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Posts Tagged ‘novel’

Could I have written 3 additional novels last year instead of tweeting?

March 28, 2012 9 comments

This morning, I noticed that I sent my 19,000th tweet, which is honestly an absurd number when I think about it. Nineteen thousand tweets, in just over a year on Twitter? Seriously? What the hell have I been blabbering (and probably annoying people) about?

How much time have I spent “writing” on Twitter that perhaps could have been used more wisely? Let’s break it down (for my own rationalization, of course).

• I first became “active” on Twitter in January 2011; call it 14 months ago.

• According to the Oxford University Press, the average tweet is 14.98 words (call it 15).

• According to Publisher’s Weekly, the average (median, actually) length of a novel is around 65,000 words.

• I’ll estimate that 20% of my tweets are RTs, not original content.

Math: 

19,000 tweets x 80% (original tweets) = 15,200 tweets

15,200 x 15 (average word count of tweet) = 228,000 words

228,000 / 65,000 (median novel length) = 3.5 novels

Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion* that I could have written three and a half additional novels in the 14 months I’ve been tweeting, by simply replacing tweets with sentences in a story.

I’ll never tweet again. Right after this one. Oh, and this one. And of course the kitteh one. And…

 

* OK, it’s not really a conclusion…just a bizarre comparison I thought of before my coffee hit.

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I’m an author unwilling to talk about himself…

April 28, 2011 17 comments

This just in: I’m uncomfortable talking about myself. The problem? It may be the only way to succeed as an independent author…

Hi, I’m Steve, and I’m an author.

[audience: Hi Steve…]

That’s about all I’m usually prepared to say. I mean, who cares who I am, what I do, where I’ve been? My wife, kids, family, friends, they know the answers (and most of the time don’t really care anyway) but now that I’ve jumped in to writing with both feet, I find it’s a necessity to promote my book as a product, me as a brand.

Yes, that’s how I view it. The book I wrote, Gabriel’s Redemption, is a product that needs to be promoted. I’m totally fine with that; I’ve been in some form of sales or another most of my adult life, and most of those years as a business owner. I could easily step up to a podium in front of a hundred industry professionals (my company’s industry, not writing!) and wax philosophically about the benefits of swim-up bars, beach waiters, and mojitos (bet you’re now curious what I do, aren’t you?) without batting an eyelash. However, if I had to stand up there and speak about me, who I am, there would be a plethora of “uhhhs” and “ummms” being uttered. It’s just not me. I don’t feel I’m important (or famous) enough for anyone to care.

However, I can’t keep hiding behind that veil of anonymity. For a self-published author to succeed, he or she must promote not only the product, but the brand itself – the author. And yes, the author is a brand. Say Stephen King, or Tom Clancy, or Stephenie Meyer, or Dan Brown (ugh), and a brand comes to mind. Not really a person (although in King’s case he’s done well for himself as a ‘face’ brand), but a name, a product line. And they’ve done that on purpose. Building a brand means promoting oneself as a name, and that name needs background. A story.

The reason I wrote this post is that I’m currently in the middle of completing an author interview sent to me by one of my great online friends. I just completed one two weeks ago, another two days ago, and I have two more in the near future I will be working on. Each and every one of them not only asks about the product, but also the brand. Me. And I’m forced to talk about myself. I have to tip my cap to Emlyn Chand, as her “twitterview” of me in February, after having been published for a matter of days, was the first time anyone had thought enough of me to want to interview, and it got me off the sidelines.

I’m not one to walk into a room and take over the conversation. I don’t normally think of myself as having an outsized personality, or dominant presence. But in these interviews, I need to! Building a brand means forcefully and truthfully relating who I am to the readers in order to let them know who I really am. How I came up with the motivations for the story. Showing them the face/person behind the name on the front cover of the book. And it’s damned difficult. No, I’m certainly not complaining – I am truly flattered that anyone would even consider the possibility of interviewing me (again my mindset is, who the hell am I?) but it’s trying to put words on paper describing myself that’s causing some angst…

I think I need a bigger ego…

Journey to self-published, Part 6 – The End?

February 23, 2011 7 comments

No, not the end…just the beginning apparently. It’s official, I’m published, and anyone, anywhere can purchase the novel I worked so hard on. But now…how do I let everyone know it’s there?

I’m afraid I don’t have any easy answers for this one, nor is this a complete story. The journey is ongoing, and will be for years to come. I know what I’ve accomplished is small, but it’s significant to me, and I know I’m in this for the long-haul. I’ve developed some incredible online friends with Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and so on, and they’ve all given me so much help. It’s now time for me to jump into self-promotion with both feet.

It’s busier than I ever imagined, trying to get my name, and the book’s name, out there. I’ve already gotten a couple dozen sales, which looking back on where I was a month ago seems amazing. The bottom line is, I love what I’m doing, and I want to be able to do it for the rest of my life!

If you are, or were in, or will be in, in the same boat as I am, won’t you join me? Follow along as my journey continues – subscribe to my blog, follow me online. I hope I won’t bore you to tears.

-Steve Umstead…Author.

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