The John Locke Experiment

John Locke & Jeremy Robinson are both heroes to me. I’ve been following the exploits of Robinson since 2005. Man, that guy is a workaholic and I really admire what he has been able to accomplish. What I don’t like is how much time and effort it’s taken him to get to where he is. I started studying him when I finished my first novel and decided to publish through Lulu. His first book, The Didymus Contingency, was in the same genre as mine and I was looking for someone to emulate. His book started climbing the charts at Barnes & Noble’s online store. Everyone at Lulu was impressed including me. (He hit #2 in Canada at the height of Harry Potter.) I emailed him, as did a ton of other people, an inquired. (We became email friends and he gave me a cover blurb as well as taught me a bit about book cover design. He’s an excellent artist too!) The response to his success he received prompted him to write a book about how he did it: POD People: Beating the Print-On-Demand Stigma. I read the book and kept watching. It seemed to me that his every waking moment was devoted marketing in some form which left him very little time for family and writing. I tried to emulated him but failed miserably. Posting weekly blogs, participating in blog tours and searching for reviewers, ad nauseam, just took too much time.
I read every book I could to see if there was a better way. The schools of thought boiled down to two: write several books and provide useful content on your website/blog and people will find you that way, or pimp the heck out of your books on social networking sites. I’m not comfortable pimping myself anywhere, but I like digging, finding new things and figuring these new things out for myself so I can tell others about them. Long story short, that didn’t work for me as a marketing strategy and I refuse to become a pariah on social networks by hawking myself there.
Enter John Locke. I was impressed with Locke once I discovered him on J.A. Konrath’s blog. I like his books, all of his books. His Donovan Creed series is like an American version of James Bond and he’s a much better writer that Ian Fleming. When I read the Emmett Love stories I hear Jimmy Stewart’s voice each time Emmett is speaking. I guess that comes from all the westerns I’ve watched over the years since Emmett is nothing like the characters Stewart played. Locke rose to the top of the charts really quickly. I wanted to see what he had done to get there. I started digging for information, reading every post about him or by him and I couldn’t figure it out. When he announced his book that would explain how he did it, I checked every day to see if it had been released yet. It finally came out and I got it. The strategy was pretty simple and straight forward. It had the promise of minimizing time spent on marketing once it was set up and running. That was something that really appealed to me. No more endless hours of dredging up information, distilling and presenting it to make my website/blog appealing as an information source and no pimping myself on social networks.
While I can see how it worked for him I had no idea if it would work for me. I started digging again and couldn’t find anyone that was using his strategy; someone who I could analyze and discover different methods of implementation, nuances and ideas on how it could work for me. I decided to make my implementation of his ideas a public experiment so I’ll be trying to emulate him as closely as possible. I invite you to watch and comment either publically or privately. (My “contact me” button is at the top of this blog, but since WordPress.com doesn’t allow email addresses it takes you to my website.) If you’re interested in the details of what I’m doing, there is a tiny link at the bottom of my public webpages that will take you to the hidden details section of my website. Its the п symbol. If you have friends or followers that might be interested in this experiment please let them know. To stay up to date on this experiment follow by email or RSS. I’ll be making infrequent posts, once a month or so and that’s as often as you’ll get reminded about this experiment.

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One Response to The John Locke Experiment

  1. I’ll be interested to know how that works out. I’m not brave enough to go it on my own so I’m querying my first book. But if I don’t get takers or if I’m not happy with how traditional publishing works out, I’ll remember I read something somewhere. I’m going to subscribe to your RSS feed to find out how it works, however infrequently you post. I have 1000+ unread blogs in my feed because I’ve been doing exactly what you said in fear that those first agents who rejected me within hours did so because they were laughing their heads off at my measly following.

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