Here at The Blank Page, we like to try and keep our offerings to a fairly high standard. Sadly, this week, your erstwhile blogger is suffering from a mild existential crisis. He’s currently hiding in the attic and is refusing to come out. It’s been a pretty rough week for him and any attempts to blog about it have led to screaming fits, drinking and drawing on the walls.
In an attempt to keep this blog fairly upbeat, we’ve managed to make contact with another Christopher Long out in The Multiverse and asked him to answer a few questions to explain how things work on his world. So, without further ado, here’s our brief chat with Christopher Long of Universe 357 B Z D Epsilon:
Long Words: Thank you for this. We really appreciate it.
Christopher Long: No problem at all. I’m happy to help another Christopher out.
LW: Do you do this sort of thing in your universe?
CL: You mean ‘blogging’?
CL: No, not really. We don’t really use the internet here for that. It’s more of an information tool. A way of helping people. Looking at yours, well, it’s interesting to see what you’ve done with it. All those opinions. Even the happy ones look a little manic to me.
LW: I take it you don’t use the internet to promote your writing then?
CL: My writing?
LW: Your stories? Your books? Our Christopher writes horror stories.
CL: Does he? No, I don’t do anything like that. Tell me, is it going well for him?
LW: Not really. That’s sort of why we’ve drafted you in today.
CL: Oh dear. That’s a shame. Is that him I can hear crying in the background?
LW: It’s okay, he’ll tire himself out soon. If you don’t mind me asking, how do writers promote their stories over in your universe?
CL: Promote them?
LW: Yeah, you know, get people to read their work and share it.
CL: Well, they write the books and then they release them. Then other people buy them. It’s pretty simple really.
LW: What about cover design, marketing plans, branding?
CL: Marketing? Is that something to do with setting up a little stall to sell them on in the street?
LW: No, it’s…
CL: Branding is for cattle, I believe. We have a lot of herds of bears. I believe some bear farmers brand them. Although, there’s an old saying about branding the bear in the morning that’s…
LW: Sorry, you’re telling me indie writers over there don’t have to promote their work on Twitter or Facebook or ask people to post reviews?
CL: Indie? You mean like the man who plays Harrison Ford in the movies?
LW: No, Indie. As in independent. You know, as in they’re not published by one of the larger publishing companies.
CL: Companies? No, people write and release whatever they want here themselves. You’ve got companies involved in releasing your books? Wow. Your Christopher really can cry, can’t he
LW: Yeah, sorry about that. Let me just close the door. There we go. No, over here, you need to work pretty hard to sell a story. To get people interested in it.
CL: Sounds exhausting to me. Here people just create something and put it on a shelf for people to buy.
LW: How do you get something reviewed in your universe?
CL: What’s a re-view?
LW: You know, a review. It’s where critics or members of the public will express their opinions on how good or bad something is. A book or a movie or a game or something. Anything really. Anyone can post them.
CL: And people read them?
LW: Sure. They use them to choose if they’re going to buy something or not.
CL: Why don’t they just try something out to see if they like it?
LW: It’s a way to save time, I guess. To avoid trying something they don’t like.
CL: Ah, I see. I take it participation is mandatory for your universe then?
LW: How’d you mean
CL: I take it people can’t just leave a play or a movie or put down a book if they’re not enjoying it. They have to stay until the end, hence the need for these ‘re-views’?
LW: No, it’s not mandatory.
LW: Look, maybe we’re getting off topic. We’re talking across universes here. People might accuse us of wasting an opportunity. So, do you have flying cars where you are?
CL: We have planes. Don’t you have those?
LW: Well, sure, but…
CL: So why do you need flying cars?
LW: Fair point. How about evil people?
CL: I’m sorry?
LW: You know, bad people. Is your universe one of those evil, mirror universes?
CL: Is yours? That’s a pretty prejudiced thing to say.
CL: After all, I believe it’s your Christopher who has the little beard.
LW: Yes, that’s true.
CL: Maybe I should’ve read a re-view about your universe first. Then I could’ve avoided this
LW: Right, right. Sorry. We do have review sites for holidays and days out actually.
CL: Of course you do. Tell me, do people review the reviews in your universe yet?
LW: Um, sometimes. It can get a little dark on those sites.
CL: Colour me surprised.
LW: We actually have a TV programme about people watching TV programmes. It’s really popular.
CL: Look, I’m sorry, I need to go. I’ve got work tomorrow.
LW: Do you enjoy your job?
CL: Mermaid extermination? What’s not to enjoy?
LW: Right, sure.
CL: Good luck with your reviews and opinions. I hope your Chris feels better soon.
LW: I’m pretty sure he’s packing to come over to you.
CL: He’s always welcome. There are plenty of spare rooms in the new mansion…my word, that boy can scream, can’t he?
We’d like to thank that particular parallel Christopher for taking some time out of his busy day to talk to us. As and when we have another week like this (which I’m sure we will the way things are going) we’ll do our best to make contact with another Christopher for you.
Remember, you can post your comments below and reviews of Christopher’s books on Amazon, Goodreads or any blog or forum are always welcome.
Have a good weekend, everyone!