Dumbstruck, marketing bit, triggers, a Kaleidoscope review and recent releases.
It's Dumbstruck Day - March 15
It's no surprise that more and more people are dumbstruck on an increasingly frequent basis. The volumes of fake news can be found in the media, making it almost impossible to tell truth from the lies. This leads to one being hopelessly dumbstruck.
Dumbstruck Day is a day to be totally dumbstruck over the things you see, hear and read. You may easily be dumbstruck to read that someone created this special day. Some people are dumbstruck on a regular basis, However everyone has the right to be dumbstruck once in a while. If you are normally embarrassed to be dumbstruck, then today is truly a special day. Today, you can be dumbstruck like the rest of us without guilt or embarrassment.
Connections and (maybe) growth
As a rookie indie published author in 2013 I thought sales would just “come” as in the mantra “If you build it, they will come”. I found out that other than a few family members and well-meaning friends, they didn’t come.
I promo’ed my heart out, created a page and group that looked similar to those I’d seen other writers make, attempted an author page and a website that were more trouble than benefit, and got addresses on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest but had only time for one of those if I was going to write at all. I joined a writer's critique group. I went to live shows.
The difficulty was that I quickly realized I didn’t have the know-how in technical and even basic telecommunications (such as getting buy buttons and a mailing list to work and creating teasers or Google forms) The even sadder part was that I was late to the party, so asking for help frightened most other authors away unless I was willing to risk hundreds or thousands of dollars.
That required more of a leap of faith than I possessed. I’ve never been a big or even medium-sized spender.
While a good website and blog with “buy” buttons is still essential, I’ve discovered that most of my Facebook followers would rather see my promos and blog information on my Group Page with links to my Amazon page, not on a separate site. My website just sits costing money and giving nothing.
Every person or site I turned to stressed the importance of networking and the problem of going it alone. So what did I do? In online networking it’s helpful to “like” and “share” posts. I share posts of the Visionary Fiction Alliance twice weekly. Having learned to create teasers, I have a new one ready every week for followers to share to their own favorite sites.
Recently I’ve begun to review A LOT I read any genre as time permits, and post a review in most cases. If I see a call out for an anthology, I sign up, pushing myself to try new genre, new formats and even new target groups.
Lastly, my Group “Writings of Mary R. Woldering” hosts an author (any genre) every Thursday. This has been successful in bringing forward new authors to my followers and creating a little action for them.
Will it make my book sales soar? It hasn’t yet, but it’s a tough market. I built it, they came, but not just to buy something from me. They came to share some tips, writing, friendship and advice. Maybe that’s really better than making it about profit. It has to be fun.
Triggers and targeting
In recent years authors have seen a rise in readers asking for trigger warnings. To me, this seems to be something that grew out of movie and video game ratings. Rather than going with "For all Ages" or "Adult" or even Pg, Pg-13 and NC-17, which hinted that there might be something forbidden to certain categories of people, the trigger warning focused on detailed warnings. A trigger is something one sees or reads that upsets the reader and/or viewer to a Post-traumatic panic attack or reaction. Here's an example. Many readers enjoy adult content with sexuality, but if the sex isn't consensual or if it's kinky, it's troublesome. Recently, racist and misogynistic material has come under fire, despite the historical or cultural context of the time. Many readers don't wish to be reminded that less than 100 years ago, women (even in the United States) had few rights and often married as early as age 14. Often their partner (particularly in closed rural communities) was closely related as first cousin. Even among the impoverished, dowries and bride prices were common. Races and classes were segregated and those who violated the societal rules were dealt with harshly. The examples could go on citing other sorts of sensitive material. Yet reading about such things can be problematic from any side depending on the needs of a reader's world view. Many readers like Regency Romance: tales of the foibles of the upper class in early 19th century England, loving the fantasy world of Bridgerton, but would be quite disturbed by Tom Hardy's Taboo set in 1814 which shows the filthy and gritty side of the era in all classes. The question is, how much if at all should an author warn a potentially sensitive reader? I posted this on my board and several authors and readers responded. The consensus if that if you label something "Adult content" a reader understands that some subjects might push them beyond a comfort zone. In addition a blurb might state "shocking", "raw" or "Unsanitized" or just plain "Not for the faint of heart".
Another thing that works is an author website or page such as the one where you are reading this article. If a reader has questions and doesn't "know" a book or author but thinks there might be troubling material, ASK. Also read reviews! Here's what my followers wrote. Adam Joseph Stump “Not for the faint of heart.” I think trigger warnings seem too much like a laundry list The Organ Pipes of the Soul Strong hearts don't need trigger warnings.
Leslie Conzatti (about reviews) This is a great idea! Then, even if the blurb might give a broader impression of the overall story, inquiring readers can see ahead of time the impact from another reader’s perspective, alongside the author’s blurb. While I understand that starting your book with “Here are all the reasons why you wouldn’t like my book!” is kind of counterintuitive... you also want to attract the right sort of reader, who enjoys the style of your writing!
Fabrice Rigaux agreed. Both with the approach and the review
Tracy Johnson Not for the faint of heart sounds better than any warning I'd put on a book. I understand that people have had traumatic things happen in their lives, so have I but that doesn't stop me from reading certain books. It's getting ridiculous in my opinion.
Troy Hudson Carter Go with the NFTFOH. Josephine Wrightson Author I went with, adult content. Explicit paranormal Romance, and intended for adult audiences only. But I like, not for the faint hearted too.
Hanne Holten I'd go with 'Not for the faint of heart'
Lois Athena Buhalis I don't care about trigger warnings. When something triggers me, I take a breath and keep on going. Life shoves all kinds of things at us without warnings, and I'd prefer to deal with them instead of trying to avoid them. When something says "not for the faint of heart" I dive right in
Eva Pasco I'm also going with "not for the faint of heart".
Mark McQuillen I dont see why there should be any trigger warnings at all. Mine would be X Rated thats why I list mine as Adult Fantasy. And all that would ruin the surprise Politically correct I'm not. You dont see anyone like George RR Martin putting trigger warnings on anything and his trigger warnings would probably cover two or three pages.
Jane Risdon What for? Never had this for centuries of reading I am sure. I do not get it but then I am old.
Charles Patton Not for the faint of heart!!
Pay me a visit! As of this writing I plan to attend Dreaming Dirty In Michigan April 10. The banner shows who else will be there. Covid and infection rates will still play a role as this gathering would be viewed narrowly by the CDC, despite wearing of masks, and social distancing. It's still looking like a crowd will be there along with about 40 authors. Check this site for reservations and updates. By the way, here is a link to my Pre-Order page. If you order and I can't go at the last minute you will receive all books ordered and a SWAG bookmark and free shipping (if continental US buyer) Order for for all events: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc0zKV_tMfxxfp4FxZ3TFT5nyQKVvgADFHt_frv6hadSMZzUA/viewform
Author list (as of 3-15-21)
Here's another place to see me if you are in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
Author list coming soon! https://www.facebook.com/groups/laybomae2020
Kaleidoscope Hearts Vol. 3: Thirteen New Stories to Fall in Love With
by Andi Lawrencovna(Author), Gina Ardito(Author), Grace Augustine(Author), CJ Baty(Author), Rochelle Bradley(Author), Linda Boulanger(Author), Laura Hern(Author), Kristine Raymond(Author), SE Winters(Author), Jennifer Daniels(Author), Kali Willows(Author), Beth Worsdell(Author), Mary R. Woldering There are thirteen ways to fall in love in this book of short stories. All end happily or promise happiness. Each is designed for a quick uplifting read as a Valentines Day gift to readers. There are reunions of childhood friends, chance meetings on the road, love among angels, healing love, a fairytale love story, loving deeds to heal the past and love to start a new future. Great stories all. 5 stars all the way!
Blood Song: Immortal Keeper Vampire Paranormal Romance Series
by C.D. Gorri (Author), Glowing Moon Designs (Illustrator) Format: Kindle Edition