Being Rational and Being Superstitious

Hello Again is my latest paranormal mystery/thriller. One aspect I explore is the thin veneer of rationality we coat ourselves with. Underneath, we haven’t changed that much from the primitive caveman who thought the gods were angry when he heard thunder. One character in Hello Again remarks that it was easy to believe in the paranormal living in a small eastern European village at the turn of the nineteenth century. It’s quite another to accept the paranormal as normal when living in a large American city at a time when NASA is recruiting people for a one-way trip to Mars.

Rational? How many sports fans won’t change from their lucky shirt if their team is on a winning streak. How many gamblers won’t change seats at the gaming table if they are winning? What about the number 13. How much do you feel like crossing the spirits and taking a chance?

Hello Again illustrates that it really doesn’t take much to cause people to fall back into a belief in the supernatural. While many people now say they are not religious, that doesn’t mean they don’t utter a silent prayer when waiting for the results of a lottery or when sitting in the waiting room of a hospital.

So, what would you do if you suddenly started receiving text messages from someone who you know is dead, especially if the technology experts say they can’t explain it?

 

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Marketing a Novel Today

Several centuries ago there were no printing presses. Monks and scribes struggled for years to produce books. So, few books and few readers. There was an explosion of books with the invention of the printing press, but not that many readers initially. How things have changed! Today anyone can publish a book that looks great. Bloggers are deluged to review hundreds of books. Everyone seems to be writing books– certainly every celebrity and sports star. I grapple as a novelist with finding readers since I don’t have a big 5 publisher behind me providing marketing help.

Because I have a paranormal thriller coming out later this year (Hello Again), I’ve begun to prepare a very detailed marketing campaign. It’s taken me more hours than I care to admit to put together a list of bloggers who seem to enjoy books similar to mine. I’ve added lists of reviewers of my previous books, as well as friends and former colleagues.

I also have prepared a budget and targeted various marketing companies that specialize in finding reviewers and getting the word out. The problem is that marketing tools and trends are changing faster than I can keep up with. I’m being told now that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not enough. I need to dive into Instagram, Snapshot, and Periscope.

I’m not going to take that particular leap yet, but I’ll let you know what kind of success I have using a pretty detailed traditional marketing plan.