Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Common Courtesy and a Handshake

In my previous post on July 10, Tweet Tweet I shared how I doubled my number of Twitter followers in a couple weeks. Well, it's a couple more down the road and I've added about 350 new followers, not doubling my 413 but quite near.

I only share that to give you an idea of what can be done. I'm new at this and after watching ya'll who have thousands of followers, I've learned it's more than method. It is what we all like to feel around us-- common courtesy and encouragement. You are all a bunch of caring, encouraging and friendly people, especially the Horror writers, who would think. I bet they don't want anybody to know so, shhh.

Now, for the most part, we are dealing with unseen people, but it still works. People need to know that they matter, that they are noticed and someone cares. How the hell are we suppose to do that on Twitter.

Follow people you like and hope they return the favor.
When people follow you FOLLOW them back whether you like them or not, but not the automated bots. If you look at their post you should be able to tell if you have a real live person there or not. All Retweets and no direct posts is a CLUE. It's not proof but it means something.

After people follow you-for heaven's sake- Thank them. Then take another step and Retweet some of their posts. It's how they'll meet other people.
It also helps to put interesting stuff of your own, pithy quotes, cute puppy and kid pics etc. Start a conversation, butt into one. It's OK.

One thing I found to help make us a friendly community:
Every day or two I put together a post that looks something like this,

I found this gets thrown all over the Twitterverse. People like seeing their name in lights.

What's all this got to do with selling books? Relationships my friend. All sales or at least the good ones thrive on relationship.
Be sincere. Sincerely care

Sell and promote your book, but do it sparingly. People don't want to feel used.
A good book on the basics and some advanced stuff is "Twitter for Writers" by @RayneHall 

Lastly- it ain't easy. It's a lot of work. An app like I use @hootsuite helps a lot. You can write a lot of posts and schedule them for the future.

There is a lot more to say... But people hate it when you go long.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lifestyle Interrupt-us

Don't let your lifestyle get in the way of your writing. Yeah Yeah! I can hear the boos and catcalls from here, and some trash even landed on my desk, no doubt thrown from the top balcony on the East Coast.

As I often say here on this blog (and in real life), stick with me a minute and I'll make it worth your while--hopefully.

In the present version of my life I am the major caretaker for my now three-year-old son and also the homemaker. Not Mr. Mom or stay-at-home-dad but a homemaker. Since my wife's career has taken off and she is the main breadwinner, it's a no-brainer. I'm learning to cook in a most efficient manner, and do laundry without killing the clothes. The house could be cleaner, but HEY!

If you are a struggling writer, filled with the desire to write and actually want people to read what you wrote, you need time, and lots of it.

Well, as the newest version of my life ramped up, my time to write kept shrinking until I was about to kill it and throw the body off the end of the pier. NO, not my family--my dreams of writing. Don't pick up the phone to call the authorities on me just yet. I know where my priorities lie and I love my wife and little boy more than anyone or anything. Including writing.

I just couldn't do it though. I couldn't kill the writing, bug, dream, passion, gift, vision or whatever you want to call it. SO, I had to make it fit within my life. 

I have written on trains, model and real, in parks and playgrounds, at museums and while my son slept in my lap. I have penned some good words while I was holding one end of a Hot Wheels track or playing trains on his elaborate wooden track. I have edited my book while cooking dinner or waiting for the clothes in the dryer to fluff for the tenth time.

The great thing is, we now have iPads. iPhones and all kinds of technological marves that make it possible.

I never thought I could write outside of dedicated time, but I have done it. Now it's like breathing.

This is not a, hey look at me (well maybe a little since we writers are a narcissistic bunch). This is a slap, shove or pat on the back to say, "Keep writing!" No matter your situation, don't let your ifestyle dictate your destiny.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tweet Tweet

Could it really be that simple? A little birdie told me so. 

When I sent my first novel out to the editor @BZhercules I finally got down to the business of promoting my book "No More Mister Nice Guy" a tale of improbable redemption.
From reading, watching and common sense I learned I needed to build a platform from which to be heard or seen. So, starting with less than 300 followers 10 days ago, I've been able to get to 413. That's over 10 a day or better than 35% increase with little more effort than collecting quotes and great tweets to retweet. It's all about relationship even if it's not face to face.
Here it is:
Get an app like @hootsuite or others. Then you can schedule tweets and FaceBook posts to go out while you play sleep or write that next book.
Collect stuff people would like to see then Retweet or post. Don't forget to post links to your upcoming book and blog like this one, but don't overdo that one. You might lose followers like rats off a sinking ship, and who's to blame them.
Next, keep an eye on new followers and send out a post with all their names such as - Hey you all look good. Thanks to my new followers @mikeyznsacto @billyjoebob and so on.
Make sure you also follow back those new followers.
Next go to their profiles and schedule Retweets of their best posts, promote their blog provided you read it first. One I like is from @NatRusso he started inexperienced like myself and works a day job. He's a great writer and has lot of good wisdom.

Very important, be polite. Always thank people for following retweeting or promoting your stuff.

Like I said, I learned by watching.

Soon enough the follows will start piling up.

Reminder- I only just got started at this and have only a hint at what to do. This is my blog that I use to promote and build my platform. I wrote it while riding the train with my 3-year-old son. If you like it. Promote it and I'll promote your book blog or whatever.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Smashwords 2014 Survey

Every author new or old trying to market their books needs this information. Valuable information to help you make decisions on how you market, price and promote your book.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Editing Psychosis

I don't think I'm truly psychotic, my associates might tell you a different story though. But, I am guilty of something I've termed 'Editing Psychosis'. It is not the inability to edit, it is being unable to stop and say, "Enough already." Different than perfectionism, it takes a perfectly good and often great sentence and twists and turns it until it is often unrecognizable and barely to be comprehended.

The only way out I've found is to hit UNDO enough times to get back where I started, turn off MS Word and if need be the laptop, desktop, iPad or phone and go do something entirely foreign to writing. If we call ourselves a writer, then very few things fall outside the pale of our craft. 

All of lives experience is collected by our crafty little minds and stored, filed and or stacked in messy little piles on the desk of our mind; the people in our lives all make for tremendous characters.

We just need to put down our work, step away and refresh. If we are unable to do that we need to write new material instead of going round and round the editing carousel.

My manuscript is out to my editor who I believe is a great choice @BZHercules. Beth did a free ten-page test ride and I thought the results stellar. So after several drafts and countless hours in the editing dungeon and a paper proof, I released 'No More Mister Nice Guy'. He was probably glad to get away from me.

http://BZHercules.com offers the lowest prices & highest quality services to #indies. Please send any inquiries through http://www.bzhercules.com/contact_us.html She offers a wide range of author services and also academic editing. Trailers, Book Reviews and Featured Authors.

Find me on twitter @mikeyznsacto

Monday, July 7, 2014


If you have found your way here, you are one of the fortunate (hopefully) first.  Greetings! and Welcome.
This Blog's purpose has several folds:
1. A place for Mike Matheson to offer some form of public service.
2. A place that public service could possibly be of value.
3. A place to build a collaboration of first time authors like myself.

Collaboration has varied definitions depending on who, why and what you are collaborating on, so before I lose you. 

I wish to share not only my experience navigating the waters of first-time authorship, though I do love to talk about myself; I wish to learn from you, hear your story, get tips and feedback on your journey as you navigate the huge ocean of publishing your first book.

The main point of contact at this time is Twitter @Mikeyznsacto I've found there a veritable New World of Indie authors such as myself.

If you are in the process of or have recently published your first book, of any genre, I'd love to hear from you. Tweet me follow me DM me and let me know you are out there.

I've never once been short of something to say or write. I can give a pretty good short story on that piece of bark littering my front walk. Never had writer's block, understand it YES, but so far (Knock on wood, cross my fingers, stick needle in my eye and all that rot) never had it.

So, I would like to feature items by you the New Author like me, longer than a TWEET on your experience, your tips etc. 
Also, I will promote your new book on my Twitter feed and possibly here at First Time Author. No Erotica please

Please if you are very accomplished at your craft already and would like to teach us--Tweet it and I'll ReTweet it or possibly share it in my posts.

Mike Matheson