Join us as Dorien Grey goes Outside the Margins.
The Lemonade Stand
I often feel like a kid with a curbside lemonade stand, hoping that someone will stop by. Best lemonade in town. Yessiree. But hope alone doesn’t make cars pull over, or any passersby slow down. So I run around putting up signs all over the neighborhood. And I wave wildly as cars zip past. And nothing.
Such is the writer’s life…at least, this writer’s life.
And I have to preface all this by expressing my sincere gratitude to you for being here. My—and every writer I know of not already enshrined on Mt. Olympus—continuing problem is how to get more people to read what I write.
The 200 million or so blogs currently flooding cyberspace all stem from one gentleman by the name of Evan Williams realizing way, way back in the mists of time—August of 1999, to be exact—that a website could be updated by just typing text into a text box. And thus was the genie released from the bottle.
Writers (like, let’s see…who might we use as an example? Oh, yes…me) use blogs as a variation on the spiderweb, in hopes that having been caught up in one, the reader might want to read more of the writer’s work. Granted, given all the blogs out there, this offers roughly the same odds as the chance of one pebble on a beach being spotted and picked up and taken home. It ain’t easy.
Blogs also give the writer the flexibility of expressing ideas and opinions not within the tighter constraints of, say, a novel. For the reader, blogs can provide insights into the writer as a human being, and if the reader likes what he/she sees, chances are they will be far more amenable to giving the writer’s books a chance. For the writer, blogs serve as a form of mental razor strop, allowing him/her to hone his/her thoughts on an infinitely wide range of subjects.
Having decided to use blogs as a way to draw in new readers, the next problem is finding places to post them to attract as many potential readers as possible. I currently write two blogs a week, Monday andThursday, and post them on my website (www.doriengrey.com) and my blogsitewww.doriengreyandme.com, as well as www.goodreads.com and www.authorsden.com. One of the largest and most popular blog sites, Open Salon, recently shut down, setting me and many other bloggers scrambling for other outlets, and I am grateful to Prism Book Alliance for allowing me the opportunity to do a monthly blog here.
Each of my blogs has a respectable readership, and I am truly grateful to every single person who takes the time to look at them. But writers are a greedy lot—well, again, this writer is, anyway—who are never satisfied with the status quo, always wanting more. (I keep seeing blogs on various sites mentioning regularly having 13,952 hits per day or some such, and my mind boggles.) But whether reading my blog might influence someone to read my books….?
And the eternal irony is that the more time I spend trying to attract new readers, the less time I have to write new books.
So here we are again at the lemonade stand, with me waving my arms and jumping up and down yelling “Hey! Here I am! Take a look! Try it, you’ll like it!” And…..I am more than open for suggestion as to what I might do to bring in more readers for my books. More readers…Hmmm….how about you?
~ Dorien Grey
About Dorien Grey
If it is possible to have a split personality without being schizophrenic, Dorien Grey qualifies. When long-time book and magazine editor Roger Margason chose the pseudonym “Dorien Grey” for his first book, it set off a chain of circumstances which has led to the comfortable division of labor and responsibility. Roger has charge of day-to-day existence, freeing Dorien—with the help of Roger’s fingers—to write. It has reached the point where Roger merely sits back and reads the stories Dorien brings forth on the computer screen.
It’s not as though Roger has not had an uninteresting life of his own. Two years into college, he left to join the Naval Aviation Cadet program. Washing out after a year, he spent the rest of his brief military career on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean at the height of the cold war. The journal he kept of his time in the military, in the form of letters home, honed his writing skills and provided him with a wealth of experiences to draw from in his future writing. These letters will be appearing in book form shortly.
Returning to Northern Illinois University after service, he graduated with a B.A. in English, and embarked on a series of jobs which worked him into the editing field. While working for a Los Angeles publishing house, he was instrumental in establishing a division exclusively for the publication of gay paperbacks and magazines, of which he became editor. He moved on to edit a leading L.A. based international gay men’s magazine.
Tiring of earthquakes, brush fires, mud slides, and riots, he returned to the Midwest, where Dorien emerged, full-blown, like Venus from the sea. They’ve been inseparable (and interchangeable) ever since.
He . . . and Dorien of course…moved back to Chicago in 2006, where they now devote full time to writing. Author of the popular Dick Hardesty Mystery series, the Elliott Smith (paranormal) Mystery, the stand-alone western/romance/adventure novel, Calico, plus the non fiction A World Ago: A Navy Man’s Letters Home, 1954-1956; Short Circuits: A Life in Blogs, and a book of poems (Dreams of a Calico Mouse), Dorien is in the process of having all his books done as audiobooks.
But for a greater insight into the “”real person”” behind Dorien Grey, the curious are invited to check out his website (http://www.doriengrey.com), which includes the first chapter of any or all of his books for free, and his various blogs: Dorien Grey and Me (http://www.doriengreyandme.com) and A Life in Photos (http://www.doriengreyphotolife.blogspot.com) among them.
There is nothing Dorien loves more than hearing from a reader…or potential reader. If you’d like to contact him, just drop him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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