We have another free week, so I decided to talk about promotions. Since most of the responsibility for promoting books lands on the authors, we’ve had to learn to be visible to as many people as possible. There are so many outlets for potential readers to frequent, and to reach them we need to work on meeting them where they are. I have a novella that was re-released two weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to another new release in about a month, so I’m gearing up for the usual round of activities associated with promoting them.
This afternoon and evening and again tomorrow night I’m hosting and participating in a FACEBOOK party. In case you’ve never had the pleasure of attending a Facebook party, that’s when you set up an event and invite all your friends and then some. When party time arrives, you sit in front of your computer and share all sorts of stuff about yourself and your new book – and your old ones too, if you have them. And usually you offer guests the chance to win stuff.
Since I want to make sure that LOTS of people hear about my books I’ve signed up to participate in several other Facebook parties over the next few months. That means I need to get busy gathering prizes. My sewing machines are going to get a workout! Above are some sachets I made to coordinate with the theme of my regency romances. I’m also giving away some hand made greeting cards, like the ones below. If you’d like a chance to win, I’d love it if you’d join me! I’ll be in two places tomorrow night:
From 6pm to 7pm Eastern time, I’m helping Brooke Williams celebrate her brand new romance Mamarazzi – if you’re free, join the party at this LINK.
And then from 8 to 8:30 I’m helping Eskape Press celebrate its second birthday. This is a day and a half event starting today and continuing tomorrow evening. Here’s that LINK.
Another way I’ll try to get my name and books out there is to ask other authors to host me at their BLOGS. The idea is that the hosting blogger will have readers who might be interested in me and my books, and people who follow me might enjoy visiting the host blogger. I didn’t hit the blog trail for my re-release, but I’ve got several guest blog spots lined up for when the new book next month. That means I’ve got to come up with unique blog material for each place I visit, and decide if I want to do a giveaway. More sewing and crafting for me! I’ll share the links to my guest posts on my Facebook page the next time we have a free week – if I remember to do so.
Authors also use TWITTER to get the word out about their books. My grandkids have long been communicating with each other and their friends using that forum, but I never tried it until I had a book and needed to promote it. With some coaching from fellow authors (and a few pointers from my children), I’m getting more comfortable with it – except for trying to get an entire message into a very limited number of characters! I also joined a group called Authors Helping Authors – we write up tweets about our book and put them in a database. An administrator puts them into a rotation and every other day or so we get a list of tweets to send out – easy peasy! If you want to follow me, look for @PatriciaKiyono.
As I mentioned last week, I’m always learning new things, so this summer I started an INSTAGRAM account. Since I’m a photo addict, I’ve always got pictures of people in my life and the places I go. I also take pictures of my sewing projects and prizes for events. Instagram shares those pictures with all sorts of people, with the added advantage that when I post a picture on that venue, I can instantly share it on Facebook and Twitter at the same time! If I had accounts at Tumblr and Flickr I could share them there, too – but I can only take on so much new learning at a time. Anyway, if you like to share pictures and want to see mine, you can find me at this LINK.
PINTEREST is a site where people collect information. It’s like a huge bulletin board. I like to collect recipes (odd, since I never cook) and craft/sewing ideas. Many authors use it as a way to share information about their books. I have a Pinterest board for some of my books, so this past weekend I updated my boards to reflect my two new regency romances. This way people can see what I had in mind when I was writing my stories. I post pictures of the setting, of people who look like the characters I write about, even scenes – especially in historicals. A few of my boards are for books that I might write someday. I’m hoping the pictures I post there will inspire me! My Pinterest boards can be found HERE.
Keeping up with all these outlets takes some time, and I’m fortunate to be semi-retired. Still, it’s easy to get behind on some while I’m concentrating on completing a book. But if I want people to read what I write I need to make connections – lots of them, and it’s not always possible to meet people face-to-face. It’s a challenge learning to navigate my way around these venues, but as I’ve mentioned before – I’m happy when I’m acquiring new knowledge and skills.
How do you like to connect with people?
Aarrgghhh. Promotion is such a daunting aspect of our writing world… and yet (as you point out) so important. I sometimes dream of what it must be like for a bestselling author like Stephen King, who (presumably) just WRITES and then has an entire team at the publishing house who work on promo — advance, release day, and afterwards.
I don’t fool with pinterest or instagram. I’ve barely gotten my feet wet with twitter, but have gotten to a fairly steady pace of one post per day.
Facebook, on the other hand, is where I post a lot — and about 85% is NOT related to my novels or novellas. I just try to engage and entertain.
I’m glad you go to the trouble of writing different blogs for your blog hop. I was following an author in a 30 day blog hop one time — don’t ask — and she posted almost the identical content on every place she stopped. I’d gotten to the point that I’d memorized everything but her introductory paragraph!
I’ll try to visit the Escape party Tues evening, if I remember. Will be tied up for the other one.
It takes time to get used to the various platforms, Jeff, and not everything is for everyone. Pinterest and Instagram probably wouldn’t appeal as much to men, unless they like to take and share pictures. And you do an awesome job engaging people with your Facebook posts.
I’ve visited blog hops where people post the same thing over and over, too. It’s one reason why I go to the trouble of creating different content for each. But 30 days? I’d be exhausted.
Looking forward to “seeing” you at the party.
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oh, I see several familiar names at the EsKape party. Both evenings, but more on Tues. Will def. try to visit, but I can’t get trapped!
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I think we have a ‘social media’ theme coming up soon. I have the links up and I will do my best to drop in on the FB parties, but it’s been hard since Joe has been tied-up and the family has been in and out.I know it’s a wait-and-see game and I would like to be present to you and others.
Really? I don’t see social media on my schedule. Must be later on in the year. Anyway, I’d love to see you if you’re able, but I certainly understand family commitments!
You are certainly busy over the next month. How did you decide what to do for giveaways? I always wanted to try something different but I am afraid nobody will want what I decide on so I stick with books and gift cards. I would love to personalize giveaways though.
I have seen how people jump at your cards you make. They really seem like a huge hit at the parties.
I use most of the resources you do, Patty, except Instagram. I just don’t have time to add one more thing. Promotion is so time consuming–but necessary. Best wishes on all your endeavors.
It’s exhausting, isn’t it Diane? Yes, it’s time consuming. But I do enjoy it, most of the time.