My Blog is Now Available on the Kindle

Subscribe to mlvwrites on the Amazon KindleAnd now for a public service announcement.

If you enjoy reading my trials and tribulations and appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this blog over the years, then you may want to consider taking advantage of a new service. Now, you can read my posts from the comfort of your own e-reader, the Amazon Kindle.

Included with your subscription is a fourteen day free trial. And yes, the listing is under my name as opposed to mlvwrites.com. And yes, my name is quite long, a subscription in and of itself.

I hope you’ll consider adding me to your queue. I may even wind up emulating the letter “E” in my posts…

Educate, Enlighten, Entertain…

Monday’s Manic Musings of Magnificence

After staying up into the wee hours of the night re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I was a little groggy this morning. So? Down, down, down I went, down the road of hyper-caffeinated.

And now I’m flying. WHOO-HOOO! The end result being these magnificently manic musings that shall now assault your senses for Monday’s post. While listening to Muse. You’ve been warned…

We’re in the process of moving website servers, so it looks like all the traffic-related issues are going to disappear shortly. I’m pretty excited about that, because it’s been a pain dealing with load times. I’m going to be writing a new monthly column and plan on celebrating that with an appropriate theme week. Plus, we’ve got a great promotion coming up in July for FlamesRising.com and I suspect our traffic will spike.

When I started going back to conventions this year, I got the chance to sit down and talk shop with people I’ve gotten to know. I had a really good conversation with Monte Cook and Matt Forbeck over dinner, and it’s still sticking with me. One of the things Matt pointed out was that I’m probably hypersensitive to rampant self-promoters because of my background in online marketing.

Yeah, this is true. However, I think there’s something to be said for the brave souls who are trying to navigate through the upheaval in the industry. It does take a lot of gumption/cajones/audacity to put yourself out there and say “buy my book.” (Or books, as the case may be.) I’m not comfortable with super-aggressive tactics because that’s not my personality. When I walk into a store, for example, I hate being hounded by salespeople. I want the time to browse and decide for myself what I need/want to get.

My style of sales is to build relationships with people. I want to get to know my readers, because I feel they’re my clients. I’m not going to make every reader happy, but hearing from them is so, so important because books are the end result of a symbiotic relationship between writers and readers. Without readers, I wouldn’t exist.

Sales and marketing techniques are definitely author’s choice, because different things work for different people. It’s the same thing like developing a writing career. Some authors are happy publishing one book; others are in it for the long haul.

The biggest trick, I feel, is finding that balance of what you’re happy with. The more I learn about my work as an author, the more I learn about myself. I think that’s pretty tricky for most authors to figure out, but for me? I didn’t “choose” to be a writer. This vocation chose me. (Or more like, demanded that I do this or else.)

Like many authors, a lot of things got in the way of that vocation. Job. Life. Etc. No, there’s never supposed to be an excuse, but no matter what I’m doing — I always come back to it. I can’t quit my word addiction, because when/if I do, I no longer feel whole.

Right now, I don’t feel whole persay, because my writing has been touch-and-go due to a bout of Eeyore-itis. But now? I’m energized and ready to rock my keyboard. Ready. To. ROCK.

Of course, it helps that I know exactly what I want to write. 🙂 BOO-YAH!

Caturday: Cat Invasion

Today’s Caturday post takes on a somber tone. I fear that as much as I am a friend to cats, dogs and small woodland creatures everywhere, I will not be safe from…

CATS IN TANKS.

And yes, this is a little violent. Along the lines of Starship Troopers. You’ve been warned.

Cats in Tanks from Whitehouse Post on Vimeo.

Day 74 of 100: Reinforcing Silence

Today’s post will point you to an article on the SFWA.org blog that I feel is extraordinarily relevant to being creative. The author, Leo Babauta, spoke to several writers, actors, musicians, etc. on the value of solitude and what it can do for you. Then, he goes on to explain how participation is also crucial. You can’t have one without the other and, if this social media sabbatical has taught me anything, I am finding that to be the case in my own life.

Here’s a quote from the article:

I’ve reflected on my own creative habits, but decided I’d look at the habits that others consider important to their creativity. I picked a handful of creatives, almost at random — there are so many that picking the best would be impossible, so I just picked some that I admire, who came to mind when I thought of the word “creative”.

This was going to be a list of their creative habits … but in reviewing their lists, and my own habits, I found one that stood out. And it stands out if you review the habits and quotes from great creative people in history. — SOURCE: The Number One Habit of Creative People

There’s several great quotes in the article and it does offer quite a few tips. The Number One Habit of Creative People is definitely worth a read if you have your time.

[Call for Quotes] How Did You Get Published?

Hi folks,

Based on the popularity of my article yesterday for SFWA.org entitled Message to New Writers: It’s Okay to Focus on Your Craft, I would like to follow up in July with a new article that highlights how published authors got their start.

    If you are a published author who has gotten paid for your fiction, please consider telling us about the first story you ever published and where it was featured.

    You may contact me directly or provide a quote in the comments below along with your website.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: no two paths within this industry are alike. You and I may have opinions about the approach an author has, but at the end of the day those thoughts mean diddly. What matters, is focusing on your own work. What you are comfortable doing. What you are happy with.

I hope by exploring other people’s stories, in addition to my own, that we’ll not only shed some insight on these diverse paths, but we’ll also provide new authors with some much-needed encouragement.

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