Friday, 22 June 2012

Do You Have 'Pontius Pilate Syndrome'?

One of the most powerful and dramatic scenes ever committed to print so ingrained itself upon the human psyche that it has become a metaphor for a specific type of human behaviour we all recognise. Confronted by fanatical religious forces and constrained by political expediency Pontius Pilate washes his hands as a symbolic gesture of his innocence. He is not to blame as he condemns an innocent man to the most horrible of deaths.

Pilate got it wrong but did he ever live long enough to realise the man he abandoned would become the greatest figure in human history, and for many of us much more? 

Sadly, every day aspiring authors around the world are afflicted by 'The Pontius Pilate Syndrome'. Having laboured  long and hard on their 'art and sullen craft' they simply abandon it to the forces around them. Many of them will never know if their lovingly crafted novel could have become something great with the power to move hearts and minds.

 Let's be honest, the most committed agent in the world does not care for your book the way you do. No Publishing House is as hungry for it to succeed as you are. But the truth is 'Big Issue' sellers do more book promotion than the majority of aspiring authors. There is a tendency for us not to want to dirty our hands with the commercial aspect of things. When all is said and done, we are artists are we not? Yes, but even artists and their families have to eat and pay the bills so maybe it's time to get serious. Sometimes pictures can paint a thousand words:

 If you want to move from aspiring to established there is one thing you have to do and that is take responsibility for marketing your own book. There are literally hundreds and thousands of aspiring authors publishing on Amazon, Smashwords and whatever. You have to try and stand out from the crowd. NO! That's the wrong way to think, because actually there's plenty of room for everybody. What you have to do is create your own crowd of readers and fans who can't wait to read your next book.

The obvious question is HOW?
To be honest it has never been easier because of the amazing phenomena known as social networking. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest are just the dominant tip of the social networking iceberg. Savvy authors, marketers and large corporations utilise their awesome potential to reach and engage with prospective readers, customers and clients to great effect. You must do the same. Hold on, you say, I'm an author not a social media expert, I don't have want to waste my energy and lose my focus.

Granted, many of these large companies employ social media experts to promote their business. I do not claim to be a social media guru. My main focus is writing educational material but in the process of doing that I discovered unless I dirtied my hands promoting my own stuff no one else was going to do it for me unless I paid them. That is why when Google+ entered the social media arena I sat up and took notice. I missed the boat a little with Facebook, I sure wasn't going to make the same mistake with Google+.

The beauty of Google+ is it is so easy to set up and get started. The learning curve is much less steep and in no time you can have access to thousands of prospective readers. It is still in its infancy and nowhere near as big as Facebook. . . yet. That is exactly why now is he time to establish a presence and begin to build your fan base. How much of an incentive is it knowing you already have an audience waiting for your new novel to be published? If that doesn't motivate you to write nothing will! Make no mistake about it Google is committed to ensuring the success of Google+. It is set to become huge.

The main reason I took time out to write Google+ eXplosion was to give a non techie leg-up to aspiring authors struggling to get themselves noticed as quickly and easily as possible. Google+ eXplosion will be available on the 28th June on Amazon and from a separate website. You can register today but full details will be available on this blog next Friday. Whether you chose to purchase it or not can I urge you to think seriously about using social networks to promote yourself and your books and more importantly, begin to build a loyal and growing fan base.

Now remaining on the subject of promoting yourself and your books each week I intend to feature three of my Twitter Followers. They will be selected at random.
This weeks authors are Serena Akeroyd, Michael K Rose and Madison Woods.

Serena Akeroyd
You can visit Serena's blog at
She describes herself as a fledgling romance writer. Serena also designs very impressive book covers. Here are a few:

Michael K Rose                                                           
                                                                                          Sullivan's War
Rick Sullivan is wanted for murder. Agent Frank Allen, assigned to the case, soon finds out that there is more to Sullivan-and his   actions-than he ever could have imagined.

As Allen pursues Sullivan across the known galaxy he begins to questions his own beliefs and loyalties. Will Allen be able to stop Rick Sullivan before he kills again?"

...a very entertaining sociological and political thriller, set in the future, with top notch, well fleshed out characters, and great action scenes."

- Steve Umstead, Author of The Evan Gabriel Trilogy

"With sharp prose, delicate and--at times--stabbing dialogue, scene setting that is on par with the best of the fiction writers of the past, Rose delivers a one-two punch to the gut that makes this reader want more and more."

- Benjamin X. Wretlind, Author of Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors

"Gritty, hardcore sci-fi with a fascinating twist, guaranteed to please!"

- C.L. Withers, Author of Castle Cape

Michael's website is strikingly simplistic and effective in it's design.

Madison Woods
Who: Madison Woods (Madison C. Woods if you’re looking for me at Author’s Den).
What: I’m a part-time writer working toward a full-time writing career. I write speculative fiction. Sometimes it has a dark edge but it’s almost always surrealistic. A blend between fantasy, science fiction and magical realism with a touch of horror.
When: Almost always. When I’m not physically typing, I’m thinking. Thinking counts! For me, writing requires lots of pondering.
Where: Mostly at my desk at home.
Why: Because I have to.

Madison's blog and samples of her writing can be found here:
Good luck to all our featured authors.

Next Week: Does My Genre Look Overcrowded To You?

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