Networking, or Meeting New Friends

I was involved in a chat session last night through my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, discussing networking with other writers. This is an invaluable concept, especially in this digital world. If you are not fortunate enough to be involved in a local critique group or writer’s support group, there are many online venues to stay in touch with other writers, share knowledge, get feedback and suggestions. We don’t compete against each other; we are thrilled for each other’s success and strive to attain our own.

What I find equally enjoyable is networking with readers. I am fortunate to have a small following at work, people who are thrilled to know I had a new book published, Ark City Confidential, and want to own it, perhaps because of the potential of future fame. You know: “Hey, I worked with that guy.”

Beyond the scope of the “real world” I have come across readers and bloggers who enjoy getting their hands on a new book and reviewing it, sharing it within the circle of those who follow THEIR insights. The virtual bookshelves are filled with volumes from countless writers, all reaching out and hoping to find a special audience. So it is these readers and bloggers who light the path ahead and make it easier to find a worthwhile story to download on their Kindle or Nook or tablet. Obviously they are not going to sign off on anything and impugn their integrity. So it is incumbent upon all writers to put forth quality work and reach out to ALL potential readers.

Networking is a way of making new friends with like interests. On one hand it is easier now with all the internet related options. On the other hand, an author has to work harder to present themselves in as true and honest a fashion as possible without the benefit of shaking someone’s hand or looking at them in the eye. My hope is that I have been able to do that.

For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy the book trailer. And if you have purchased the book and read it, please leave a review as this is the ultimate key to an author’s success.


“Ark City Confidential” – The Book Trailer

To be perfectly honest, book trailers are a lot of fun but don’t really resonate with audiences the way movie trailers do. After all, using a visual medium to entice folks to watch…a visual medium is a no-brainer. The book trailer simply presents images that give a potential reader the added interest after seeing the book cover and reading the blurb.

It is for that reason that I have created my own for all of m traditionally published books. It just doesn’t make sense to pay for something that doesn’t yield great dividends. For me, it’s simply about maintaining the digital skills that this new world of publishing requires.

I use my own existing photos or take photos so that I don’t worry about copyright infringement. I’ve also located Kevin MacLeod’s website, A Scottish musician and composer, MacLeod offers a wide range of music royalty free as long as it is credited. A donation via Paypal is graciously accepted.

For the book trailer to “Ark City Confidential”, I started by searching for the music. Ten options presented themselves before I settled on one based on mood and tone as well as length. Then I wrote a script. Like an old college class I took over thirty years ago on writing television commercials, it would be necessary to match the sections of the script with visuals.

This is where the problem arose. This novel was a Prohibition-era crime story. There were no photos I could take locally that would present themselves ideally and I didn’t have any photos. Or did I? When my father passed away in 2012, my wife and I returned home with boxes of photo albums which turned into a nightmarish scanning project. My dad, who was nearly 90, pretty much grew up in the time period.

Then there were a few photos from the past 40 years that could be changed to black-and-white or sepia for effect. In essence, I used my family as representations of criminals in a book trailer. My grandfather, father, uncle, cousin, and even myself, all converted into 1930’s gangsters.

I think they would have been proud.

“Ark City Confidential” is available from The Wild Rose Press and on Amazon.

Photo montage as a form of book marketing.

Many people are familiar with book trailers as a way to promote one’s work. I’ve got two that I’ve created, one for Kansas Two-Step and another for Quick.

But I got the idea to do a photo montage on Facebook in which images, closely resembling scenes from the book, would be posted, along with a page number and quote. It is far more brief than a book trailer and perhaps easier to accomplish. I realize that the concept of motion and music might be more powerful to some. however, with the right image and a tantalizing quote, this marketing tool might just as easily capture someone’s attention.

For those not one of my friends on Facebook, here it is. Any feedback or comments would be greatly appreciated.

P. 27 “And maybe it was just sour grapes because I lived in a combination loft/efficiency/office in a crummy old building on Douglas just outside of Old Town.”

P. 26 “I’d like to say that I was blown away by the architectural splendor of the house design or the magnificence of the landscaping. However, the superlatives would have been wasted. Each home had the same “trying-to-outdo-you” attitude making the whole effect moot.”

P. 38 “The garage door was open, the punching bag was swinging, and Gregg was lying down on the weight bench doing 200 lb. presses. The grey t-shirt-with-ripped-off-sleeves was covered with sweat and the ‘ooh’ was followed by the ‘aah’ as he lifted.

P. 78 “I paid my bill quickly and left. I walked down to Old Town Square and sat on a bench and stared at the shooting waters fountain.”

P. 45 “The early news on the NBC affiliate reported a body found in a field off E. 61st St. and North Broadway not too far from I-35. Nothing unusual about a murder except the severity of the assault.”

P. 168 “Still running the porn lines?” “Not enough money in that business. No, we reacquainted ourselves with some of our former colleagues. We have a lovely fenced-in house with a pool out in Goddard. It’s on a large piece of land so we have a lot of privacy.”

P. 152 “I hack into public and private databases to find out information which is useful to my clients who are usually shyster lawyers looking to get huge settlements in divorce cases.”

P. 14 “I sit here most of the day at my trusty computer. Occasionally, I go to the library or the Epic Center. More often than not, I go to Old Town for lunch and a beer. But I figure it’s within walking distance so it’s easy to stumble back here.”