Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gerard de Marigny: The Watchman of Ephraim

(Gerard is a talented writer but also an innovative, hard-working guy who believes i his message--and is smart about it! I am proud to have influenced him a little, along with other writers. We are all in a learning process, and we all can improve, which is something I learn again every day. Here's Gerard...)

What I’ve learned from Dean Wesley Smith, John Locke, and Scott Nicholson

Here are three writers from whom I’ve learned so much – Dean Wesley Smith, John Locke, and Scott Nicholson. An eclectic bunch, no doubt.

Let me give you a breakdown of what I’ve learned from each, but first, I want to thank all three for their bodies of work and for their advice and support. They are each an inspiration to me as they should be inspirations to all new writers.

Dean Wesley Smith – Dean taught me first and taught me the most about self-publishing. He destroyed the myths I held about legacy publishing and showed me a step-by-step, cost effective way to self-publish. More than that, he drilled into my head that it takes more than one published work per year to become a successful writer.

I remember falling off my chair when I read an article by him where he stated that a fiction writer should write three to four novel-lengths per year. Another newbie writer left a sardonic comment saying, “That’s impossible Dean, have YOU ever written four per year?” To which he replied, “Actually, over the last 25 years, I’ve averaged over four per year.” That’s a man I’d follow over a hill!

When I finished my debut novel in January, I was so excited I wrote to Dean to tell him. His reply to me was, “That’s great, now write another!”

I love that man … and Dean, #2 will be out in September and #3 in December … thanks brutha!

John Locke – I only came across John fairly recently when I saw a few bloggers promoting his _How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!_. I bought it, read it, and decided that the man knows his stuff when it comes to marketing! I can tell you this; the day after I read John’s book and implemented his advice - I IMMEDIATELY saw my sales numbers more than double, and my sales revenue jumped by a factor of 5! I wrote him to thank him and he replied that he’s there for me anytime. That’s not special to me though. John Locke replies to every email written to him. I admire him a lot for that too!

Scott Nicholson – I saved Scott for last because – well – I wanted to thank him especially for giving me the opportunity to write this piece and have it appear on his site – thanks Scott! He doesn’t know this but I’ve learned a lot from him too. For one – I learned about how to launch a blog tour. Actually, I learned the particulars from another writer-friend of mine, Jeff Bennington, but Jeff learned it from Scott!

I followed Scott on his last blog tour and found that you can be a prolific writer but still maintain your zaniness (Scott’s got the BEST hat collection of any writer – I can tell just from published photos of him). The man also puts me to shame. He launched a 90-date blog tour while continuing to write at a frenetic pace. In comparison, my blog tour has 45 dates. I’m only halfway in as I write this and I’m already seeing dead people. Then again, I think seeing dead people may be a normal day at the office for Scott.

Scott befriended me in the kindest way. He emailed me some encouraging words about _The Watchman of Ephraim_ and allowed me to place a link to it in two of his novels – _Liquid Fear_ and _The Skull Ring_.

I’m especially inspired by Scott every day, when I track my Amazon rankings in two of my genres – thrillers and political thrillers and see his novels peppered throughout, starting at the top of each ranking.

As far as prose and personalities go, Dean, John, and Scott are quite different but they have each helped me and inspired me a great deal. What these three successful and prolific writers taught me the most can be boiled down to this … 

To be a successful fiction writer you have to write well, write a lot … and let ‘em know you’ve written it!
Now rinse and repeat.

Author Bio
Gerard de Marigny is the author of the geopolitical thriller, _The Watchman of Ephraim_, Book 1 of THE Cris De Niro series. The sequel, _Signs of War_ is scheduled for release in September 2011.

Gerard de Marigny resides in the beautiful foothills of Las Vegas, NV with his wife Lisa and his four sons. When not bending an arm with friends at the local pub, he's putting to paper the stories and characters that are alive in his mind.

Author/Publisher Sites
Author's Website:
Author's Blog: SelfPubber's Pub

Social Networking Sites

Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: Gerard de Marigny Books
Smashwords (all eBook formats): _The Watchman of Ephraim_
Personalized, signed copies are available at the author's website: (all transactions secure via PayPal)


Gerard de Marigny said...

Thx for the opportunity, Scott!

Draven Ames said...

Great article, Gerard. I'll have to check out John Locke's book. I've heard about it a number of times, but you have me sold.

Behind you on your support of Scott, too. Scott has been incredibly helpful and supportive, and he writes some great novels.

Thanks for introducing me to some new authors.

Draven Ames

Gerard de Marigny said...

Thanks Draven, John's suggestions worked for me, there's no doubt.

And Scott is the Best! ... and has the best hat collection of any author ... c",) said...

Not trying to be "sardonic," but I've gotta ask if you all are full time writers. It took me seven years to get to a comfortable place with my first novel (well, probably closer to three if I condensed the actual time I was working on it). Now I'm teaching part-time and raising an 18 month old child (and trying to self-promote my first novel). How in the hell am I supposed to write another quality novel before the end of the year?

Again, not trying to be snarky here. I just don't want to lose any audience I might be gaining. I know it used to be okay for an author to have a few years between books. Are you saying this isn't the case anymore?

Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

Claude Nougat said...

Hi, Gerard! And heartfelt congrats! Your first book looks great (I love the title!)and you've certainly learned from the pros all the ins and outs of marketing/promoting your book!

I'm truly impressed by the level of activity: writing another novel AND going on a 45 stop blog tour, wow!

And I think you're completely right to follow in the trail these three marvellous writers have blazed for us newbies. No question about it, to make it you need not one novel but several! This is what the industry standard is...Just to answer Paul D. Dail, writing 4 books a year is entirely possible if you are in a definite genre: there are criteria you have to follow, in short a model, and that makes it a lot easier (and faster!) Sure, if you aim at writing "literary fiction", then there are no criteria, no model to follow, and that takes a lot more time because you're on your own and need to be innovative...

Just a question: John Locke's marketing is based on "loyalty transfer" as I'm sure you know if you've read his book. What "loyalty transfer" concept did you use? How did you manage to kickstart your sales with it? Are you, like John, an expert user of Twitter?

Thanks, I hope you don't mind the questions because I'd love to know...and learn! said...

Interesting comments, Claude. When you say a model, are you referring to something like Campbell's Journey of the Hero? Hmm. I don't know how keen I am on a "model" per se, but I believe I see what you're saying.

And I'll be curious to see the response you get regarding Locke, as well.

Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

Gerard de Marigny said...

Boy it took me a long time to reply

Hi Paul ... My opinion is ... meaningless. I defer to much more experienced and successful authors like Scott, Dean, Joe Konrath, etc.

Relying on writing one book per year to make a living from writing is like relying on hitting the lottery to pay your bills ... it could work for you, but it wouldn't be my first choice. c",)

I won't speak for Scott (you can read all about his background from his blogs and posts. As for me ... yes, I decided to hang up my spurs in the financial industry to write novels. I was blessed with the ability to do that (after working my behind off since I was 6 years old). I don't expect to make anywhere near the same income until I've published my 15th novel ... and it will also take 15 top-quality novels, no room for diminishing quality. At my present pace, I won't write my 15th novel for another 4+ years. Now, if any one of the 15 break wide, that's fantastic, but it's not something I think any professional writer should count on.

Your business plan should be built on realistic expectations (they come from past performance of others and you, and other statistics.

Then work your plan and plan your work!

Blessings on raising your child. I'm homeschooling my four sons while I write and still consult for special projects, so I feel you.

My last pennies ... don't concern yourself with writing four novels. Keep the number in the back of your mind and just write 'em one at a time. The biggest concern should always be - to write the story you're trying to tell. Then rinse and repeat.


Great to hear from you again!
Thank you so much for your kind words!
I was doing most of what John talks about already, including what he terms 'loyalty transfer.' Keep in mind, I was in a heavy metal band back in the day - so I have some experience transferring loyalty from one medium (live shows, videos, album purchases, live non-performing appearances, other promotional activities, etc.)

As for my writing career - John helped me focus and utilize Twitter much more effectively. He also helped me get over the guilt of writing continual blogs.

Currently, I'm selling books from my followings on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and my websites.

The key is utilizing them consistently, every day. I'm up and at my desk every day (except the Sabbath) at 5am replying to everyone individually.

Final thought: Moving into the future - with all the noise out there - blogs, emails, banner ads, blah blah blah ... the way to distinguish yourself will lie in "Our Grandparent's Marketing Techniques." That is, making real connections with individuals.

I've always believed in not talking at people ... talking to them. It's how I like to be treated, so it's how I treat others ... and it has lead to consistent and increasing sales for me.

Thanks for your question, Claude!