Brian T Shirley

Brian T Shirley
Jokers Wild, Atlantis Resort

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Storyteller's Grove: Urban Fantasy Novel to Help Kick Cancer Overboard

Storyteller's Grove: Urban Fantasy Novel to Help Kick Cancer Overboard: Everyone knows that urban fantasy novels involve kick-ass heroes and heroines with a softer hidden side.We write what me know, especially ...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Writing Commando: Author/Comedian, Brian T. Shirley regales us with ...

Writing Commando: Author/Comedian, Brian T. Shirley regales us with ...:    Ah, summertime. A chance to kick back, relax and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of life. If you’re lucky, your days will include a f...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Promotion, the toughest part of being an Indie

  I was emailing back and forth with the editor of the Amock comedy site the other day and he lamented to me about the whole promotion thing. Amock was an online comedy comedy magazine until about a week ago. Now it's a comedy website, which does not bother me I still write for them and hope the site is successful. I was telling him about my new book coming out ( A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the club) and all the promotional work I have been doing. Interviews, setting up future interviews, the whole social media thing, making contacts and just plain getting the word out. He sent me a email asking how the hell I could keep it up because it's just so damn frustrating. He's right, it's a lot of work for no money what so ever....right now. I'm busting my ass for the hope of a future pay off, but then again it's actually for more than that.
  In 2009 I put out my first comedy book "Make Love Not Warts" and thought that once I put the word out I could sit back and relax. WRONG! It barely sold any off the Internet, but this book sold real well after my shows. I was frustrated, but I kept up the faith.

  I then put out "Four Score and Seven Beers Ago.." a couple of years later in 2011. This time I got a lot more involved in the marketing. I worked on my website, got more involved on LinkedIn, twitter and FB. I also started trying to learn as much as I could about book promotion.  I had done an email and press release campaign through my publisher, which I'm still paying for on my credit cards, and I learned that was a mistake. I'm now doing everything myself.

 I'm on the way to book #3 with much more knowledge about this publishing game and the biggest lesson I've found is I still have a lot to learn. I used to get real frustrated with the slow pace of the whole process, but now I try to accomplish something everyday towards my goals. I use any little promotion I get to push the books, to push my comedy career or to push both at the same time.

 I'm using a simple process right now. I follow discussions on LinkedIn that deal with writing, comedy, comedians, authors, entertainers, and writers. I read the posts, comment when I can add to the discussion, offer words of wisdom or words of encouragement. Reading the posts of people that feel just as pissed off as me about their lack of book sales takes the isolation away. I'm the only published author I know. There really is no one to relate to, as far as being an author goes, except on the Internet.

I've also found that I'm really pretty lucky when it comes to interviews. I'm actaully in a book of author interviews that just came out on Amazon. I have found several ways to finding people who interview authors. I read other author interviews then reach out to the people that interviewed them.I also joined a site that sends me an email with 2 or 3 radio shows looking for guests. Sometimes they looking for authors, sometimes comedians, I can do either one. Other times I can't fill the bill, but I've been getting about one interview a week or at least 3 a month with this system for the last several months. Some are on Internet radio, some on blogs and some on regular radio. Being a Comedian and a author makes me attractive to a lot of shows because it's something different.

The best thing is when I get promo for the books, I can use it to push my comedy career. I'm telling the clubs "Hey, if you give me some dates, I'll mention the club in my interviews." Some clubs pay attention, the big clubs could care less, but if feels good to know I have something to offer that's different.

 I hope the authors who take a look at this post will take a step back and realize that writing the book was really the easy part. But there's no need to get dicouraged, find a way to make the promotional process less painful. Try to learn a new aspect of marketing, no matter how small, every day or myabe every week. Make it a game if you have to and reach out to other authors. Just when you think you're the only one who feels  a certain way, you'll see a post that articulates exactly what you're going through.

 The biggest thing I've learned is that there's a lot of talented Indie authors out there who offer each other a lot of support. I've never met these people face to face, but some of them have been a huge help. I've also learned the best promotion I can get is to help my fellow writers as much as possible.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New book by Author Ethen Carrell

In my quest to find ways to promote my books and at the same time pump up my comedy career, I've been doing a lot of author interviews. One of the interviews I did was with a young author named Ethen Carrell. Ethen resides in California and I got the chance to talk to him one night while I was driving home from a gig a few hours away. He's a very positive and motivated young man to say the least. He told me of his ambitions as an author and how he has been very fortunate in meeting many great people since he's put out the invitation to interview writers. I'm glad to have met and talked with Ethen myself, he embodies the fine folks he told me about.Experiences like this makes me believe that no matter how many books I sell, becoming an author has been the best decision I could have made. I continue to learn about writing, promoting and most importantly about other authors. I'm also honored to say my interview with Ethen is one of many included a new book he has published entitled "Author interviews with Author Ethen Carrell Part One." I invite you to check it out on Amazon, here's the link and take care.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Here's a post a put up on a political website. I know this has nothing to do with books, but I'm angry and need to vent. We're getting screwed here in S.C. by a ruling that takes hundreds of well meaning folks off our ballots. I've already voted in a primary and now that vote does not count. This has to do with a simple filing procedure for the candidates. I feel this is a result of to many damn laws on the books and we're just legislating ourselves to death. Here's the post:

If our laws and rulings were clear and simple these things would be over before they began. I say we start electing people who's slogan is " I will not pass another law or create another committee until I've gotten rid of some old one's". ALL of our laws and rulings should be clear enough for the common man to understand in one glance. We should not have to call a lawyer over to explain a law to us every time we want to know what our government is doing. Lawyers have enough work and make a lot of money already. When we elect a lawyer to office, they make sure to pass more laws with all kinds of confusing language so they know they still have a job when they retire from public life! QUESTION: Who do you think is making money of this "fustercluck"? THE ANSWER: Whoever gets paid to examine the laws and rulings pertaining to this particular bag of political bones, A.K.A, A LAWYER!