This week’s topic was ostensibly “dealing with and responding to criticism of your work,” but as usual we screwed around and covered a bunch of random other topics first.
Our new podcast as a way of connecting with readers
Remember all the times Dave has said that you should go to where your readers are, and get in there with them, talking about the stuff you write about and that they’re interested in? So if you’re into sci-fi, find sci-fi readers in forums. Start a sci-fi blog. Go to where they are and become a voice in that niche, so that when they want more of that stuff they love, your books can provide it.
In that spirit, we’re proud to announce our new zombie, vampire, and generally monster-and-horrorific podcast, Better Off Undead.
Now, if you know (and love!) my novel, The Bialy Pimps, you may be wondering how a horror podcast is remotely in-line for me. The answer is that I’m currently working on a zombie trilogy, so it’ll be in-line with my for-sale items soon enough. Sean and Dave are working on a new zombie trilogy, and their current titles are all supernatural horror.
This stuff — the world of supernatural movies, books, and comics, as well as series like The Walking Dead and True Blood — is stuff we love to watch and read, and stuff we love to talk and write about. So it was a no-brainer.
In our first episode, which is available now, we kick off with something fun, thus proving that we’re not all about gore and being scary — a review of the epically terrible film Birdemic: Shock and Terror.
You must — MUST! — watch the video below of some of the best action from Birdemic:
So if you’d like to watch us review that motherfucker, head on over and subscribe to Better Off Undead.
And of course, we’ll report on how it impacts our book sales and general self-pub efforts here as time goes on.
Johnny’s Podiobook release update
In our episode about creating audiobooks with Podiobooks.com’s Evo Terra, we mentioned that the free, totally free, and also free version of my novel, The Bialy Pimps, is now available. I gave an update as to how that’s helping me promote. Three things stand out:
1. There were around 3000 downloads of episodes of my podiobook in the first 6 days, but
2. I have zero idea if this is helping me, and
3. We all suspect that this strategy works best if you have multiple books, which I don’t yet.
But one has to be your first podiobook, and I have mine online. That’s not something Sean and Dave can say. Suck it, Sean and Dave!
This really is a grassroots, DIY world for artists
We took a brief diversion to talk about Patton Oswalt’s keynote address at Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2012, where he talks about how comedy (and, by extension, any art form, like writing) has fundamentally changed. You no longer take one big shot and then rocket to stardom. This is a day in which our success is all up to us. That’s both the good news and the bad news.
We also touched on Amanda Hocking, who just signed with a traditional publisher. Dave mentioned offline that she keeps roughly the same schedule as he does, thus proving once more that he’s very much like a semi-goth girl.
Criticism: When to use it and when to ignore it
Our main topic takes up over half of the podcast, but takes up a very small portion of these show notes. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of typing.
Sean and Dave talked about the feedback and reader criticism that caused them to change (add to) the ending of Season 3 of Yesterday’s Gone, and said that this was an example of “good” criticism, because it helped them improve.
We also talked about criticism that sucks and that we don’t like to read… and that you can often safely ignore and not take personally. The person giving you a negative review or leaving a negative comment probably didn’t mean it as a personal attack. It was probably just a case of your stuff not being right for them. And it’s part of the game of being an artist, unfortunately.
As a parting shot, I also mentioned a post I wrote for Copyblogger about handling criticism, and how trying to engage the more reasonable among your critics might just win you a fan for life.
To view the video version of this episode, go to: Self Publishing Podcast #15 – Guerilla Publicity Through Podcasting and Responding to Criticism