Tag Archives: live reading

Winter Solstice: A Creative Muse

Winter Solstice by Blaise van Hecke

I love winter. Open fires, hot cups of tea to warm our chilled hands, beautiful winter sunsets. I’d love it even more if I could stay longer in bed in the morning, but you can’t have everything.

Today I am reflecting on the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year, the longest night, a time for contemplation. Time to make magic. What does this mean to me? Does it mean anything? Maybe it’s nothing to think twice about and we go on with our day as normal.

Being a writer means EVERYTHING bears thinking about because that’s what writers do. We want to know the significance of things. It hurts the brain, doesn’t it? Writing is a vehicle where we can make sense of these ‘everythings’ in our head.

The Winter Solstice can be a great muse for our writing. There are so many aspects to what it is, the historical values, what it might mean to us that we can ponder and use in our writing. How do you do this?

One way could be to think about what the longest night might mean to nature? What are the elements that relate to nature that could be interesting in a piece of writing? Can we relate these to death, dying, or renewal? Do you feel that the solstice is the start of winter, or the middle? Are there dark, mystical themes that we can tease out and infuse into our writing?

Now think about the history of humans. How do you think the Winter Solstice might have been viewed over the centuries? There were most likely pagan rituals around it during the Middle Ages and who knows how it has shaped other religious entities.

How many questions have I raised here? I haven’t gotten to any answers yet. I haven’t made sense of anything at all so where is this magic that writing is meant to answer? This is the magic of writing. Not that we get a definitive answer to our questions but that in the asking of questions, and writing through them, we go on a quest to discover our own truths and eek out stories as we go.

Being a writer is a quest. A quest to knowledge and enlightenment.

Blaise the book chick

*If you’d like to discover more about storytelling, come along to one of my Meetup groups at the Busybird Publishing studio. More info about the next session is here.

Share ...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestPrint this page

Creating Word of Mouth

My last blog talked about the fact that word of mouth sells more books. Many of the well-known books became bestsellers because of this. Alice Sebold and Dan Brown are just a couple of examples. But how do we get people talking about our books?

First of all, you need to have a platform where people can discover you. It can be a website and on social media. Some say that this doesn’t sell books. Maybe it doesn’t directly but it helps people to talk about them. The very first rule for selling books is discoverability because if no one can find it when they hear about it, word of mouth is useless.

These platforms actually have two functions. The first is to gather a fan base and the second is to sell the book. If you feel shy about putting yourself out there in the public arena you will struggle to gather a fan base. But if you’re smart about it, you can put a lot of content out there on these platforms that aren’t necessarily just about you. Remember, you want to create word of mouth about your book. So these platforms are the places to expand on everything that readers are saying about your book.

The best way to start the conversation is to ask people to read your book. You might feel like this is giving it away. But these people will be your first fans and the reviews they give will accumulate and add to the ‘talk’ about your book. They’ll also feel special about having been one of the first to read the book and will want to help you to succeed. Ask these people to tell others about it and before you know it, there are discussions creating little ripples of interest before the book hits the market.

Be as strategic as you can when asking people to read it. Think about librarians, teachers, industry professionals in your field. These are people who will talk to other readers and recommend your book to them.

So, a big part of your book marketing strategy should be to make a list of people who you will approach to read and recommend your book. Try to make a list of at least 30 and if possible, make sure you give them an actual printed book, not a pdf by email.

Blaise the book chick

Share ...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestPrint this page