Monday, July 28, 2014

Welcome to John Ellsworth Books

I have to wonder when I see fellow writers say they need "help marketing" their books. Help in what form? TV commercials? PPC ads? Magazine display ads, Yellow Pages? TV spots? Then there are the social media "opportunities" so often touted--Twitter and FB and Linked In etc. Then there are the Bookbubs, ENT's, BKNights and etc. Then there are growing up before our very eyes a new group calling themselves "estributors" who claim, variously, knowledge of how to manipulate the Amazon algorithm. Sounds scientific and thus sounds appealing as well. (As a one-time software engineer who has written his share of algorithms, ahem, excuse me while I explode with hilarity at this notion,)

I am inclined to venture that, in our particular line of retailing, perhaps the best (and possibly only) effective medium is word-of-mouth. Maybe rather than casting about for ways to "market" our work we should instead be looking at ways to let our work market us. Which means, of course, we have to write books that make people want to tell other people about what we've given them to read.

I think I like this idea. I think I am compelled to look harder at my writing and learn how to make it better. How to make it compelling. How to make it have the kind of impact that makes people want to tell other people about it.

That's the direction I think I'll head.


Unknown said...

As a newbie in the same position, that's music to my ears: let my work market me. Write more books? I am totally, 100%, down with that. I LOVE to write.

John Ellsworth said...

Well, it's worked for me pretty well. A person can advertise and do all those wonderful things, but the bottom line is, have you touched your reader? That's what i try to keep in mind and keep trying to improve the book that's underway.


Unknown said...

Interesting that you're an ex-software engineer. I am currently a software engineer, looking to write my way out of doing this for the rest of my life!

Was this before you were a lawyer?

John Ellsworth said...

I was a C#/VB/Javascript/HTML coder with certifications in VS6 that got me hired at Intel, Allstate, Searle, Morningstar. It was all right but I had more bills to pay, so returned to law after about 3 years in a cube.

Then I got burned out on law. But thru all this I was writing. From 1965 to 2014 I wrote novels that went nowhere (trad pub) and had an agent but "this wasn't right or that wasn't right" and I soon tired of the game. Found Kindle Direct Publishing and began putting my books up there--the rest is history. Now I sell tons of books and am in love with my readers, who are very kind to me.

You CAN make the change!

Unknown said...

Thank you, kind sir. It seems you had the writing germ in you for a long time, while doing other things to support yourself. The same is true for me.

My genre is science fiction. If you're into that, I'll let you know when my book comes out.