…there can be few, if any, more knowledgable people around telling the unknown stories of the Old Wild West than Tom Rizzo… his webpage, TomRizzo.com has fascinating insights into how things really happened back in the developing days of the outlaws and good guys who trail-blazed across America… in the modern day, Tom also features Guest pieces from quill-scrapers like myself, with a wide range of subject matter… he has a feature called Storyteller’s 7, where he pitches seven questions at his invitees… here’s my post with him today:
Seumas Gallacher writes crime thrillers. Rather than wait for potential readers to find him, this successful self-published novelist finds them through an aggressive strategy aimed at creating and maintaining his visibility.
His tireless efforts paid off big, thanks to his adept use of Social Media.
Based in Abu Dhabi, Seumas connects to and engages with an estimated 17,500 contacts on a daily basis. He stays in touch with them through various Social Media channels, including:
- Google Plus
This day-to-day, multi-faceted strategy to develop brand loyalty resulted in at least 75,000 downloads of his popular action-packed adventures, The Violin Man’s Legacy, Vengeance Wears Black, and Savage Payback.
Seumas, who spent nearly five decades in the financial arena, is witty, introspective, and a talented writer and businessman who knows and practices the art of staying in touch.
1. You’re a self-publisher with over 75,000 downloads of your crime thrillers. How did you achieve such sales success?
Serendipity for the most part. When I had just finished my first novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, six years ago, as a neophyte in the self-publishing game, someone introduced me to the Amazon Kindle channel, of which I knew nothing then.
It also coincided with reading about how writing should be a ‘business’ from beginning to end, with the actual writing being the comparatively easy part.
The rest entails ‘getting it out there’, so I became a fast learner on the social networks, as they apply to an author. Developing a focused network of like-minded people from the readers, writers, and publishers universe became a daily mantra with me.
The last cog in the wheel was doing an almost daily blog and connecting the posts on that to all these other outlets. All of that together constitutes a program for attaining the necessary visibility to succeed.
I wrote a small guide to share my experience with this, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES, which is also doing well on Amazon Kindle.
2. Social networking represents a key component of your success. Rank what you’ve found to be the most successful social network channels.
There are so many channels to get involved with, but realistically I only have so many hours in a day to give them proper ‘business’ focus, so I chose the ‘usual suspects’, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn as well as my blog.
Others I’ve added along the way include Google+, StumbleUpon, Pocket, Tumblr and Pinterest.
3. You “escaped” – as you phrased it – from the world of finance after five decades. Can you recall the moment when you chose the fork in the road that brought you to where you are today? What triggered your desire to write?
I was walking one evening along the seafront Corniche in Abu Dhabi, and it occurred to me, that it was ‘just time’ to write ‘that book’ we all supposedly have in us.
From there it has taken a life of its own. I wish I had started 30 years earlier. I still have my own firm, doing corporate turnaround and restructuring engagements, which keeps my ‘business’ mind active.
4. Tell us something about your work habits. Walk us through your approach to the storytelling process.
As I write crime thrillers, it’s easy to get themes. Just watch the daily cable news channels and change the names to protect the guilty!
I work at my writing daily, and find the early part of the day the most productive. I like to have a rough ending to the book in my head before I begin the drafting, and usually let the action and the characters drive the narrative.
That generally throws many surprises at me, and I‘ve found it beneficial to the storytelling to allow that to happen. Editing I do almost every day. Although some may frown on that, it works for me, and then I do a few overall edits when it’s done.
5. Publishing has undergone such dramatic changes. Writers don’t need anyone’s approval or permission to get something into the marketplace. What downsides do you see in self-publishing?
The same downsides as exist in any form of publication exist in self-publishing.
Badly edited manuscripts, lazy storytelling, lack of plot balance and formatting impact the novels/books themselves.
On the ‘post-written’ side, finding readership, either through the Amazon and/or other eBook linkages is often difficult because of the omission to ‘build the platform’ of a following.
Self-delusions of adequacy can creep in without external eyes and literary brains to critique the work, so I feel these are essential.
6. What advice do you have for writers faced with finding a balance between developing a compelling story and the need to implement an effective marketing plan to let everyone know about it?
It’s a fine balance as ever. Each person may have a different approach to this. Mine has been constant.
I invest a lot of time in maintaining social networking linkups, which can be hugely rewarding on a relationship basis, with many of my own counterparties having become great pals and supporters.
However, I do separate the focus when it comes to the actual writing of the novels. That has to be 100 percent concentration, no distractions, otherwise the work will come out half-baked in my opinion.
7. To this point, what has been your most memorable author moment, something that stands heads-and-shoulders above all others?
I’ve shared this many times. The feeling of euphoria the first time I typed the last sentence of the first novel was indescribably fabulous.
I thought it wouldn’t happen again, but, the same sense of ‘pink-cloud’ delight was there on subsequent novel-endings.
For more on Seumas:
- Blog: seumasgallacher.com
- Twitter: @seumasgallacher
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher
- Email: email@example.com
…many thanks,Tom, for allowing me space on your terrific blog…
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