Author: Troy Lambert

Select a Charity

Another of my stories has been accepted in an anthology. It is titled “The Angel.” It is different than my usual stories. How is it different? Here are the guidelines given for the anthology: the story must based on a fairy tale, have something “undead” as one of the characters (i.e. ghost, angel, zombie, etc.), and it had to have a happy ending. My stories don’t always have a happy ending. In fact, I’ve been accused of writing dark fiction. I’ve been accused of worse too, but that’s another story.. My story is based on the less known fairy tale “The Angel” by Hans Christian Anderson. He based that story on his poem “The Dying Child.” My characters, of course, are angels. So far, everyone who has read the story has wept. So I decided quite awhile ago that if the story was accepted, I’d donate half of the proceeds from my royalties from this story to a children’s charity. This is where I need your help. I’ll take suggestions, we’ll narrow it down with a survey or two, and we’ll take a vote. Comment with suggestions and website links, or e-mail me here. T-shirts, prizes, and fun will accompany the release and the charity choice. An event page is coming to Facebook, but for now follow my author page here, and I’ll post the details there. Follow me...

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George and the Achievers

What Authors (and others) Can Learn About Marketing from the Achievers and George Takei Part 1: Your Core Audience How does a star of a television program that aired in the late 1960’s rise in social media to have 3.8 million followers, sell out a musical performed at the Globe in San Francisco about Japanese citizen interment in the United States during World War II, and influence opinion nationwide about marriage equality and LBGT rights? How do Will Russell and Scott Shuffitt go from tattoo vendors at a convention in 2002 to international sensations by 2009, hosting conventions centered around a movie released in March of 1998 with minimal success and a small cult following? You’ve written a great book. The people who have read it that are not your  mother, father,  brother, sister, cousin . . . you get the idea, have told you so. Not enough of them have read it though. How do you get it noticed? How do you go from a small book with a small cult following to an international sensation? What can we learn from the two examp les above?   Disclaimer: I am not a master marketer. I am just learning some of these things myself. I don’t have 3.8 million followers, and I haven’t filled a convention center in Las Vegas with 4,000 people to watch an old movie together...

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Suspend Reality (for readers)

What is the balance between reality and the unreal, between truth and fantasy? As a reader, how much truth do you want? Let’s face it. Reality is boring. We read to escape reality, not to study it. That’s science, another topic for another day. 24: It’s a good example. Jack Bauer drives from Oakland to LAX in ten minutes, something we know to be a 45 minute drive with no traffic and some bending of local speed statutes. But for the sake of the show, we also don’t want to watch Jack drive for 45 minutes while his world falls apart miles away. We root for him to get there, to fix it in time. After all, he’s the hero. At some point though, the put on drama gets to be too much. We want a dose of reality. Can jack really get the crap beat out of him and an hour later fight a hoard of spies, who apparently, despite their taxpayer-funded training can’t hit a thing with their pistols? Is he the only expert shot in the group? Balance: One of the keys to keeping you hooked is balance. As a reader, how much can you take? What is the point where you shut off the show or movie, walk out, or put the book down never to go back to it? How much fiction is too...

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Readers, Do you Review?

I can’t count the number of times a reader as e-mailed, texted, messaged, called, or used another means of communication to say “Hey, your book was awesome!” Sometimes I ask them to post a review if they are a fellow author, or I know they have reviewed other things. If they’re not I just wait and see what happens. Most of the time, they don’t post a review anywhere. Why review? Reviewing is a great way to let your friends know what you are reading, and get them talking about what you are talking about. How do you think that Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code got to be all the water cooler talk? Reviews, and friends telling friends. (Besides Christians decrying its harmful effects on our culture, but that’s another story for another time). If you found something enjoyable, thought provoking, or just a read you couldn’t put down, share that with as many people as you can. An easy way to do that is to review: on Goodreads, Amazon, and elsewhere. Reviewing sells books. “I’m a reader and you are an author,” you say. “Why do I care about selling books?” Because if the author you like sells more books, it frees up their time from working as a waitress at a truck stop to write more books. Hopefully you will like (and review) those books too. So on...

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I Wrote a Book and No One’s Reading It!

I hear writers say it all the time. It starts with the release party, which they expect to be a huge success with a huge draw. I always cross my fingers hoping for their sake that it will be. Unfortunately when it isn’t, the author is usually shocked. “I built a platform,” they say. “I have followers and friends on Facebook. Why didn’t they all buy my book?” We’ve been talking about this in a few writers’ groups and here are some of the common mistakes authors make, and why their books don’t sell more. Most of your friends/followers are fellow authors. When I first started on Facebook I did the same thing. So while my friends list is well populated, there are a lot of authors’ names there. Those authors are struggling with the same thing I am: finding readers. Because they are connected to other authors. Who are connected to authors. On the cycle goes. What woke me up was after a media blitz I asked myself the simple question: “When is the last time you bought a book because it was in a promo from anther author?” Other that authors that I have already read their work (and thus become a reader or a fan if you will) I can’t remember. I find new fiction through publishers and friend recommendations, but rarely through a “cold” promo...

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