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Wednesday, July 18, 2012



If you ask any author what their single favorite part of the publishing process is, they will undeniably tell you how much they love marketing. Well, alright, maybe not. Most writers gripe constantly about the tedium of marketing, and how they’d rather be practicing the art of writing. Marketing is a necessity of the profession and, luckily, I’m ok with that.

What makes me different from so many of my colleagues? For starters, maybe it’s because I had a few careers before author, including lawyer and political operative. This whole realm of being an “artist” is new to me. Occasionally I feel a bit like Forest Gump, just enjoying the surroundings like a happy simpleton. At the same time, I am very serious about my writing and I do everything I can to make it work. The whole marketing process gives me flashbacks to some advice that I got from my dad as a nervous, quiet five year old on the eve of my first day of kindergarten. I’d never been to any pre-school or daycare and I was more than a little scared of what to expect. He told me to find another student who seemed nice, go up to them and say “Hi, I’m Peter, would you like to be friends?” Amazingly, thirty-plus years later, I find myself doing that exact same thing via Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and any other medium that I can find.

I like this part of being an author because I don’t look at it as “marketing”. I look at it as if I have an opportunity to make new friends who have similar interests. I almost never ask anyone to buy my book outright. In fact, had I known that this was such a good way to meet people, I would have started writing years ago!

I think the biggest reason that I don’t share the same aversion that many authors have to putting myself “out there” is because I grew up in a political family where I was forced to approach people and ask them to do stuff; donate money, volunteer, vote, etc. When I was about nine years old, I was passing out leaflets in a downtown area, asking people to vote for my mom. One businessman stopped and asked me a simple question- “why?” I froze. After shaking the deer in the headlights look off my face, I pointed over to my mother and told him to talk to her if he had questions. He said “No, I’m asking you. You said I should vote for her, and I want you to tell me why.” To this day I don’t know why someone would put a little kid on the spot like that, but a lifetime of similar political encounters had an impact. They transformed me from that shy, introverted kid, into a shy, introverted adult who is accustomed to reaching out to strangers and building bridges and friendships. I can’t say that I’ve ever grown fond of asking people for acceptance with the potential to be denied or, worse yet, criticized. But I have gained thick-enough skin so that I don’t mind the rejection or criticism as much as most people probably do.

The thrill of someone telling me that they enjoyed my writing outweighs the occasional rejection or negativity that inevitably comes with this line of work. So, instead of asking people on Twitter to buy something or to “like” my page, I’m content with simply being friends, just like in Kindergarten. Plus, when people do ask me why they should read my books, I’m ready!

Leave a comment or ask Peter a question for a chance to win a copy of Perchance to Dream.

About the Author:
Peter Lukes grew up in Massachusetts, where he also went to college, law school and graduate school. Peter is an attorney who frequently teaches classes in history, political science and government as an adjunct faculty professor at local colleges. His true passion lies in writing the kinds of science fiction and fantasy stories that he loved reading throughout his life. Peter still lives in Massachusetts with his wife and son, who have both been indoctrinated into the worlds of spaceships, vampires, super heroes and dragons.

Manuel Corr is the best of the best in the Sub-Net unit of the Boston Police, where he invades the dreams of criminals to unearth potential crimes. He's fearless where his work is concerned, until one night when the dream world collapses around him. Now trapped in a dreamscape he can no longer direct, Manuel must try to fight his way back to reality.

But the road back is more dangerous than he realized. The tables have been turned; criminals are running the Sub-Net, and the world of dreams he'd once patrolled is a nightmare he cannot escape from.

Unless he can unlock the conspiracy behind who’s manipulating the Sub-Net, Manuel may be trapped forever. The criminal world is trying to recruit him for their side, and refusal means death. Can Manuel claw his way back to the reality he remembers? Or will the dream world become his new reality?


  1. Nice interview, Peter. I loved the stories of when you were a young boy. Good luck in your writing career.

  2. Okay, Peter, your story moved me. And inspired me to keep on marketing and trying to be out there as a real person, not just as a string of book links. Thanks for that! Plus, let me give some props for Perhance to Dream---this is a really good, fun, adventurous, innovative science fiction/detective/thriller! I totally enjoyed this book!

  3. Loved this post! So great, as so many of us struggle with marketing. I kind of find myself in the middle. I'm a very outgoing person and am used to talking to people (I teach high school), but I still find it kind of an annoying part of the process. However, I love your notion of seeing it as a way to meet new people with similar interests and that you go into it with the idea of just being friends. That's so refreshing and so less intimidating or awkward.

    Also, your book looks really interesting!!! Question, and don't take this the wrong way. I absolutely LOVED the movie Inception because it was unbelievably ingenious, the concept was so interesting, and the action and suspense was great. Your book sounds similar. Can you tell me maybe what's similar to the movie and what makes it stand apart? Thanks!

  4. Dusty- the funny story behind this book is that it was originally contracted with another publisher, and it was scheduled to be released when I first saw a preview for Inception. Well, that trailer sounded EXACTLY like the blurb for my book, and you can guess how hard my heart sank. For months, Leonardo DiCaprio was referred to as "F'n Leonardo DiCaprio" in my house.
    BUT, upon closer inspection, I realized that the two really aren't all that similar. They are both about dream invasion/manipulation and they both have conspiracy subplots of some sort. Without giving any spoilers, my book takes a completely different route than Inception, because the plot goes into a supernatural/paranormal bend along with totally different backgrounds, goals and outcomes for the characters in the story itself.
    The basic concepts are similar at first glance, yes, but I've also heard Perchance to Dream compared to The Matrix, Dreamscape, and the Otherworld novels, which I am unfamiliar with, but apparently it's a compliment.
    Inception showed a relatively tame dreamworld that was mostly a warped version of what the characters came from in reality (a modern cityscape). My worlds are truly dreamworlds in the sense that anything goes.

  5. Peter, great post - I think marketing is so scary to many authors because it's them that's being marketed - of course, it's the work, but it's you as a writer. Funnily enough, I find that approach easy - I'm Eleni and I write fantasy and paranormal fiction and I market myself as such. It's my public persona and over the years, blogging and volunteering has helped me market myself. Though I can be quite shy, I've learned like you to still put myself out there in terms of marketing.

    Loved your dad's advice.

  6. Nice post, Peter. I think you hit the nail on the head when you connected marketing to personal relationships.