When you’re hustling to become the next big thing and you don’t have the budget of Brangelina’s landscape architect, you need to become a one man marketing band. This goes for independent authors, musicians, artists and actors. You need to get your name out there while trying to perfect your craft – usually with limited time and money. This will sometimes feel like mission impossible. Without Tom Cruise.
Here you have two covers of the same novel, my Hollywood love story called Hollywood Ass.
Despite positive reviews and feedback, it hasn’t really taken off in sales, the way The Wake-Up Call did, so I decided to put my online marketing cap on (an indie author is really like a one marketing man band) and A/B-test two different book covers.
I sometimes get complaints from family and friends that I’m too friendly with cab drivers. This doesn’t mean I ask them for their numbers or touch their inner thighs while they drive, it just means I’m generally curious about people (in general, not only cab drivers) and think there’s always a chance I might learn something new.
The simple answer is: because it matters. In everything we do. From the dinner table, to a conversation with a stranger on a train, even in how corporations interact with their consumers (there’s a job called corporate storyteller).
We all tell stories, anecdotes or episodes from our lives, so in a way we’re all storytellers. So even if you don’t write or tell stories for a living, you probably do it when you’re with friends or family. Our lives are made up of stories and we shouldn’t be afraid to tell them, because our stories are what makes us alive.
I was talking about the school days with a friend of mine yesterday and got into the subject of teachers. We have all had a wide variety of them, ranging from good to terrible. I remember almost all my school teachers, from first grade to university. Thinking about them now as people, instead of “the maths teacher, the PE teacher” etc, paints a completely different picture. A more personal and in some cases disturbing one.
I’m writing a chapter in my third novel Six Strings that is called Waking Up. It’s about the main character waking up in patch of grass with a fresh wound at the back of his head and no memory of how he – or it – got there. I wouldn’t want to put my waking up in an equally dramatic way, but it’s a bit like that, sans the blood.
Malcolm Gladwell coined the phrase 10 000 hours in his book “Outliers” and what he meant with that was that to achieve mastery in anything, you need at least 10 000 hours, no matter what and how much talent you possess.
As I get older I’m really starting to grasp this idea more and more. Looking at both my writing and my tennis, I’m beginning to realize the sheer amount of work I need to put in to keep improving. But this is not off-putting, rather the opposite, since I know that as long as I’m working hard and consciously trying to improve – I will.