Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Notion of Promotion with Guest Blogger Dr. Norm

Meet author Norman Wilson today at the Book Boost and read about his path to self-promotion!

Here's what he had to say:

As a former author and co-author of college textbooks in the humanities, the switch to novelist was a quantum leap. New strange sounding words and acronyms floated in and out of my reading. Such things as POD, Self-pub, EBooks, platform, planks, and indie press. Then there were words like blog, fan base, Face Book, My Space, and Twitter and internet talk radio. Internet radio?

One thing seemed quite clear to me, at least at the time. Why should I turn over my creative work to a publisher who will take 80% of the sale price of my book. That excludes the ten percent to an agent. And that question began a learning experience that continues today.

I decided to do a publish on demand. The price was very reasonable at just under one hundred dollars. Galley proof came, checked it, and sent it back. Wonderful. Now I am a novelist. Let the money roll in.

There was a very rude thundering awakening. It didn't! No one came to interview me, no press release appeared in local papers, no adds in the New Yorker.

What? You mean I have to get out there and hawk my own stuff. The atomic answer was a resounding, yes. But how?

An online author friend, Charlotte Boyett-Compo suggested I join IOWFA and 1stturningpoint.

At 1stTurningPoint, I met author and co-founder, Jacquie Rogers and her band of parrots. From them I learned about building a platform, developing name recognition, setting goals, and getting out there and selling myself.

I began building name recognition by publishing articles on various Ezines. Topics were wide ranging and varied. To garner a following you have to become an expert in something. That way you build a fan base. Fans follow you, talk about you, and buy your books. Face Book, My Space, Twitter, Delicious, Digg, Stumbleupon, Hubpages, Red Room, and Red Gage and yes, Passionate Internet Voices World Radio— all became a regular part of my self-promotion routine.

Since the main character in my novels is a shaman, I began to write on shamanism. Those essays have now become the basis for a non-fiction book that is soon to be self-published, Shamanism: What It's All About. It functions as a segue for my forth coming novel, The Shaman's Quest.

A Note from the Book Boost: What a wonderful story, Dr. Norm! I laughed at the bit about waiting for the interviews and money to roll in. I wish it happened that way too. But as you can see from my little promotions blog here--it takes a ton of work and then some. Thanks for blogging with us today. Please share more of your book with us.

(edited for length):

The nature of the sacred quest is such that you may have a word, name, or concept of what it is you are looking for, some idea of what it is, how and where it may be found.
--Tau Malachi, The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas

Often, as it was in my case, I couldn’t put a handle on what I was looking for. For me, the mystery began when I was a kid traveling with my parents into the backcountry of the Canadian bush.

My father, actually I don’t remember of ever calling him that or calling him pop or dad nor do I remember him calling me by
my name, Adam. He would pack a large trailer full of supplies, two toys and two of my favorite books for me. I was allowed a note book and a couple of ball points to have in the Buick.

Fishing gear, life jackets, boat cushions, a twenty-five horse Johnson outboard motor, cans for gasoline, and cans for
kerosene got stashed along the sides of a gigantic ice chest that sat over the middle axel of the trailer. He’d had it made special as well as the trailer.

Everything had to be balanced just so. I guess he viewed life that way. There had to be meat, potatoes, and two vegetables
on his plate. Balanced. A fishing lure had to have two sets of hooks, no singles, or threes; one set in front and one at the rear of the lure. Spinners are the exception. The three pronged hook is always at the rear. Even his office desk is balanced: telephone on the right, family photo on the left, pen set in the center.

The ice chest which held such a prestigious position held much of our food: flour, salt, pepper, sugar, coffee,
pastas, and dozens of other consumable items. Fresh stuff we bought at the last small town some fifty miles before hitting the off road to the lake and our camp. A pillow, blanket, snacks, and a thermos of coffee went in the car. Suitcases, full of enough clothes to last two months, went into the trunk.

We headed out at about three in the morning because my father liked to get an early start. We were heading into
northeastern Quebec Province where we would spend the summer on a large lake with a group Indians who camped there. It was a sixteen hour trip, with stops only to gas up, and to eat one meal while on the road. If I had to pee he pulled off to the side of the road. As soon as we got there, he would nap for an hour and then unload the trailer, and go fishing. He seemed drawn to the water, needing it to nourish him. Strange I never thought of it that way then, but now is now and things are different.

He got away from it all by going to the lake. No telephones ringing, no radio, or television. No one at the office
pestering him with questions about commodities. No parties and dinners with insufferable people. Whatever attracted him about the lake, it seemed to pull him further into himself. During those times my mother took long walks into the woods and sometimes the two of us would visit one of the teepees. Much of the time I was left to explore my version of the world.

Living in a one-room log cabin with a dirt floor, a legless cast-iron pot-bellied stove, and one window covered
with cheese-cloth created just the right setting for an adventurous seven-year old. Two beds, actually wooden poles driven into the earthen floor with scrapped moose skin drawn tight for the mattresses, lined up against the two side walls of the cabin. The stove sat in the middle of the room, a small hand made wooden table sat beneath the lone window. An old wooden chair sat at each end. Along the side of the table, a cut log, about 24 inches high when standing on its end became by chair. An old rocking chair occupied a space near the stove. My mother called it a Boston rocker.

We lit kerosene lamps when it got dark. No electricity. My father believed I should have at least one chore. Each
day I went into the woods to a natural spring with a tin bucket to get our drinking water. Once I dispensed the water bugs and mosquitoes, I would scoop up the water, and slosh it back to the cabin. And since we didn't have running water there wasn't an inside toilet. We had the "out house." Fortunately one of the items packed was toilet paper.

Want More Dr. Norm?

Visit his website to learn more about his new exciting series, COMING SOON!


Jacquie Rogers said...

Norman, one thing you've taught us all is that there's never a time when we can sit back and stop learning. There are always new avenues, new ways of looking at old avenues, and more to investigate.

Of course, all that promo has to be backed up by a quality book, and I can attest that the first book in your series is excellent.


Windlegend said...

Excellent interview. I learned a lot about you Normal. :)

We are happy to have you at IWOFA and on Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors, & Writing Professionals at LinkedIn. You are a true asset.

Jane said...

Great interview-I will want to read the new piece - so will be getting the book for sure! thanks Norm-Janie