For our first foray into the Blog World Tour, we’re featuring Tabitha Chirrick. She’s all about science-fiction and science-non-fiction alike. I was lucky enough to read some small amount of her work during a reader group; the world she had created for that particular story was intriguing, and her characters were fun!

She has a blog, which I encourage you to check out, and a book on Amazon.

Class? All together now.
Hi Tabitha.

To the questions!

So Tabitha. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write both in longhand and on the computer. Longhand’s great for brainstorming, outlines, and free-form ideas, but I use the computer for long writing sessions. I keep a bunch of notes and ideas scattered throughout a couple…okay, eight notebooks. There’s something efficient and distraction-free about keeping notes on paper, but once it’s time to produce an actual word count, computer really is the way to go. Gotta use my 80wpm for something!

80 words per minute? The only way I can consistently hit 80 words per minute is with about 77 typos per minute. So what part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Kind of depends on what you consider marketing! As a self-published author, most of my marketing options are limited to social media and ads, but with twitter saturated in a tsunami of annoying book-buying links, and many ads – such as the ones on Facebook – crippled by Adblock, it’s hard to consider those options worth my time. There are better, wider-reaching ad options, like Bookbub and Amazon, but those cost a small fortune, and the former is quite competitive to lock down.

So far, my greatest pure marketing successes have come in the form of Goodreads and Noisetrade giveaways, but for me, the most effective marketing strategy will always be producing more content. Whether it be keeping my blog up to date and driving traffic toward that, or working on the next book, I believe writing itself renders the best marketing results. Give your fans more things to love.

Heh. Everybody loves Adblock until they need to make a living. Aside from producing more content, what’s been the most effective marketing strategy you’ve used?

The Goodreads giveaway I did for Overshadowed back in June was definitely the most effective marketing I’ve done, and inexpensive to boot! I set it up to give away 10 paperback copies, got about 1300 entrants, and about 500 people who added Overshadowed to their TBR lists. Following the giveaway, I received several ratings both on Goodreads and Amazon, my blog’s traffic went up, and I even saw a spike in sales and in pages read through kindleunlimited. It was much more successful than I anticipated, and I definitely intend to do Goodreads giveaways for future projects.

Click it. Click it.
Overshadowed on Goodreads

Good stuff to know. While we’re totally not on this topic, what’s your favorite quote?

That changes from time to time, but currently it’s:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” -Vivian Greene

I’ve kind of felt like I’ve been starring in my own series of unfortunate events novels for about a year and a half now, during which anxiety and depression have been getting the better of me. Producing half-decent writing is super hard when you’re full of self-loathing, you know?

About a month ago, I was sitting on the couch mid panic attack, stuck in that ever recursive hell of being too anxious to write and therefore anxious about not being able to write, and came across this quote on someone’s author page on Scribophile. It wasn’t a magic cure-all for my mood (if you find one of these, please let me know!), but in that kind of cheesy way you can’t write about in a book because some critic would call it unbelievable, reading that quote helped me realize I could either wallow in my state, or learn to work with it. When that quote doesn’t fit the bill, I usually turn to Mitch Hedberg’s witticisms so I can at least laugh.

Mitch Hedberg is a solid muse.

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don’t really know what’s happening down there. Who is the real hero?” -Mitch Hedberg

Final question from me: Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Well, I’m no John Hussman, but whether self-publishing or traditional, I predict both continuing to become more more social. There’s more of a drive these days to be social. Agents want authors to have platforms, and publishing houses have shown a trend toward making grabby hands at already established platform-wielders, like Youtube stars or majorly successful self-published authors.

Writers are expected to play a big role in marketing themselves and their books, which you can’t exactly do in a social vacuum. I don’t think this speaks to the future of publishing being bleak, per say, but I do think it will continue adapting to our social media-centered world.

Solid stuff, Tabitha. Thanks.

If these questions seem like some small part of a larger whole, that’s because they are! You’ll hear plenty more from Tabitha among us bloggers in this Blog World Tour.

And now, back to our regular programming.