Saturday Night’s All Right for Writing

Well, it’s been nearly a month since Bloodlines was unleashed upon an unsuspecting, e-reading world. I’ve had the privilege of discussing the novel with several readers, learning about their favorite parts and characters. I have 14 (and counting!) extremely positive reviews, and I’m nearly at 100 books sold.

The most difficult part, of course, is the marketing.

I’ve never been one to self-promote. I’m fairly certain I’ve blogged about this before, but for some reason, I feel like doing it again.

Marking is a challenge for me. I comport myself in my daily life as an unassuming guy, dad of two, and an insurance professional, quietly going about my business. This whole posting on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, establishing an Instagram account (coming soon!), or even just face-to-face with strangers, has taught me a lot about the rigors for any local business to get off the ground.

Because that’s what I am: a local business.

I’m trying to sell my product, crafted by me, distributed via third-party vendors, all amidst a digital world that sees thousands of other books with similar names, plot-lines, genres, styles, you name it.

My novel is truly one among many.

So how do I differentiate myself from the pack?

What can I do that’ll give me a whiff of the spotlight?

Quite frankly, there are plenty of answers to this, but they all share the same common elements: lots of leg-work, elbow grease, perseverance, time, luck and more luck.

And so I plug away, drumming up new followers on Twitter, posting quick advertisements on LinkedIn, etc. etc.

Interestingly enough, I’ve read plenty of articles that say in order for an indie pub book like mine to get a traditional pub contract, I need to sell at least 50,000 books and have a massive social media presence.

Well, based upon my current numbers of books sold, and at the rate I’m going, it’ll take about 273 years to achieve that.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, folks.

That’s where you come in.

You are my audience.

You are my readers.

You are my fans.

I need your help.

Tell your friends.

Tell your co-workers.

Tell your babysitter.

The book is good.

It’s worth reading, even if, as my friend Kathie pointed out, the novel’s admixture of genres wasn’t her cup of tea.

It surprised the hell out of her once she started reading it. She was so engaged by the characters, the plot and everything else in-between.

And her Amazon review reflects that.

I wrote it, and yes that means I’m biased, but it’s good. In fact, I think it’s good enough to be on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. If I didn’t believe this, then there was no point in me indie publishing in the first place.

But, objectively, it’s good.

How do I know this?

Because of the reviews on Amazon.

Because of my discussions with readers.

Because of my conviction that I did a damn good job.

Something I’ve enjoyed now that I’m more active on Twitter is the constant pithy, motivational quotes that most writers (including me) tweet out on a daily basis. These writers come from all walks of life, writing genres and locales, but their messages remain the same.

You can do it.

You can write it.

You can succeed.

Because you are just like us.

And I am just like you.

I’ve been using this un-blogging space for therapy. It helps to remind myself regularly that the Earth continues to spin despite the fact that I’ve self-published a novel. I usually become more grounded after I post something here.

(My wife, of course, puts up with my mania during all the other odd times)

And so it’s Saturday.

I recently finished writing chapter 10 of the sequel. It’s working title is Pieces of Eight. Tom, Leyla, Deacon and Besim definitely have their work cut out for them.

That’s why they’re called Special Crimes.

But that’s not what makes them special.

If you’ve already read Bloodlines, then you know why.

And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

2 thoughts on “Saturday Night’s All Right for Writing

  1. Peter, I love you and miss you much, You should send us a tease of your novel so we know the premise. Maybe just the first few paragraphs. I have no doubt on your writing ability, just entice me to read it. Either way I am so proud of you! congratulations,


    1. Good morning!

      A couple of things:

      1. If you’re on my website, check out the first page. That writing gives you a sense of the setting. At the bottom of it is a link to a sample chapter from the novel.

      2. Go to and do a search for Peter Hartog. It’ll pull up Bloodlines. Now, I only have the novel in e-format, so there’s no printed or audio copy. Since I self-published, there are a lot of upfront costs to do printed and audio copies, so I haven’t done that yet. As long as you have an iPhone (thru iBooks) or a Kindle (thru Amazon), you can get the novel.

      If you still don’t have a sense of the premise after checking all of that, I’m not sure what else I can say.

      And thank you for responding to my blog post! 🙂


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