Book Marketing: Believe In Yourself If You Want Anyone Else To

I’ve got enough success now that I have troll vultures circling my profile every day trying to snipe at anything I say. Exhibit A is an innocuous book marketing post, where I’m appropriating a popular hashtag because it can apply to my book if you change the meaning of it as I did. I’m very savvy at social media marketing like this and stay on top of trends.

But the comment actually ties into a larger point in book marketing. Projecting confidence. Now this guy wasn’t ever going to buy my books anyway, he was just here to troll me, and so I can completely discount what he says. On the other hand, I do get approached by authors very regularly asking about their books and if I’d check it out or if I think it looks like it’s good from the cover/blurb. Invariably it’s accompanied by a self-defeating comment like “I hope it doesn’t suck too much.” That’s modesty, and that actually is the turn off to most potential readers.

If you’re modest about your work, it’s going to kill your sales.

You have to have confidence in your work if your’e going to be out there presenting it to an audience. Some people are going to love it, some people are likely going to hate it (unless it’s For Steam And Country which out of 88 reviewers, none are below 3 stars! Unheard of success!), but if you don’t come out there 100% behind your own work, people are going to sense that.

When you’re selling, a customer doesn’t need an excuse to walk away. Psychologically, they want to walk away because they’re so bombarded with ads and sales pitches constantly in their day to day lives. If you’re in the process of that and you let them know your product is not top notch, you’ve killed the sale every single time.

I’ve seen other authors post things like “I haven’t sold a book since the day it came out, and even then I only sold 5 copies! If someone doesn’t buy this I can’t keep writing!”  While this may get you a couple of sympathy sales from your mom and a couple of friends, your goal isn’t to get from 5 copies sold to 7 copies sold. This sounds like desperation, and it also signals to someone that other people weren’t interested in checking out your book, which turns them off as well.

It’s imperative for success that you wipe any lack of confidence from your mind in terms of your book or product you want to sell. If that means going through and doing another revision, making it better because you know it’s not the best, do that. If it means changing your cover design because it’s not top notch, do that too. If you don’t believe in what you’ve got, readers or potential customers won’t either.

It can be hard for a lot of people not used to sales. I come from a sales and marketing background so it’s much easier for me. But it starts with the way you internalize things as well. It’s mindset, like anything else. If you find yourself thinking “my book sucks”, get rid of those thoughts. Stick yourself in front of a mirror every morning and say “my book is great.” Externalizing a thought helps you to more naturally internalize it, especially with repetition. It’s a very necessary step toward getting the desired result — other people thinking your book is great.

If you like my blog and other content, you’ll really love Gravity Of The Game, which many people are talking about for the Nebula and Hugo awards. It’s classic science fiction that’s uplifting and heartwarming, and there’s nothing else out there like it in the market today. Check it out! 

That Time When Sour Scalzi Mansplained Being A Strong Woman To Oprah

Very interesting stuff. Scroll to about 20:22 to see the excitement.

Talking over her. Interrupting. I literally can’t even. He should attend sensitivity training immediately.

If you’re tired of old white men mansplaining, check out the book with a strong female lead by the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction. Zaira  is in charge in For Steam And Country..

 

No One Is Pure Enough For The Outrage Inquisition

The last couple days have been pretty eye opening, as I’ve watched a couple of SJWs get savaged by their own kind for not toeing the line hard enough. The first incident was a reviewer by the name of Bookworm Blues, who was all too happy to attack me for saying it’s not a good look to attack other authors to someone else. She posted an innocuous image on twitter:

Other than showing her bad taste in fiction, it’s not that interesting of an image. However, having played to the SJW outrage train, she made a fatal mistake: posting a single image that mentioned male authors. Even though this is just some powerless book blogger with a few hundred followers, dozens of comments, emails, blogs were made about her posting this image. Now despite her signaling, apparently she got a bunch of flack because it lists Robin Hobb (one of the better authors on her diagram) who is female and therefore she somehow offended Hobb by posting this? The situation is unclear, but what was clear, was she started receiving threats via email for her post. Bad enough that she was contemplating quitting Twitter:

The mob went after her, someone with zero power in the industry, because of one tweet that mentioned a few books in conjunction with emotional responses they evoke in readers. That’s it. Nothing offensive. Nothing weird. This is the level of crazy the SJWs go to to attack someone. And yes, I’m defending someone who attacked me for no reason. But seriously? This woman doesn’t deserve this kind of heat.

But it doesn’t stop there. The next interesting outrage of the day moved onto the Midwest Writers Workshop. This is a group that’s been teaching people how to write for 18+ years, running this non-profit, helping out. Of course, they’re steeped in SJW politics from the board on down to who they invite to speak at their conference, and have been perpetuating the culture of fake “representation” outrage for a long time.

This is even more unclear drama than happened with Bookworm Blues, as I can’t get to the heart of the details of what’s being accused with all the back and forth public signalling  going on from authors who aren’t remotely involved in it. The situation came to my attention when author Roxanne Gay called to boycott the conference:

This is a workshop designed for people just to teach n00b writers how to make their writing suck less. It’s not that interesting of an event for demanding boycotts, but perhaps they did something egregious?

Having seen the outrage-spin with different people and organizations, I investigated into this, hoping to find something interesting from a journalistic standpoint. What I found is that this is just another example of how the professional science fiction community is filled with worse drama than high school. Cliques will be cliques, and it’s ugly. As I mentioned, some things are unclear but here’s what I was able to determine on the situation from a factual standpoint:

  1. A woman who worked for the group was called fat by someone in the board of this conference in a private meeting.
  2. This woman at some point was not invited to come on the board, which I presume is unrelated to point 1 having seen no evidence to the contrary.
  3. Later on, the board decided they’re having problems and wanted to restructure how their efforts are going in order to streamline/make a better convention. They were planning on cutting someone else.
  4. This someone else claimed she was a whistleblower about the fat comment, and was removed from the board for whistleblowing. Made big internet stink about it. There is no evidence one way or another.
  5. The convention organizers posted a long-winded apology basically apologizing that someone on the board (not the person posting) called the first woman fat.
  6. SJWs smelled blood and went for “it’s not enough of an apology!” And that’s where calls to boycott, destroy people, etc. came into play, including some help from a NYTimes writer who decided this was the outrage cause of the day. I guess she wasn’t outraged enough by her pal Paul Krugman winning the #1 Fake News Award.

Not a very interesting story. Sometimes in journalism you come across interesting stuff, other times you don’t. In this case, everyone involved seems to be just absolutely steeped in high school drama and there’s no clear winner or innocent.

I do have advice for the conference however: your mistake was issuing a verbose public apology. You didn’t call someone fat. Someone else did. Even if someone else did, people call names all the time, it’s not a big deal and doesn’t merit you acknowledging it on a public forum. When you make a big apology like this that’s vague, you give openings to pick it apart. The intention of these people is to disrupt organizations and change their stated purposes from their stated purpose (in this case, just critiquing n00b writers and helping them get better) to a political agenda of some feminist unclear goal.  Because that’s their goal and not the surface of what they’re outraged about, they will use anything you post to try to destroy you. An apology only opens the door for their outraged friends to say “see! they are this bad and know it!” They’re not trying to meet you halfway.

I was hoping to have more, but the workshop did not reply to my comment asking for an interview at the time of this blog.

But the mistake is made, and I expect this conference is not much longer for this world. Oh well. When you play with social justice, the world loses, as excellent book reviewer, the Injustice Gamer says quite often. 

I write books that are just fun, drama free, politics free. My readers come in all shapes and sizes, fat, thin or in between, and I love them all! You should check it out because you’ll probably enjoy the epic adventure that captivates so many people. Join us and read For Steam And country today!

Bounding Into Comics Ember War Interview

Bounding Into Comics interviewed me yesterday about The Ember War, which is linked here. Interesting how they’re the only comic media outlet to pick up the announcement, with The Ember War books outselling the vast majority of Marvel/DC comics. It’s almost like the media doesn’t want any competition to the Big 2. Oh well, we’ll show them how to make great comics anyway! And Bounding’s work is appreciated. Very nice interview which you can read here.

If you want to help me produce comics faster, try supporting my Patreon!  I give you short stories, deleted scenes and first drafts from my books and I use the proceeds to fund artistic work. Those who have signed up already tell me it’s great value. Come join us! 

 

Comics Publishing Sinks To New Low In Blackballing

Megan Fox breaks it down in a crazy new expose on what’s happening at the independent comic level. Marvel wouldn’t even HIRE someone who’s conservative in the first place, so this ends up the last place Wil Caligan can get a job.

Caligan, a conservative Christian, had little chance of survival in that environment. One hint of wrongthink could spell curtains for any artist, writer or producer in today’s comics climate. In Caligan’s case, he made the catastrophic mistake of voicing his opinion about a pop culture story about a straight man rebuffing a kiss from a transwoman.

A few weeks ago, rapper Ginuwine was caught in an uncomfortable situation where a transgendered male to female tried to kiss him. When he rebuffed the advances, the internet accused him of transphobia. The lesson here seems to be that if Harvey Weinstein tries to kiss a woman, that’s assault. But if a transgendered person tries to force someone to kiss him there is a requirement for the victim to prove a lack of transphobia by complying. Caligan posted his thoughts on this situation and then all hell broke loose.

It’s absolutely crazy that he can’t state what he thinks about a really dangerous sexual assault on his own facebook page without the PC police trying to destroy his livelihood. This is what anyone who speaks out faces  I talk about this article and more on my YouTube:

We have to start supporting people like Wil to allow artists to speak freely and create the art they want at the independent level. The time for buying products from people who hate us and blackball us is over.

I create a lot of content on a daily basis from books, to stories, to articles, to videos on the cutting edge of culture. You can be a part of expanding this platform and bringing it to the next level. Support my Patreon and get exclusive stories and content every month!

Richard Fox’s The Ember War: Comic Adaptation!

Yesterday, Castalia House made a big announcement,  which is going to make a much bigger splash in the entertainment world than a lot of people might realize. I’ve signed with their new comic imprint to adapt Richard Fox’s bestselling military science fiction novel The Ember War into a graphic novel. Fox is one of the biggest science fiction authors in the field right now, including having won the Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction last year.

The Ember War itself is a masterpiece of military science fiction. When I first read the book I immediately messaged Fox with, “Wow, this reads just like a movie.” And it does. It’s fast paced sci-fi action with an incredibly epic plot and memorable characters. If I were in Hollywood, I’d be optioning this for a film immediately. It’s really that good.

I’m not in Hollywood, but I am in comics.

Vox Day and I have been talking about Alt-Hero, brainstorming for our co-written work in the universe for the last couple of months, and as he’s ramped up his new comic publishing house Arkhaven Comics, he was looking for additional content to keep the ball rolling while they’re building up the brand. Both being huge military science fiction fans, we started talking what genre books would be the best to adapt over several conversations. Between Vox and I, we have access to a lot of the greats, and you’d be very surprised as to some of the books we could get the license to and were in our discussions. But The Ember War kept coming up in those conversations as one of the best, and being so hot in the modern market, it made a lot of sense to pursue adapting this book in comic form.

We both contacted Richard Fox independently, and he was about as gracious as possible with the idea of his world being turned into comics. We’ve had several great conversations about a lot of things he’d like to see, and questions I’ve had to make sure we create the most faithful adaptation possible.

I’ve actually had the news for a couple of weeks, all the while I’ve been working on diligently on rereading the novel and starting on the script. You might have seen my social media posts about my “super secret comic project”. This is it. My paper copy of the Ember War is dog-eared in more than a hundred places, highlighted all over the place, I’ve pulled direct lines and descriptions from it. We’ve also got all the descriptions for the physical appearances of the main characters done, which Richard Fox worked on with me. It’s been a lot of work so far but it will be well worth it!

Right now issue 1 is on track to be written script-wise this week. We have a phenomenal artist who’s one of the best in the industry lined up for this, who has also worked on a lot of books you’ll probably recognize. I can’t wait for that to be announced. And it will be soon. His work is absolutely beautiful and will be great on this series.

As Castalia House mentioned in their announcement, this book will break down into 5 issues, about perfect for graphic novel form. We expect to have the first issue ready to go by summer, and barring any timing issues on the art front, the full graphic novel complete by the end of the year.

For now, you canhttps://www.amazon.com/Ember-War-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B010PSY6YW/delarroz-20 if you want to get in depth with the universe. Or if you’re new to me, check out my book, For Steam And Country. 

The Ever-Changing Narrative And Double Standards Show They’re Disingenuous

The reactions seem to be a law with these keyboard warriors out for vigilante social justice. 1. Someone flies in the face of their Narrative 2. They lose their collective minds and won’t stop droning on and on, parroting each other in an attempt to prove their virtue 3. When it doesn’t seem to be effective, they change the Narrative.

This is what’s been happening to me with the sci-fi establishment. These writers can’t seem to spend their time writing fiction like is their jobs (in theory) but they make  post after post and blog after blog trying to defame me, as if it’s going to stop me from writing great books that everyone reads.

The original Narrative was a defamatory statement calling me a “racist bully” and claiming I was “planning on engendering a hostile environment” – that’s quite a mouthful of lack of meaning. When it was clear that didn’t make any sense, and in terms of double standards, it could apply to almost everyone attacking me, they did what they always do, they changed the Narrative.

It took some time for the “he’s planning to record!” Narrative to surface. They were coached on it by a couple of my usual trolls before it came about, and I don’t believe it was ever part of the original Narrative plan, which was left vague and unprovable on purpose. This change in Narrative fast proved a mistake, because the double standards were even worse here. A quick YouTube search shows dozens of people who record at WorldCon regularly, and other conventions. It’s a normal occurrence with these events being open to the public and being in essence media events. Normal people saw this rightly as a violation of my civil rights and free speech as a journalist, and it wasn’t an effective strategy to be blasting me on this. The most damning part of this Narrative for the haters trying to criticize me on it was it said right on their website “Recording is permitted.” So it wasn’t about that.

In the past couple days, with that Narrative being such bad publicity for the convention because of the double standard they applied over political affiliation, it’s shifted to “he’s mean on the internet!”  NYT Bestsellers have been swearing about me on their twitter, lower-selling midlist authors are cheering and congratulating each other over spreading rumors and gossip like this is a high school clique rather than professionals. This strategy is going to backfire as well, because first, being mean on the internet is not a crime. No one has been banned from conventions over being mean on the internet before. And it applies to these folk in a massive double standard way. I don’t go around being nearly as mean or cruel as they are. I’m generally pretty nice and only even respond after someone’s been unusually cruel in the first place, which is well-documented. Anyone researching their “examples” of my “meanness” will find in every instance, those people attacked me hard first.  It’s another desperate effort to preserve an ever-shrinking clique, and it’s really sad to watch the lengths they’ll go to for their Narrative. If the standard for banning is being mean, all of these people who are attacking me now should be banned. But they won’t be, because of the double standard of their political affiliations.

And none of that has anything to do with conventions. As one of the commenters on a recent hate thread noted, someone who attacks me regularly even admits: “he really is open and friendly and personable in person at cons.” The Narrative doesn’t make any sense in this context.

It’ll be interesting to see what they’ll do when this backfires again because of the double standards and disingenuousness. We’ve seen them do this a dozen times to right-leaning authors in Sci-Fi over the last several years. You’d think they’d learn. But at the end of the day, these folks are scared of their diminishing power structures because of self-publishing and small press. They can’t stop my books from coming out, they can’t stop them from being well-received by readers despite their desperate attempts to destroy me personally.

Their motives are clear: ban first because of his identity, then we’ll come up with a reason later. If that reason doesn’t work, we’ll try a new one. Will they ever get tired of being dishonest?

If you like the blog and my work, do check out For Steam And Country. Everyone loves it.  It’s fun. It’s all-ages friendly. And because of you my readers, it’s been in the top 10 in Steampunk for the last 8 days straight. Read it and find out why readers love me so much.

Awesome New Swag!

As you guys may be aware, I’m developing a very cool fashion line to supplement my work in conjunction with CryptoFashion. We have an exciting development today:

First, there’s been a lot of ask for the hat I wear on a lot of my broadcasts, which says, “Make Science Fiction Fun Again. That’s my goal around these parts to make Sci-Fi fun again, and if you’re on board with that, now you can wear the red hat too and be proud. Available here:

We also have beautiful shirts that feature the art from my new banner. Fight the good fight!  Show your dedication to being a warrior for Christ: 

Very excited for these new items. I suspect they’ll be hot additions. Now we’ve got a pretty full store of cool swag. First we have a For Steam And Country book cover poster, which a lot of people asked for: 

We have a shirt with the official logo of the Grand Rislandian Army from the book. Gorgeous colors:

And finally the most popular item thus far, the OFFICIAL Happy Frogs T-shirt. This is for the Happy Frogs, the most powerful club  in science fiction who just launched their recent Ribbit Awards, the 2nd most prestigious awards in science fiction already.

Amazing to be able to get all of this done in such a short time. We keep going onward and upward and I’m still not tired of winning!