Welcome to the “Hungary Eyes” Blog Tour with Maurice G. Miller
First, I would like to thank my gracious host for giving me the privilege to guest blog here on the fifth stop of my weeklong tour. Also, a debt of gratitude to 4 Wills Publishing for organizing all this. The tour runs today through October 14th. If you are interested in continuing with me on the tour stops (and I know you will), just click here for the dates and locations, and don’t forget to bookmark the page. Thanks!
Below is a ‘view from the deck’ of my initial foray into the self-publishing industry that I think will be enjoyed by both readers and fellow authors alike. Please be sure to leave comments/questions/feedback at the end of the post, they are much appreciated.
Navigating the Self-Publishing Storm – Maiden Voyage
I am willing to accept that I get zero creativity points for this blog. Not the first self-pub author to document their journey. It is my hope that I can bring a somewhat different point of view, as I look at my research and experiences so far in the self-publishing industry from a business perspective. Maybe there will be something here that will help or inspire my fellow newbie self-pub authors on their own paths. It is also my goal to provide those readers, who enjoy taking chances and reading the works of newly self-pub authors, an inside view of the challenges and obstacles that many of us endure.
Whether you are a self or traditionally published author, there is both a creative and business side of your vocation that contributes to your success. My readers and author friends know that I confess to being a business geek. The approach I am using toward my new writing career is no different than the approach I would take to starting any new business. Due diligence requires spending hours and hours of industry related research, analysis of the competitive landscape, marketing tactics, and avenues of promotion. This is piled on top of over a year on the creative side of the fence writing a 150,000 word novel. What I have found is that there are waves and waves of web sites, information, and materials out there for self-pub authors to investigate and digest. Navigating yourself through these, and discerning what is the right course for you can be daunting, especially on your maiden voyage.
Good News/Bad News
The good news for both readers and aspiring authors is that anyone, with a little guidance, can write, publish, and sell (or giveaway) a book with very little cost involved. For those authors interested in getting their books into the hands of as many readers as possible, this can be the bad news as well. The role of “content gatekeeper” is now taken on by the readers of self-pub authors in addition to the editors of traditional publishing firms. Inspired by stories of authors who were rejected time and time again by traditional publishers that went on to be wildly successful (i.e. J.K. Rowling), we hope to be the next one discovered. Self-publishing has grown quickly in the past few years pumping so many new titles across all genres into the market. How can we get our work to stand out and be recognized amidst the glut of titles out there? There seems to be a consensus amongst successful indie publishers of what it takes to get noticed by readers.
My research has found many experts agree that the keys to a successful launch and getting a book noticed should include: 1) Professional editing, 2) professionally designed book cover, 3) an enticing summary or “blurb”, 4)well developed author web site and platform, and 5) generating email lists. Some may argue over one or more of these points, but overall it’s probably a great place to start.
I don’t think there’s much dispute that content is king and making your content new, different, creative, and distinguishable from the rest of the pack in your genre will give you a much better chance to succeed. Great content eventually finds its own level of interest with readers, and the more you can produce, the more successful you’ll be. Not an earth-shattering new philosophy, but certainly one we can abide by. The title of one of the first books that I read on the industry (by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant) has become the mantra of many successful indie authors and one that I have adopted: Write, Publish, Repeat. Don’t get too hung up on what happens with your first book, it will always be there as an asset. Writers should be in it for the long haul. Keep writing, storytelling, marketing, promoting, publishing, and improving the skills of your craft in all of these areas.
Many times on Goodreads and other places, I read about new authors lamenting that they published their first work with little time spent, and knowledge of, how to market a book. It makes sense that there are probably many new authors out there that have had little or no background or training in sales and marketing. I think in many cases there is often a rush to publish, and who can blame a new author’s anxiety for wanting to get their work out there. A member in one of my Goodreads groups, Support for Indie Authors, put it nicely starting a thread called “premature publication”. Some authors I know do not have the money/resources to invest in promotion/marketing. We can only guess at how many great literary works out there will never be discovered.
While building my own author platform and marketing plan there were many things I had to consider.
Which retailer(s) do I use for my first book’s launch? Paper vs. eBook considerations?
What will be the pricing strategy?
Should I hold back too much into marketing until the sequel to my novel is finished 6-8 months down the road?
How do I manage all the social media platforms? Which will be the most effective?
How will I allocate my time between marketing/promoting the first novel and writing the sequel?
On the next tour stop I will be providing some final insight into ‘The Budapest Experiment’, including an excerpt from the first chapter. Hope you will join us for that.
In celebration of the blog tour, the Kindle version of The Budapest Experiment is available for download for just $.99 thru October 14th. Just click on the Amazon page link below.
Maurice has been involved in the creative arts since his teenage years. Having worked and played in rock/blues bands for most of his adult life, the artistic role models that he came to admire were those authors, musicians, and philosophers that wrote the books, poetry, lyrics, and music that touched and moved the souls of generations. Counted among his favorites authors are J.D. Salinger, Earnest Hemingway, Dante Alighieri, and Kahlil Gibran. Deciding to take a break from the music career, he has rededicated his creative energies toward writing. Then there is the “business geek” side of him. With an MBA degree, and having started several ventures, he has an obsession for creating new business ideas, digging into data analytics, and dissecting statistics. This passion for entrepreneurship is reflected prominently in his writing style. Maurice’s debut fictional novel, “The Budapest Experiment”, an international thriller, was released on May 25, 2015 and is available now on Amazon. Lots more can be found, including book info, social media contacts, and blog posts, at: http://www.mauricegmiller.com
Web Site: http://www.mauricegmiller.com
Amazon Page: http://smarturl.it/budapestexp
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mauricegmiller @mauricegmiller
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1DO6y6k Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1ESXMYv
Google +: http://bit.ly/1N1Jmdv
The Budapest Experiment – Synopsis
At what price would you sell your soul…? This captivating thriller weaves business, politics, seduction, power, and religion all into a compelling tale of international intrigue. Set in 1991, during the dawn of the Post-Communist era in Hungary, this novel chronicles the exploits of Michael, an adventurous but struggling American entrepreneur. During this period of tumultuous political, economic, and social change, the Russian Mob is taking advantage of the ensuing turmoil to entrench itself deeper into the business landscape of the former Soviet Bloc countries. Navigating through the streets of Budapest, Michael immediately senses an air of mysticism and lurking danger. After a few successes and trials, a series of business dealings leads him to a consulting position with the ‘Organization’. Seduced by their women, money, and power, Michael becomes entangled in the web of Mob culture. Digging into his conscience, he encounters a spirit ravaged with feelings of guilt and betrayal, but a rapidly growing bank account serves as the means to justify his actions. Pondering his future, Michael wonders if he can balance this extreme Budapest lifestyle with his ‘ordinary’ family life back home. After padding his wallet for the past several months, would the Organization let him just walk away, or would there be consequences? This book is intended for mature audiences.
“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”