JOIN THE BAND
Welcome to the Laugh Riot Press Blog. I’m Rich Leder, screenwriter, novelist, publisher, and founder of Laugh Riot Press, an indie social media marketing and publishing company whose mission is to present and promote its community of indie authors and their funny books. Since this is the LRP inaugural post, I’m going to tell you a little bit about who I am and why I created Laugh Riot Press, so you’ll know where we’re coming from. I’m guessing my story is a lot like yours. Maybe not exactly the same but similar.
As an indie screenwriter, I wrote television movies in Los Angeles for 15 years—18 of my scripts have been produced and aired in markets around the globe. It was a sweet ride for a long time, but like most rides, this one came to an end when the TV movie business imploded.
I was living in Santa Barbara with my wife and three young children and was confronted with two choices. Choice One: Move us back to LA—where we had lived for seven years prior to moving up the coast—and (try to) get a staff job on an hour drama. Choice Two: Move myself back to LA during the week and drive home on (most) weekends. My wife did not want to move back to LA, and I didn’t want to miss my kids growing up—I coached all their sports and volunteered in their classrooms. I picked Choice Three: Sell everything.
I cashed out and moved across the country to a North Carolina beach, where I could continue to coach and volunteer and write and where life would be somewhat slower and kinder and more genteel. All of that turned out to be true and, once again, pretty sweet.
Six years ago, I wrote my first funny novel (hey, I think it’s funny), Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench, and, like a lot of you, I got hooked. I wrote two more—the first two books in my funny PI series, McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication, and McCall & Company: Swollen Identity—started a fourth (another stand-alone) and went searching for a New York agent. I found a good one and together we went looking for a legacy publisher, and that’s where, like a lot of you, the story got sucky.
Over the course of a year, I heard this, more or less, on 14 separate occasions: Rich is a terrific writer, easy, fun, and fast to read. And he’s funny. I laughed out loud. I read parts to my friends, and they laughed out loud. So... Pass. Funny books are hard to sell.
I had read stories aplenty of writers who had suffered through many more than 14 rejections over far longer periods of time while waiting to land their legacy deal, but a year of rejection was enough for me. I didn’t want to wait another year or two or ten for my books to be deemed marketable by an industry in the throes of a sea change. I wanted my books to have a life of their own as soon as possible, my theory being the more funny books in the world, the better.
I began to read and research self publishing and found Joe Konrath and Joanna Penn and CJ Lyons and David Gaughran and Johnny, Sean, and Dave from the Self Publishing Podcast and Smashwords and other iconic indie author-publisher-entrepreneur-warriors-and-heroes who were (and are) well ahead of me on the self publishing curve, but who continually turned around and said, “Come on, man. You can do this too. Here’s how I did it, step by step.”
So, like a lot of you, inspired by Joe and Joanna and CJ and David and the SPP posse—none of whom I have ever met but whose blogs and newsletters and podcasts I read and watch regularly for courage and inspiration and knowledge and know-how—and cheered by the brave and vibrant heart of the indie author community, I decided to keep writing and self publish my books. Step one: Awesome feeling of control.
But I had also read and researched that if you want the world of readers to know that you and your books are out there and that people should know you and buy your books and read them and then buy more of them, then marketing (after writing more and then more, of course) was the next most important, immediate, and obvious step... Step one point one.
I have other entrepreneurial business interests and so I know from experience that, if you do it daily and do it right, social media marketing, when generated with sharp focus, is the most cost effective way to get the word out with the widest net to the largest number of people that there’s a product or service in the marketplace worth knowing about. In this case, that product would be indie authors and their funny books.
So I needed to create a genre-specific, social media marketing and publishing company, a digital hotspot that was at its core a promotion machine whose mission was to market and promote a community of indie authors who want to make readers laugh and continually connect them with readers looking for books that will make them laugh, a community of indie authors joining together to maximize the exponential power of year-round social media marketing exposure.
I needed to create Laugh Riot Press.
Fortunately, LRP co-founder and social media marketing wizard Heather Thomson was (coincidentally) also looking to create a social media marketing company. Also fortunately, she likes to read funny books.
In our blog, we’ll talk about indie writing and publishing and marketing and how the time is now—right now—to keep writing and self publish your book(s) and get the word out in the most present, persistent, powerful, and efficient way possible. We’ll feature Laugh Riot Press authors and their books, we’ll host guest bloggers and present interviews with writers and cover designers and formatters and editors, we’ll share book reviews, and we’ll keep you up to date on all the free stuff and giveaways and special deals and new releases and funny business happening at LRP.
That’s it for now. We’re excited to meet you, so come on back...