Shoo Rayner, author of The Ginger Ninja
which he self-published on CompletelyNovel got in touch to ask if we would vote for him in an upcoming competition on YouTube. We said, “of course!….so long as you do something for us too….”
So Shoo has agreed to share his experience of promoting his work and building up an online audience to give other writers some ideas and inspiration to explore the world of self-promotion themselves. You can read more useful advice on promoting your work on this page of the CompletelyNovel site. And please don’t forget to vote for Shoo too!
Vote for me and Vote often!by Shoo Rayner
“What is it with Manga?” I thought one day. “And what is with those weird eyes that they draw?” I googled Manga Eyes.
A video by Mark Crillee, an American Manga artist, stood out. I clicked on the link and was amazed. With terrible camera quality, that he still uses, Mark showed how to draw an eye in a classic manga style.
It was an OMG moment. I realised the power of YouTube in a second. Immediately I began making my first video, showing how to draw one of my characters, the Ginger Ninja. The quality was terrible, the lights fell off half way through, but it did the job.
A massive audience didn’t follow! I did a few more of my characters, then someone asked me to show them how to draw a gorilla and my drawing school began to take off. I found myself doing requests and things that I thought would be interesting. I’ll have a go at drawing pretty well anything and show how to do it. The numbers increased and I’ve now just passed my millionth view.
I’ve taught myself techniques along the way. My second camera couldn’t focus close enough, so I strapped a pair of reading glasses over the lens, and that did the job!
Last November, I had enough views to convince YouTube to make me a partner, so I get a little bit of income from adverts. But being a partner allowed me to enter the YouTube Next Up Europe Competition.
Suddenly, my drawing school is a serious proposition – I’m in the last eighty and I need votes to get me into the final 20 – your votes – plaese vote everyday until and including the 9th of July!
There will be 8 winners in the UK, winning cash to spend developing our channels and receiving intensive technical training and mentoring. What an amazing opportunity to promote drawing, illustration and my books.
For two years I’ve been creating drawing lessons for my subscribers, answering their queries and chatting. They live all around the world and have become faithful viewers and followers. But my wife often rolls her eyes and reminds me that they are not really my friends.
So, when the competition started, I called on them to vote and the wave of love and support that came back was amazing. I guess I’d been giving away my lessons for so long, it wasn’t too much to ask.
I guess, if you want to build an online audience, that’s the way to do it. It’s hard work and you cannot let up for a day – I get messages nagging for the next lesson when I’ve had a few days off!