Getting going by going public

Are you one of those people who like talking about your feelings and achievements?

Me neither.

If you’re an author, you want people to look at and buy your books. You have to tell them what’s good, why they invest time and money in you. The alternative is to hope readers will stumble across your books among the millions of others on internet retailers like Amazon and Kobo.

Readers are also interested in the author as much as the books. Maybe more so. It means you have to reveal more of yourself, tell readers who you are, what you stand for, why you write crime novels and so on.

The marketing gurus say, you, the author are the brand. Readers buy into your brand. Readers are interested in you. Tell them about yourself on your website, on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Tell them what? I’m Robert Crouch and I write murder mystery novels. It says that on my Amazon bio.

Okay, give readers ten facts they won’t know about you.

As most readers have yet to discover me, I could tell them almost anything. But would you be interested in what I eat for breakfast, where I live, or would you prefer to have my views on the state of the environment?

Okay, give them ten interesting facts.

Wolfie SmithI used to go ten pin bowling. Oh, you want to know if anything interesting happened. Well, one night I played in the lane next to Robert Lindsay. Who’s Robert Lindsay? He’s the guy who played Wolfie in Citizen Smith. It was a comedy back in the early 1980s. No, I haven’t played ten pin bowling recently with a celebrity from Love Island. No, I don’t have any selfies with the cast.

Robert Lindsay and I both went for the same bowling ball that night. No, I don’t suppose it’s that interesting, even though he told me about Citizen Smith and the character he was playing, long before it came out on TV?

No, not even if the people who read my book are more likely to be interested in Citizen Smith?

That’s one of the reasons I’d rather not talk about myself.

I’ve no real idea what people would find interesting.

What do I want to know about the authors I like? That’s easy – when is the next book coming out?

That’s what made me decide to go public and announce my intentions. I was already wondering whether I could complete the first draft of my latest novel by the end of January. Now I’m going to commit myself to doing this so I can publish the fourth Kent Fisher murder mystery in May 2019.

You heard it here, folks!

In part, the New Year prompted me. I want to get this latest novel finished after a bumpy start, punctuated by distractions, numerous revisions and edits and three changes in title. The title’s as important as the names of characters. Get them right, and I write better. Not being a psychologist, I’ve no idea why this should be, but it helps.

get it DoneAnd so did a fascinating book, entitled Get it Done, by Michael Mackintosh.

It’s a self-help book that claims to offer a proven system for helping you achieve your goals in 21 days. One of the key tenets is going public. It adds accountability to your goal. You make a commitment in public, so you have to keep it. There’s nowhere to hide, which means you have to beat down the doubts and demons that want you have a quiet life without all this pressure.

These doubts and demons are happy with your comfortable existence. The moment you start getting grand ideas, they throw procrastination in your path. If this fails, they summon up anxiety and self-doubt to make you think twice.

I could have continued to write with no deadline, but I wanted to get my book out to readers. I want them to know what they can expect from me.

I’ll be blogging on Robservations about my progress, letting you know anything of interest or whatever tickles my funny bone. I’ll post on Facebook and Twitter, though I plan to keep a low profile and spend less time on social media in January so I can complete the first draft.

If you’d like to join me on the journey, please follow me and tell your friends. Let me know about your journeys.

If you have questions, post them in the comments box below.

And if you’d like to know more about the Kent Fisher murder mysteries, click here to visit my Amazon page. Or sign up to my reader group for more insights, updates and a sample first chapter from the novel I’m currently writing.

Something for the weekend

Should people who arrive late for a time management seminar be allowed to take part?

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