Dammit!

2 Aug

003Welcome, Welcome and Welcome again!

I’m so excited that the political conventions have ended.  I’ve missed Pat and Vanna!  LOL

Many of you know that most of my weekend time is spent at Farmers Markets selling goat cheese and quail eggs…..but did you know……..

First, the quote of the day…..


“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”   Mark Zuckerberg
It’s an odd day when I’m quoting Zuckerberg!  But I love this quote, and you should too.


Next Wednesday I’ll start selling my books at the Farmers’ Market.  I’ll be the only writer there selling books. It’s not really something you see among the fruit and vegetables and birdhouses and quilts, but I talked to the organizer and she could see no reason not to try it, so we’ll do that for the last month of the market and see how it goes.

Will it work? I have no clue, but like zuckerberg says, I am guaranteed to fail if I don’t at least try it.

Next on my list of things to do is to contact all the local radio stations about being interviewed on air about the struggles of being an independent author.  I’m going to approach them with my tag #greatestunknownauthor…explain the significance of that tagline to them and why I’m taking that approach in my advertising.  Will I get any response from the station managers? I have no clue, but I do know I won’t get any response if I don’t at least try.


For the love of God, TRY SOMETHING!!!!!  Unless you can look me in the face and honestly tell me you are happy with obscurity, then get out there and TRY SOMETHING!


If you are a freelance writer, or if you are considering that venture, check out my friend Greg’s website, Lancer Life.  Here you will find some great tips and suggestions.  This really is a valuable resource….and you can’t beat the price.


Billy the Kid is riding again with “Breathing Fire on a Cold Winter’s Day.”   I hope you like it.

And that means it’s time for me to start my newest novel, this one the third in the “Shadows” series titled “Shadows Over a Hangman’s Noose.”  If you like thrillers I’m counting on you liking this one.

Thanks again to Mike Friedman for his great cover work.


I’ve got a friend I want you to meet.

Her name is Christy Birmingham from Victoria, Canada.  If there is a nicer person on the planet I really need to meet that person.  Until that day, though, I’m pretty well satisfied with the niceness of Christy.  I invite you to read her latest collection of poetry, “Versions of the Self,” available on Amazon.


Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and Happy Writing to you all!

Bill #greatestunknownauthor

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”