Reader/Writer Friday: Your Holiday Shopping List

Are You On Your Holiday Shopping List?

The holiday shopping season has arrived. Black Friday has passed and we are being inundated with offers of “special” prices. You are probably making your lists and preparing yourself for the shopper’s journey, fighting the crowds in person. Or, maybe you plan to take the arm chair version of the ordeal, shopping online.

Either way, I have a question for you. Do you have yourself on your list?

What if Santa told you he had a whole new division of elves eager to be creative and invent new tools or services for you? Have your ever thought of something you would like to receive as a gift that would make your writing easier, faster, better, more enjoyable? For any of the following:

  • Planning
  • Outlining
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Marketing

Since anything is possible in this exercise, and there is no cost to you, how creative can you get? What can you invent? An AI based marketing program that does everything for you? A desktop Gutenberg self-publishing machine that allows you to put in the various papers, cardboard, and formatted Vellum/Atticus/D2D file, and out pops your paperback or hardcover?

Or maybe you have an idea for something that is not new, but is a new situation, like an editing/marketing company that locates beside your house and will provide free services to you in exchange for putting a large sign in your front yard.

You get the idea, we are brainstorming, and the sky is the limit.

Grab your coffee, put on your thinking hat, and invent something new for your writing. Pretend that it is Santa’s “Design Your Own Gift Week.”

19 thoughts on “Reader/Writer Friday: Your Holiday Shopping List

    • This is a great idea, Priscilla! There are so many sites out there on the net vying for readers’ attentions. It would be wonderful to find the readers who truly fit our newsletters. When you find that program (or develop it yourself, let me know. In the meantime, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Santa’s elves can come up with something.

  1. Okay, Santa Steve, here’s my wishlist:

    1. A full-time, full-service marketing company that generates so many book sales that I can afford to pay them generously and never miss the money.

    2. A speed-up, slow-down time machine. When deadlines loom, it can be programmed to slow time down. When waiting for acceptances/rejections, the setting can be changed to make time go faster. On second thought, let’s add an option where only acceptances are generated and rejections no longer happen.

    3. An energy supplement taken each morning with coffee or tea that keeps the memory and concentration sharp for as many hours as desired, makes fingers type faster and accurately, and automatically pinpoints the exact right word you know is out there but you can’t think of.

    Wishing you and your family a warm Christmas full of joy and love, Steve! I’m grateful for your fertile imagination and your friendship! And thanks in advance for the gifts!

    • Wow, Debbie, your imagination is in high gear this morning. And those ideas for gifts are terrific. I’ll tell Santa’s elves to get busy, and to make two of each since I want one of each, also.

      Thanks for all the things you do here at TKZ, my friend. We really appreciate you!

      Wishing you and your family a joyful Christmas!

      • And I second your second, Sue. If we took a vote, I bet marketing is the least favorite component of writing. If AI’s so wonderful, why doesn’t someone create a marketing agency?

        Thanks for your thoughts! Have a great weekend!

  2. I want Debbie’s list. But if I have to do my own, how about a computer that taps into your dreams and records them? I’ve lost more than one plot because I didn’t wake up enough to write the idea down.

    • Great idea, Patricia. The sleep experts use a “sleep lab” to record patients’ sleep and look for problems. Your idea is for a “dream lab” to record the dreams. I can see the happy recipients of such a lab, trying all kinds of food and activities (and, sadly, probably some illicit substances) to see what kind of wild dreams they can “dream up.”

      We’ll get the elves started on your idea. It may be difficult to convince them to release your present, because they will claim they are still “experimenting” with it.

  3. Dear Santa,
    I would like just one thing, which is a program that would take the stories/scenes in my mind and automatically put them in my computer, in the right order, so that I no longer have to sit and type. These stories would be perfect, of course, and I would be able to do a dozen or so books a year. 😉

    • Becky, you and Patricia are on the same wave length this morning. You idea is an excellent extension of Patricia’s “dream lab.” Patricia’s program works during sleep; yours works during waking hours – the P and B Encephalograph.

      I can see you kicked back “day dreaming,” and someone asks you what you are doing. Your answer: “I’m writing. Leave me alone or I’ll include you in my story. And you won’t like the character. Of course, all characters are products of the author’s imagination.”

  4. A program that allows the author to read the book once aloud and it transforms the recording into a professional audiobook with a click of a button.

    I bought myself Atticus for Christmas. And so far, I am loving it!

    • I’m glad you like Atticus, Sue. I think it makes formatting easy. It certainly is easier than working with KDP on Amazon.

      With AI sticking its ugly nose into everything, I bet your do-it-yourself audiobook program will become a reality. Won’t it be fun to demo different voices for different characters for the program by simply reading a paragraph or two?

      When you get that gift (or develop the program), let us know how it works. Put me on the list to buy a beta version.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. I love your Friday challenges, Steve. I think you should just put in an order with Santa for everything on Debbie’s list for the rest of us too.

    In addition, I’d like Santa to be my own personal publicist. Everybody likes him, and he has access everywhere. Maybe he could put a picture of my books on the side of his sleigh.

    I’m grateful for all you do at TKZ. Wishing much happiness to you and your family during the holiday season and for the new year.

    • Thanks, Kay. I’ll place an order with Santa for everyone. “We’ll have the Debbie Deluxe Everything gift list.”

      “Oh, could we have that with a side of Santa-won’t-you-be-my- publicist?”

      Besides the pictures of your books on the side of his sled, I’d like him to hand out my cards to everyone while he’s manning the Salvation Arm kettle. And why not add in a drawing from the kettle for a free book? Santa is going to be busy.

      On a more serious note, I appreciate all your contributions here at TKZ, as well as your amazing work ethic. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season, and an even better new year!

  6. Steve, what a fantastic post!

    I love all these ideas, particularly the ones regarding Mark*&$%#! 🙂

    I’d add: I like Debbie’s time machine idea, but I’d ask Santa for another lever on it. One that would allow me to step into it and go to wherever my characters are frolicking and causing trouble, in whatever time period/geographical location, so I could sit down with them in the flesh and talk in real time.

    Think your elves could get busy on that for me? (Fingers drumming…)

    Happy Friday all!

    • Thanks, Deb.

      The time machine is a classic. It would be exciting. I could see the explosion in publishing of historical fiction, or nonfiction for that matter. “In a recent visit back to 1492, we discovered that…” And, I’m sure all new brides would insist that their new husbands take a trip back to historical Scotland to meet Jamie of the Highlanders series.

      I’ll put in a rush order for you. Santa is going to be busy looking for those elves who are visiting every era imaginable.

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