I was honored to be asked to join the editorial board of EBook Blaster just prior to the new year. It is a unique opportunity for writers to be able to form a group and give back, and I jumped at the opportunity. The board is comprised entirely of independent writers; from poets, authors, bloggers to freelancers. Nearly everything about the project is geared towards providing resources to other writers. So many times, competition among writers takes priority. The writing world can be cut-throat sometimes. I am excited to be surrounded by some very successful, intelligent folks who want to bridge the gap between writers – but also create an environment of cooperation to engage and reach readers.
Beginning on January 31, 2016, EBook Blaster is hosting a free poetry competition. You can find out the details by going to their events page. It’s a real opportunity for poets to be recognized for their work. I am happy to be one of the judges in the contest and help put together an anthology of submitted poems that will be free to the public to read.
As for the Sasquatch —
I was sitting up late going over some potential opportunities for the upcoming year and this show was playing in the background on television. I just happened to look up and see a group of completely serious science types walking around with GoPro cameras in night vision and calling out to Sasquatch. Yes, grown adults in the dark howling like banshees and attempting to lure in the elusive creature.
It made me smile, and then a thought popped into my head. It wasn’t ‘these folks are crazy’ or ‘give me a break’. For all I know, the Bigfoot is real. I do not plan on looking for any, though. The thought that formed was that finding the secrets to successfully reaching a target audience for your work (books, short stories, etc) can be nearly as elusive as what has become something of a global rural legend (not urban because Sasquatch are never at Starbucks).
There are advice books out there, and plenty of blogs, that address the issue of the secret to reaching your audience. I am not going to pretend I have all the answers. I have plenty of questions.
The key to finding a Sasquatch appears to be to accidentally happen upon one. I realized that all too often you can get so focused on making one plan work that you miss things right next to you – and that may just be where your elusive audience member is!
Sasquatch hunting seems to be at least 85% “finding the right habitat”. That made me realize, I may not be creating a habitat that encourages readers to graze in my meadow (bad metaphor, perhaps). I put together a list of things I believe can create a better browsing area.
1. Encourage my readers to give me feedback, even if it doesn’t taste the best, to promote openess and a real dialogue that improves my work.
2. Set out a virtual welcome mat that says ‘mi casa es su casa’ and allow readers into my world – including goal-making and project ideas. They say if you want to quit something, get support. Why not try that with trying to start something?
3. Invite readers to get involved in my work directly. Perhaps a reader has a great idea for a character. Maybe another can see a problem area in a way I present a plot.
The Sasquatch Project (yes, that is what I am calling it) is going into full effect in February. I’ll keep you updated on my research and the results. If you want to join me in the hunt – comment below with your ideas on how those three items can be accomplished. We may just unlock the secret – without using a single GoPro Camera