Each week we’re taking five, maybe ten, of YOUR writerly questions and setting about answering them for you.
Ask Dan ANYTHING
Skill level doesn’t matter. Newbie writer, veteran writer, you have questions. I’ll opine; maybe some others will chime in with their thoughts, and hopefully YOU will get several good solutions to choose from.
Or something like that.
Wanna know what dialogue tags are, and why you don’t want them in your story?
Wanna know how to create a “page turner” story?
Wanna know why you need to build an author platform?
And it doesn’t have to be directly writing related. Sometimes you need to get in the writing mood by NOT doing writer stuff. Maybe you wanna know about doing author events, but maybe you wanna know about public speaking, or… I don’t know; the London train system. (I had some trouble there, if you’ll recall.)
Or why so much of Europe requires you to pay to pee…
I don’t want to suggest ideas TO you, I wanna know what’s on YOUR mind.
What are YOU struggling with?
What are you curious about?
Ask me anything.
We have lots of smart people here; if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does. Or I’ll make something up.
Go ahead, you know you want to.
ASK ME ANYTHING!
Post your questions in the comment section below. I’ll answer the first five, maybe the first ten – so don’t goof off. Post your question NOW!
Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious romantic comedy “Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure.”
Click HERE to get your copy of Poggi FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Also available in paperback.
4 thoughts on “Ask Dan ANYTHING”
When writing my first draft, is it best to literally just write and not think too much about fluency or potholes etc? I’m currently in the middle and its already longer than I though it would be with new twists appearing as I write. I do have a plan and a timeline but sometimes stories write themselves! (I’m fostering a lot of word culling…) Thank You!
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Yep. Just write. Get it out of your head and onto the page.
Honestly, sometimes I go so fast it’s practically jibberish – but it’s on the page. You can’t edit what isn’t there.
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Book Marketing – DOs and DON’Ts – what have you done, and what works for you and what has not worked for you?
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This is a really good question – and it’s probably the hardest question every author wrestles with.
Jason Matthews in one of his courses – and he said I could use this – he lists all the things he did that didn’t work. Giving books away to radio stations, all kinds of things. He spent a ton of money and nothing worked.
So I learned from him and I try to not spend money without knowing what I’m doing, and I absolutely track the result.
Anytime you do any kind of advertising, you need to be checking the results to see did this turn into book sales. Lots of times I run an ad on Facebook and I get a few sales. But I get thousands of people clicking and looking and viewing – but only a few sales. Many times your ads are not gonna pay for themselves because the advertiser doesn’t know what they’re doing.
So the important thing to remember is there’s not a homerun or a magic bullet.
You have to be the little red hen. You have to do lots of little things all the time and then one day you look up and realize you sold a bunch of books over the last six months and you can’t really figure out how you did it.
I know that’s not helpful, right?
But it really is.
Because you’re going to do interviews and you’re going to do blog tours and you’re going to do Twitter posts and you’re going to do all kinds of little things that don’t seem to add up to anything but each one by itself is helping build to a critical mass.
Paid advertising is a great way to spend a bunch of money and not have anything to show for it. So you have to ask your friends what worked for them and you have to remember everybody defines success differently. If I spend $50 on an ad, I need to make a profit off of that ad. If I’m selling the books at $.99, I might have to sell more than 150 bucks to make my money back because the commission rate the royalty rate is only 30%. I’m not in the business to give away books and keep the advertisers making money, I’m in this to make money for me.
That has to be your attitude.
So you can’t necessarily run 10 ads at one time because then you don’t know which one was effective.
When you ask your friends what works for them, it may have worked because they were a mystery and your sci-fi book isn’t going to work in that venue. So it’s extremely frustrating. But track everything, log everything, and do lots and lots and lots of little things.
Have a blog so that people can get to know you – but don’t expect the blog to sell books.
Be on Twitter so people know you – and don’t tweet about your book but maybe 10% of the time.
There are lots of little rules but ultimately you have to do lots of everything and you have to track what works and you have to rely upon your friends and you have to take some risks.
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