Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I've had a number of people tell me I should be diligent about not letting this blog go stale. I've been thinking on and off all day about what to write that's interesting enough for my *two followers* to read, and compelling enough to attract some new folks to my site as well.
I've been slogging through the writing of textbook chapters for a medical book publisher. Exciting, no. Does it pay the mortgage, yes. I've been distracted all day by Tweetdeck. It's an application that Seth and Scott recommended during the Author Bootcamp. Twitter applications have become as bountiful as tics on a mountain dog. Trust me tough, this is the one. I have columns that show updates from all the friends I follow, tweets that have mentioned me, and direct messages. There's also a column for recommendations on people I might want to follow. I noticed a lot of writers in there. Then, believe it or not, I have a column with updates for my Facebook friends. One stop shopping. If you put the cursor over a tweeter's picture you can decide if you want to reply, retweet, direct message or "other". A little notice comes up whenever a new message comes in. That was a little annoying at first but it's a pretty sweet application overall. The only downside is trying to provide an enthusiastic reply to a tweet of someone you're following only to be told "that person doesn't follow you". I hate rejection. Scott Sigler, where are you? I thought we bonded last weekend. Well, I have Seth.
Anyway, since Twitter posts have been more easily available, I'm picking up a lot of articles, blogs, websites and good ideas on writing and podcasting from the people I follow. I've been thinking about how I'm going to launch my podcasting career. My novel, going through final edits, was the main reason I considered doing this. I'm petty sold on what I learned last weekend in terms of the difficulty of publishing a first novel through a print house vs the more fun, easy and less expensive means of podcasting it and building a fan base that way.
When I enthusiastically announced my intention to podcast my book to my writer's group, many of them gave me the 1000 yard stare. It wasn't to quell my enthusiasm, but they had no idea what podcasting was. It reminded me that I've been so entrenched in the world of Podiobooks.com, iPod, iTunes and social media for the last few years, that I've fallen out of the mainstream. Does this mean I'm officially a geek?
One of the writer's club members was sincere in his enthusiasm not only hear about it but to take part. He's published several books, has a few more in the hopper and is also an artist and a columnist for the county paper. He has some wonderful humor material that would be just the right length for a podcast. The larger idea was to have a podcast for the whole writer's group and highlight different members each week. That idea met with a varied response. One podcaster-author friend reminded me how time consuming the production would be, another said "just focus on the book", and yet another thought it was a stellar idea. The fact is, the book isn't quiet ready yet, so I have to give this some more thought.
Then, there's the reality of putting the book in cyberspace for all to hear. The mechanics are much simpler than I thought, but I have to get over disliking the sound of my own recorded voice. We were told a "straight read" would be fine for the first time out if people like the book. You can get so caught up in music and sound effects that the story gets lost. Trying to do a production with guest voices is only for the foolhardy or those with much more time and patience than I have. I do wonder though, about managing different voices in the book. I have several characters with accents. Maybe I should do a test run and see what people think. I don't want my listeners to be so distracted by crappy accents that it detracts from the story.
The biggest psychological hurdle, even more than giving away the book for free, is the fact that there will be people who won't like it. There are parts that are dark and edgy and won't appeal to an average reader. This isn't "Alice in Wonderland". It's more like 'firefighter going through dark night of the soul'. I guess I have to expect that I will have negative reviews. It's all part of the game, eh. An expression I heard lately was something like "you can face negativity or just live in obscurity." I guess it's a modern take on "nothing ventured, nothing gained". So true ...
And I was worried about having enough to write tonight ...