Monday, September 17, 2012

Reaching Out, by Jack Whitsel

copyright Jack Whitsel, 2012

Three months have passed since the debut of Shadows of Kings. Not only was this the first look at the Dragon Rising series, but my debut as an author. So, the rookie took his swing…sometimes trying to get the base hit, and on occasion – swinging for the fences. There have been both quantitative and qualitative victories – the latter dealing more with the overall experience itself than anything else. But one thing is certain, the journey has been priceless.

When I last visited Murderby4, the article I shared dealt with the love of writing and the discipline involved when taking on this endeavor. This time, I wish to share some of my experiences – all of which deal with reaching out. Most are positive, but to keep it real, I have to include the bad.   

This group is priceless. As a debut author, they were and remain my launch pad.  I can’t say enough about bloggers. There are too many to name and what they offer for writers is wondrous variety. Some offer spotlights, others do reviews, and some offer both. What you get is exposure from their loyal readers at an inexpensive cost. (Cost is generally associated with blog tour coordinators, but otherwise, it’s free.) And at times, there is wonderful feedback in the commentary sections of their sites. The downside…some sites receive little to no traffic, but once again…the price is generally free.

Live Interviews
My experience with interviews has been solely on Blog Talk and other Internet recordings. I have to say… this is a fantastic medium to get the word out. When I did my first interview, it was a thrill to hear someone else mention Shadows of Kings. I never fall short of mentioning my book to others, but when someone else addresses your book and asks questions about the content, you are filled with an affirmation that your work is out there and ALIVE! I have no downside or bad experiences when it comes to this medium. Regardless of the number of listeners, talking about your book in an interview is another way to build experience for public speaking – the next medium on the list.

Public speaking – Signings/Speeches
This is a powerful medium. Thus far, I have had the pleasure of two signings and one keynote speech. There is nothing as gratifying as reaching out to people in a public forum. Hearing what people have to say about Shadows of Kings and answering their inquiries humanizes the writing process, which is generally a solitary endeavor until release. Though the occasions for public forums are not as numerous as Internet visits, I cannot deny the impact. People see you and you see them. It’s personal and priceless.

Social Media

Twitter: I have found that Twitter is resourceful for finding and/or creating a community of authors. Now for the hard love:  At the time of writing this article, I had 968 followers. Out of that bucket, I have developed wonderful relationships with 5% of them. The rest of the 95% neither equated to sales nor friendships.
Facebook: To express how I feel about Facebook I’m going to simply defer to J.R.R Tolkien:
“I know half of you as much as I like, and like half of you more than you deserve” – Bilbo Baggins (Fellowship of the Ring)

I could go on and on about the various social sites, but I can sense the Murderby4 hook coming, so I’m keeping this article reasonably short. 

So…from a debut author to all existing and aspiring authors - thanks so much…and keep writing.

Oceans of Love,

Jack Whitsel

Jack is a native Californian, but has made Oregon his home since 1982. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Finance from Portland State University, but studies medieval history in his spare time. His favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction with a medieval emphasis. Shadows of Kings, the first novel of the Dragon Rising Series is the love child born of these two passions.
 I love the elements of fantasy when mixed with the gritty aspects of a medieval society. In the worlds I create, there are neither citadels of shimmering glass nor any utopian realms.”
The final contributing catalyst to Jack’s creative process comes from his two sons, Josiah and Noah. They remind him how important an active imagination can be, and are the first to hear his tales of diabolical wizards and valiant knights.

“Because of my boys, I still believe in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy.”

1 comment:

Kim Smith said...

hi Jack! thanks for posting with us... really, what did we do before there was Twitter and Facebook???