Writers love readers, especially ones willing to read a self-published book. Increasing your readership could help you land a sweet book deal or stave off thoughts that all you are doing is wasting time. If you are a writer who is more concerned about the “journey” of writing instead of entertaining and/or informing readers, then grab a diary, lock yourself in a lonely room, and scribble away. This article is not for you. The following six steps will help writers who want to expand their fandom and be the center of attention.
1. Have something to say. Nobody pays attention to mundane jabber. Don’t be afraid to exploit salacious gossip you may have heard or thought you heard, like the time the dental assistant told you about your neighbor’s fondness for underage scarecrows. You hear that? That’s the gurgling sound of your words grabbing the attention of readers by the throat.
2. Avoid profanity. You can significantly increase your potential publishing venues and audience if you can keep your filthy expressions and barn talk under control. Some of the words and phrases you shouldn’t use include, but are not limited to: monkey mullet, licking the rump, grab-ass, corking the cavity, horny hobnob, mindfreak, mutton groper, fapping the doodle, dangling cat flaps, goosing the gimp, growling in the gorge, lickspittle butt slave, dildohead, and polishing the silver (when referring to geriatric sex).
3. Spice it up. You know why textbooks are so entertaining? They aren’t. Cold, hard facts make lousy reading. You need to seize your readers’ attention by making your writing “edgy.” You can do this by adding a bit of contemporary slang or profanity, using terms like panhandling in the mangrove, molrowing, loin tamer, masticating in the breakfast nook, “banana pudding,” and buffing the happy lamp. You may think this advice contradicts the advice in Step 2, but, goddamnit, sometimes rules need to be broken.
4. Use specific details for universal appeal. Connect with readers on a universal level by using specific details in your stories. For instance, let’s say your story is about someone hiking in a national forest trying to get his shit together after his longtime girlfriend leaves him for a married couple wanting a polyamorous relationship. While strolling through the peaceful outdoors thinking about revenge, he is attacked by a bobcat. He fights off the bobcat as best he can, but his cargo shorts and body are ripped to shreds, leaving him in a bloody mess. He’s losing blood and consciousness. Fortunately for him, a Boy Scout troupe finds him the next morning, barely alive and hugging a tree. Readers can identify with his courage to fight for his life when he seemingly has nothing to fight for. The claw marks across his chest don’t hurt as much as the pain of a broken heart inside of it, but it comes pretty fucking close. In the end, he finds closure and a reason to live by forgiving the bobcat, capturing it, and turning it loose in his ex’s new home she shares with a couple of freaks. This is a classic mash-up tale of boy loses girl/man versus nature/man exacts vengeance that every reader can identify with.
5. Don’t be afraid to use threats. Talk about grabbing someone’s attention! Nothing is as effective as a creative, viable, deranged threat. If you scare your intended reader(s) bad enough, you could receive a visit from the local authorities. Don’t waste this opportunity! Make sure someone is filming you being subdued for resisting arrest. Later, you can post the footage online (with a link to your blog or whatever) and wait for that shit to go viral on the social media websites and news networks. As a bonus, you can garner more readers if you go on trial after you recuperate from your hospital stay. Readers will want to know the juicy details about the time you hid bleeding in a closet in the home where your ex lives with Mr. and Mrs. Dildohead and the bobcat you released into the residence weeks ago, which is now trained to maul intruders.
6. Submit your writing. Sometimes readers will come to you to write things like statements and affidavits. Most of the time, you’ll have to make first contact, even if it’s only a letter to the editor of the local newspaper complaining about how your ex and her carnal cabal refuse to pay your medical bills or reimburse you for another pair of cargo shorts shredded by their pet bobcat, Benny. Post links to your blog on popular comments sections like CNN or Entertainment Weekly or YouTube to connect with discriminating readers at the forefront of American thought. Avoid literary journals because nobody reads those.
Your writing is a gift many readers don’t know they want or need. Follow the steps above and you’ll soon have more readers than the number of bodily scars produced by two bobcat attacks.