The Hook Needs Your Help….

To help him storm the gates!

The gates that separate bestselling authors from hacks, that is. You see, I once had a dream: to hold in my hands a thing of great beauty that I helped shape and influence, something that belonged to me and only me. That dream came true; I somehow convinced VampireLover she was in love with a man-child with a mild Coca-Cola addiction.

Now I have another dream; to write and sell and a book worthy of the public’s valuable time. The words have been written and committed to paper – or in this case, a flash drive – and now the battle truly begins.

How do I sell the darn thing? That’s where you come in, my friends. If I was under the wing of an actual publisher I’d have access to a talent pool of PR minions… but I’m on my own.

Or am I?

It occurs to me that I do have access to a talent pool; one composed of the greatest blogging minds of the twenty-first century. So I implore you, my friends…HELP ME!

Please send me your ideas, suggestions, plans, anything that you think will help me break on through to the “other side”, as it were.

  • Should I spray paint “The Bellman Chronicles” all over stray dogs and set them loose throughout my fair city?
  • Maybe a viral video or flash mob would do the trick?

You see, I really don’t know what I’m doing, so throw The Hook a bone will ya?

There will be rewards for your service of course – once I think of them – and my eternal gratitude and free bell service for life!

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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123 Responses to The Hook Needs Your Help….

  1. susielindau says:

    Now is the time to blog an excerpt and post a link directly to Amazon so we can buy a copy. Since it is your first book, I wouldn’t sell it for more than 4.99. 2.99 is what I would suggest. There was a writer who sold her book for 99 cents and sole 117,000 copies at the time of the article. Not bad! Then I would make a FB page just for your book with the link. You can also tweet about it once a day and put the hashtag #RT so other tweeps retweet it.
    Sign up for a writing conference where you can meet others and promote it.
    And this is just off the top of my head…

  2. Have you thought about publishing it as an e-book?

    I also don’t like the word “chronicles,” but that’s just me.

    What about The Bellman’s Bullsh*t or something along those lines. I mean Sh*t My Dad Says went pretty viral.

    What about publishing a chapter or two on your blog … but I think what you are trying to do is take your blog and put it into a book … right?

    Wishing you luck!

    P.S. I’m saddened that I’ve been removed from your blogroll, have I offended? 😉

  3. Have you already self-published it? If not, I’d suggest querying agents via Writer’s Market or Query Tracker. And I agree with Susie on the value of conferences. They are worth every minute and penny if you approach them right!

    • The Hook says:

      I’ve been trying to attract an agent for some time, but they’re harder to trap than a werewolf! Thanks for the advice, August. I’ll be self-publishing very soon… I hope!

  4. I haven’t a clue.. but I’ve also seen ebooks selling?? Let us know what and where you decide.. I think you should tour with your book:)

    • The Hook says:

      I’m also releasing an e-edition of The Bellman Chronicles, but I still need a dynamite marketing plan!
      And i don’t know if anyone would care to attend a book tour; “The Hook” isn’t exactly a household name… yet!

  5. If you want to actually have it bound and published, you need to find someone to do that by submitting it to them. Most publishers have means for you to submit material to them. The self-publishing thing isn’t awful I have a friend who did that with a few e-books and then later got published. So, don’t give it all away in your first book so people want more.

    • The Hook says:

      Good advice! Thanks, Derek!

      • As a note of encouragement, (the children’s book) “Hank the Cowdog” series was turned down by all the publishers – so the author self published – and because it’s a great story it became a great success – he laughed all the way to the banks – and several publishers admitted passing on the book was a HUGE mistake. Author is still smiling

  6. My thoughts are try e-publishing. I believe The Hunger Games started out that way.

  7. Ink Pastries says:

    Thought you were doing Createspace – like I am trying to do (I have not uploaded mine just yet but that is my next step, maybe even tomorrow). I will buy your book, too. Keep it pretty inexpensive so folks will see it as a small change thing, and sell many, then maybe you can raise your price later if you attract another publisher for a second book deal. I am looking forward to reading more of you as I have enjoyed every post I’ve read so far! Good luck and you will be in my prayers for success – whatever that means to you. : )

  8. Ink Pastries says:

    P.S. Remember to think of it all as FUN and then it will get DONE. When I start getting perfectionist and weighing the pros and cons (like that woman who wrote you and said don’t self-publish – I didn’t like that “fear-based” advice) too much, I am frozen in my tracks. Just stop, remember the main goal: to have fun! Then have it with your writing. Don’t get too bogged down in results-oriented thinking. I will buy your book and so will many of these people writing to you and liking you. Don’t worry!!!!!!!

  9. Well, you know this is the part I don’t know how to do, the selling part. I belong to many facebook groups and am facebook friends with many authors and they do things like go on blog tours, make book trailers and post them on youtube and hold contests……..I’ve never done any of these things but I’d love to hear your thoughts if you try any of them. I am so delighted that you have your book completed! Well done, my friend, well done!

  10. The Hobbler says:

    I think all you would need to do is to put a picture of some of the “working girls” that visit your hotel on the cover. Sex sells. Good luck Hook!

  11. I’m not a fan of using a middle-man. Of course use Amazon. They’re too popular not to use. But perhaps create your own website just for this book and selling this book. has some damn good SEO built in already. But if you want more customization, then build a site – plus then you have the strength of Google analytics. Set up a paypal account, if you don’t have one already, and link/embed a paypal button. Website crawlers like sites with constant activity, so post bits and pieces about your book. Create a twitter account and just keep tweeting. If you’re not on Facebook, you should be. And one thing you really need to do is make sure you have your own domain. You already have some great following on this site. So why not use that to your advantage. Buy a domain name, point it here and start plugging and advertising your book. And don’t be afraid to ask others to plug your book for you on their site. I have no problem doing so.

    First, though, you kinda need it in print…. Yes?

    • I forgot about e-books. See, even though I build websites, and do graphics, I’m old-fashioned when it comes to book. I like to feel them in my hands. I probably never own a Kindle. But with an e-book, you can start this all asap. Setting up your own site with a cart system that only allows a buyer to download once, easy. Then you just need to promote and promote some more. Seriously, this blog is a good start. You’re ahead of many people with just the fact that you have a LOT of online friends and followers.

    • The Hook says:

      I’m working on it…

  12. Lily says:

    You’re a great writer! Anything you do will sell itself! No worries!

  13. granny1947 says:
    Drop the two Lisa’s a line.
    They have just published their first book.
    They are lovely and I am sure they will give you some advice.

  14. Theasaurus says:

    Matthew Reilly started out as a self-published author trying to flog his novels to Sydney bookstores. He managed to talk a sales manager into putting copies in the front window of a large, centrally-located bookshop (I think Angus and Robertson on Pitt St), alongside the likes of John Grisham and Tom Clancy. He also spent a lot of time pretending to read during peak-hour public transport, holding his novel up so the cover faced the front door of the bus and giving loud, spectacular descriptions of the story to anyone who asked.

    Needless to say, his meagre self-published supply in the Pitt St store sold out. The book was then picked up by an astonished publisher, who just happened to walk past the bookshop window and did a double-take, wondering why on earth this unknown new writer had been placed alongside international best-sellers.

    Reilly’s now written several more books and is a multimillionaire.

    Maybe you could try this tactic.

  15. mairedubhtx says:

    Do a YouTube video promoting The Bellman Chronicles. Something clever (not dogs) but that might get attention and get traffic. I’m going to be looking for at the same problem in a while. I’m going to try to go through a literary agent but that it=s such a long shot I may have to do it on my own. But a video may work.

  16. Hi there! I tagged you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. If you accept, which entails listing some facts about yourself and passing the award along, check out my most recent blog entry for the details.

    As for the publishing bit…check out Scrivener. It’s a wonderful tool for writing books, and for putting together your blog posts it would work wonderfully. It also allows you to seemlessly format output as an ebook, pdf, etc…multiple formats for easy uploading into Amazon.

  17. YES to the Bellman Chronicles! I would totes read it. You would be great at this!

  18. Jeannie says:

    Another popular venue is “Smashwords” ( You’re getting good advice but nothing compares to doing your own research and making choices for yourself! The world awaits as you walk through the door my friend! xoxo

  19. Johz says:

    Interrupt a major sporting event, and start shouting about it. You may well get arrested, but at least people will read the book…

  20. iamnotshe says:

    Start your own BOOK BLOG! and hook us up HOOK! Sky-writing is another idea … can you swoop over the Midwest US? CONGRATS!!! Can’t wait to read about all the crazy people who frequent (all to frequently) your hotel!!! Your Hotel, no doubt. MEL

  21. tadams4u says:

    Nothing new to add, just make sure we all know when we can get it! 😀

  22. sexuallifeofawife says:

    In England we have ‘The Writer’s and Artist’s year book – it gives some good advice – but more importantly it lists all the publishers and literary agents in the UK (and some abroad aswell)
    and what sort of books they will take on and whether they accept unsolicited manuscripts etc
    Each publisher or agent likes the book submitted in a particular format ie – three chapters and a synopsis or the whole manuscript and a biography of yourself etc
    There must be a US equivalent of this…

    You could do a google search or look in a bookshop for books which are ‘similar’ to your own. Then you can get an idea which publisher would be interested in taking on your book… Then find out how the publisher wants your baby to be submitted to them…
    Good Luck!!!

    • The Hook says:

      All great suggestions! We have “The Writer’s Market” over here; it fulfills the same purpose as the publication you mentioned. I knew it would be good idea to reach out to all of you…
      Thanks again!

  23. Well if you can manage a viral Youtube video…Otherwise, perhaps you should get all your friends to put your book on their FAcebook pages, with a suitable catchy blurb. I’ll put it on mine if it helps!
    Or, you could write to an agent and get them to buy into it. Better yet, 500 agents.

  24. raisingdaisy says:

    Everything I was about to suggest has already been suggested, Hook. There are some great ideas here – I know you’ll do well with your book! 😀

  25. Nora Blithe says:

    I’ve found Guerrilla Marketing for Writers to be very helpful. Even if you land a deal with a publisher, they dedicate very little time and much less money to marketing your book. I know, it’s what I used to do for a living. Traditional publishing or self publishing, either way you’ll need to do much of the leg work to promote your own book and that book has a lot of great suggestions.

  26. jlheuer says:

    Lots of great suggestions, you just have to sort out what you can and are willing to do. Self publishing sounds like a route you will probably have to go and I would suggest an ebook. Amanda Hocking is an author who went that route. And yes, she was one of those paranormal teen romance authors but she started in the ebook market for a low price ( see your first comment). Think of what search terms people will use to find you.
    Be very selective of the self-published paper book. When I worked at the library, we would get these across our desk all of the time. Real nice cover letter, some references..etc. But the books looked like crap. There was nothing like a cheesy, badly designed cover to put me off and toss the book in the circular file.
    The reference books and sites mentioned are right on, get them. You can get Writer’s Market at your library. Check it out before you lay your money down. Try to get magazines to publish an exerpt. Potential readers/buyers have to get a taste before they put their money on the line.
    If all else fails prostitute yourself and post this catch phrase everywhere, “If you liked “Fifty Shades of Grey”, you’ll love” The Bellman Chronicles.”

  27. Best of luck with your book, my friend!

  28. You work with the public. Now is not the time to be shy. Marketing is important now if you want to sell (others are giving suggestions, so no repeating those here). Consider who the market is. You need to build demand
    Do you know how many libraries there are? They all buy books (buying cycle starts in Oct. but in spring they have money left over that must be spent). Create demand and buzz by going to local libraries/book stores and offering to do an “author” reading of parts of your book – talk about how you as an author got started, how you get ideas…tell stories about the people you see and write about and your life. People are more likely to buy book if that have some “relationship”/contact with the author. Talk to librarians to see where you might do other presentations. Consiser checking American Library Association website for regional contacts – and try to get on their programs as a presenter. The TLA conference in TX is one of the biggest in the country – lots of librarians. Librarians love to talk with authors – and buy books to be signed
    Consider speaking to school kids about writing as a career/life as an author? Ok to start small – doesn’t hurt. All exposure is good – be sure to let local paper know when you are going to speak.
    Writing books is hard. In order to sell without a major publisher, think “marketing” yourself as well as your product.
    It is work, but the best part is you have great products: yourself and your book! Now gut it up and get out there.

  29. meredith says:

    i’m not very good at coming up with creative-writing ideas, or i’d be a millionaire myself, but i will give you my support in the form of my money for your finished product! 🙂

  30. Jo Bryant says:

    Okay…I have a large cup of coffee beside me…so here are my thoughts.
    You can take them with a grain of salt as I have yet to do this…must finish the book first, but I have done a lot of investigating.

    I think that you should self-publish. The self-publishing arena has changed greatly in the last few years and done correctly I think you have a good chance of making it work. Many others have.

    Go looking for authors that have successfully self-published. They often have their own blogs and many are very forthcoming in the methods they used…what worked…what didn’t. One I have been following is Amanda Hocking. She was so successful in self-publishing that publishers chased her down and she now has a publishing deal.

    Here are links to two blogs where she discusses what she did.


    And here is some more of what I think…

    • I think you might be making a mistake to slow down with the blogging. You have a captive audience there and you do not want to lose any followers. They already love what you write so they are willing you to succeed. Use them (nicely of course) to promote the book. You can do this in a variety of ways. Start by sending a few who have a reasonable amount of followers copies of the finished book and ask them to review it in their blog. A few bloggers raving about it starts the word spreading.
    • Consider blog tours. They do work.
    • Join sites such as Goodreads as an author and plug the book through them.
    • Giveaways.
    • Competitions. I noticed a few people have commented on the title. Why not have a competition to pick a title. Generate interest via that.
    • Put up a few ideas you have for the book cover…ask people to vote on their favourite cover.
    • Search out BOOK BLOGGERS. Yes they exist and have exactly the sort of followers you want to reach – people searching for the next great read.
    • Put a chapter of the book up on your blog to tease readers with a link to where they can buy the book.
    • Get a trailer made for the book and put it up…here is a link to one I think is great

    Anywho…these are just some of my ideas Hook. Just remember me when you are famous huh !!!!!

  31. squigamunk says:

    It looks like you have plenty of good advice already, but I just want to make one comment- please be sure it has been edited VERY VERY WELL. I haven’t been published, but I did go to college for creative writing. One of the things the professors stressed was that if there are errors, whoever looks at the manuscript (agent, editor, etc) is likely to trash it in favor of a manuscript they don’t have to put tons of effort into line-editing.

    Not saying you need to be edited or anything, but everyone makes silly mistakes sometimes.

    Good luck! Post something from it- I wanna read an excerpt before I give you some of the money I should be using on my student loans 😀

  32. TBM says:

    Wow! I know I’m late to the party, but I’m impressed by all of the advice. Bloggers are really friendly and helpful. My advice, if you can’t find a publisher go the e-book route and/or self-publish. I wish you the best of luck and I can’t wait to buy your book Hook!

  33. renxkyoko says:

    e-book ? I just bought one ! ! I really have no idea, but I’ve heard about having it published on the Internet ! Maybe you can research on that.

    Cheers, Mr. Hook and lotsa luck on the book. Lemme know when it’s done, I’ll definitely buy your book, but be sure you have it autographed ! ! !

  34. Val says:

    I would like to see a flashmob of bellmen please! I have no knowledge of publishing and can only offer you encouragement and best wishes for the project. And of course I will buy a copy!

  35. habibadanyal says:

    Gud luck for the book, Mr.Hook! wow it rhymed.

  36. munchow says:

    My friend, I don’t know if I can add any good ideas to all those already posted here. I just want to wish you good luck with the adventure. And let us know here on your blog when it’s ready, so we can go out and find the book – or order it directly from you.

  37. Caroline says:

    You’re a Coca-Cola addict as well?! Who knew! Unfortunately, I can’t think up any brilliant, helpful tips, but it seems everyone before me had some great ideas! I wish you the best of luck with your book and know it’ll be a hit. 🙂

  38. Just let me know where and when and I’ll be there….!!! 😉

  39. giselzitrone says:

    Wünsche dir lieber Hook ein schönes weekend Grüsse lieb Gislinde.

  40. Sandi Ormsby says:

    Free Bell Service for life! No wonder there were 110 comments! Good luck.

  41. HoaiPhai says:

    This summer some guy will be crossing the Niagara River on a rope, right? The world will be here and watching. See if you can set up a table or hand a couple of thumb drives to the press. If all else fails, get a compound bow and an arrow with a Crazy Glue tip with a banner attached that reads “Buy ‘The Bellman Chronicles’ from!” and tag the guy mid-river.

  42. becca3416 says:

    How friggin’ awesome. I hope to accomplish something like this one day. If I run across any good advice I will surely send it your way.

  43. Lorre says:

    The above ideas are so much better than what I came up with. I wanted to combine your ideas in the post: Set up a video camera and record: get a mob of stray dogs, flash them, give them a virus, spray paint on them “The Bellman Did It” and let them loose in the town. I guess in retrospect, that idea sucks.
    Seriously, great ideas and I’m far behind on my reading, so it sounds like you’ve moved on and some something cooking now. Good luck.

  44. Kanerva says:

    Self-publish! I know a Finnish gentleman who wrote an English novel and went that way. Amazon stocked it, and also Book Depository. His name is Heikki Hietala and the title is Tulagi Hotel. Printed in India from memory… If you connect with him, let him know Heather from the bookclub ladies sent you 🙂

  45. mizqui says:

    Every piece of advice you have gotten thus far will propel you farther than you could have gotten on your own guesses. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and your blog audience is strong! Whoo hoo! I can’t wait to buy my copy of “The Bellman Chronicles”. I can’t wait to get to Canada – I’m getting my filmed interview 1st!!! Go Hook! I’m pulling for you. Literally!!!!

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