Dan L. Hays is a gifted writer who has been pursuing his craft for more than 25 years. His passion has always been writing, but he had a writing block that he could not understand for many years. He wrote two books that publishers were interested in, but he backed away and the books were never published.
Lost creativity and the effects of family alcoholism are just two of the elements of the story he explores in his first published book, Freedom’s Just Another Word, which chronicles events around the time of his father’s death. It is the first of a cycle of 7 books about healing old wounds with his father. That cycle will culminate with Nothing Left to Lose, written in 1993, about a critical turning point in his father’s life, depicted from a perspective of forgiveness and admiration.
Dan talks freely about his experience writing his first published novel, “Freedom’s Just Another Word”, as well as the progression from manuscript to ebook. Dan is very comfortable with the technical aspects of marketing and promotion and he talks about a few techniques he used to brand himself as an author.
Wearing Three Hats
Writer, Publisher and Publicist
The writer is first a foremost a writer. Completing the manuscript is only half the battle. Producing it into various formats for distribution is another step. But probably the most discouraging aspect of the process is the publicist. This hat takes the writer out of their comfort zone into a world completely unfamiliar. In the past, publishers took on this role, leaving the writer to do what they do best – write. But in the 21st century, writers are being forced to wear three very different hats – “writer, publisher and publicist”.
The importance of branding yourself, the author, is paramount. Unlike promoting a retail product, the author becomes the brand and readers who have enjoyed your writing will look for subsequent books written by “you”.
To accomplish promotion requires setting a marketing plan. Unfortunately, this aspect of promotion is well beyond the desires or abilities of many writers and authors. But take heart. There are many great experts able to help you market and promote yourself and your work.
The Social Medias
Not only are the social medias a great place to connect with readers and other writers – they are free. Most have a simple sign up, while others make even the sign up process confusing. Dan uses several social media accounts, including Twitter and Facebook, but feels Stumble Upon is one of the better “sticky” arenas for getting the word out on your book.
A few Social Medias include:
- Stumble Upon
Website vs. Blog
Every writer needs an online presence. A website is an effective way to achieve this visibility, yet setting up a site can become very frustrating – especially to the HTML challenged.
Dan talks about designing his first website, and the how it was suggested he hire a professional. While the basic website was great, he was then stuck relying on the web designer to make any changes. Dan and I discuss the advantages of the setting up a Blog.
A blog contains a content management system, which allows you to immediately make changes, post pages and articles without the need to understand or use HTML.
A Few Blog Services include:
Other Services mentioned in the podcast
Make promoting yourself as easy and as automated as possible.
About Dan L Hays
Learn more about Dan from these online sources:
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