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For LO! I am EXTREMELY aware that most of the lovely people who already know of my WORKS and who are likely to EVER get a copy will have already done so - it's a situation much like this year's Indietracks MERCH tent, where we'd already SOLD our wares to most people there who would ever WANT it - so I need to work out how on earth to tell OTHER people about it.
The only way I can really think about this is if I try to do so in terms of ROCK, as that is all I really know about with regards to this sort of thing. BOOKS, I thought, are the equivalent of ALBUMS, and how do we tell people about THOSE? And LO! my BRANE did answer: "GIGS! And, if you can get them, FESTIVALS!" This is very senisble, and there ARE gigs and festivals for books, but 1) the gigs tend to be SIGNINGS in bookshops, and my book is only available online and 2) the FESTIVALS tend to be for people who are KNOWN (which I'm not) and are run by PUBLISHERS (which I don't have). Neither of these problems are insurmountable, OBVS, and I can always plug the book at Actual Gigs, but they're not the answer for now.
So it was that I returned to my BRANE and said "How ELSE does one do it, OH BRANE of mine?" and my BRANE did answer: "THE INTERWEB!" You may not know this about me, gentle reader, as I hardly ever mention it, but I did have one of the first ever viral hits with a song called Hey Hey 16K a while ago and since then have done LOADS of videos and wotnots on the futuristic World Wide Web. With this in mind I've being doing stuff like last week's >video interview, chasing interviews and reviews, and have made a TRAILER ready to UNLEASH in the very near future. These are jolly good fun to DO but, as above, with no HISTORY or CONTACTS it's difficult for me to get anyone to PROPOGATE them outside my usual Delightful Circles.
And so I went back a THIRD time to ask my BRANE if it had any further ideas and LO! it did say unto me, a bit peevishly I thought "For heaven's sake! What about SINGLES and RADIO then? What's the equivalent to that? Also: leave me alone, I'm trying to remember the words for 'To All The Girls I've Ever Loved Before' for some reason."
Getting played on the radio is of course a BLOODY GRATE thing - not only do you get to show off (A LOT) but it also FORCES new people to hear you AND gig promoters and festival organisers hear it too. It's basically the SEED from which all else may flower. I don't know why my BRANE didn't just tell me that in the first place!
As for the equivalents in the BOOK world... well, I guess the equivalent of the SINGLE is probably the SHORT STORY, which also comes in STANDALONE and EXCERPT formats. And if that's the case then maybe Short Story Magazines are the RADIO? I would say anthologies, but I guess they're COMPILATIONS. Anyway, the more I thought about this, the more sense it made. If I had some short stories I could send them to magazines, which people (including festival organisers maybe?) READ! I could also send them to COMPETITIONS which, if I got anywhere in them, I could SHOW OFF about! And I could even put them on this here BLOG or similar, to tantalise and THRILL passers-by!
It seemed like a good plan to me, and so this week I have been trying to write some short stories, and it has been a LOT of fun. Short Stories don't need you to spend MONTHS working out the flipping structure, nor do they require lengthy diagrams so you can make sure you don't have the same character in two places at once. You can just sit and GET TYPING and then worry about errors, idiocy or spelling later!
So that's what I'm doing - I'm going to wait until I've got a PILE of them before I start showing them to anybody, but in the meantime there'll be the aforementioned trailer soon and, who knows, maybe even an INTERVIEW!
posted 6/9/2017 by MJ Hibbett
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