What could I do? One of my best writing buddies, Heather Trent Beers, asked me to participate in a Blog Tour with her. Please check out her fabulous blog at http://www.heathertrentbeers.blogspot.com/. Heather writes with humor and wisdom. Unfortunately, she wanted me to answer the same four questions I answered just 2 months ago. So, if you’re new to my page and have a burning desire to know what I’m working on, take a look at :http://www.kimstokely.com/?p=672
I’ll wait here while you do…
For those of you who’ve already read that blog. Here’s a pretty picture from my recent trip to Connecticut.
This is Hammonassett State Park. One of my favorite places in the world. I love to go there and refresh my soul.
Okay…is everybody back now?
Instead of reiterating what I’m writing now, I’d like to talk about 4 things I’ve learned about marketing this past month. Here goes:
1. It doesn’t pay to be an introvert. As much as the writing life suits me because I can stay in the safety of my house and not have to talk to strangers, if I want people to read my novel, I have to be willing to step outside my comfort zone. Toot my own horn. Tell people about my work. This includes calling up book store owners and asking if I can do a book signing. And once we’ve agreed on a date, I need to make sure others know about it. I can’t rely on Facebook to do all the work. Posters need to be placed in the store and around town. Press releases need to be sent to local papers. It’s hard to brag about yourself, but if you believe in your work, you have to do it.
2. Marketing costs money, but it’s worth the effort. I’ve done book signings where I just had my books and a sign. I’ve done book signings where I had my books, a sign, a bowl of candy, pamphlets and giveaways. Guess which signings were more successful? People will stop and talk if there’s a non-threatening freebie like candy or mints. If they stop to talk, you have the opportunity to tell them about your book. I’ve also been giving away copies of devotionals and anthologies in which I’m published. Even if they don’t buy my novel at the signing, they may be tempted to take a look on Amazon when they get home, if they’ve won a prize.
3. Non-fiction writers often have a platform that they use to promote their books, fiction writers can benefit from the same strategy. My novel, Woman of Flames, is based on the Old Testament prophet, Deborah. I resurrected a one-woman show I used to perform for churches and retreats about women in the Bible and have been sending out pamphlets to various churches and venues. In Connecticut, I performed a show for my mother’s Assisted Living facility and sold my books afterward.
Several family members also attended and I’ve gotten leads for possible performances in the fall. I hope to release Winter Trees this autumn. As it’s a story set in an Assisted Living facility, I plan on contacting the Alzheimer’s Association to see if there are any events that I could set up a book signing table if I’m willing to share some of my profits with them.
4. For the Indy Author, word of mouth is still the best advertising. As such, get yourself on Facebook, Goodreads and any blogs you can. Put up an author page on Amazon and use their marketing tools. I recently did a 2 day free download promotion and had over 2,6oo people download my book. Sure, I don’t get money from those, but I think of it as having put a billboard throughout the globe! Not all those people are going to read it, but if only 10 % do, that’s 260 people that will hopefully like my work and spread the word about it.
Now, I’d like to introduce you to 3 of my writing friends, please be kind and take a look at their sites and leave a comment to let them know you were there!
Gina M. Barlean is a suspense writer with several novels to check out. Her latest is, Thorns of Rosewood. http://www.gmbarlean.com/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GMBarlean
Angela Welch Prusia is a Young Adult writer with 2 wonderful Coming-of-Age novels available in print and on Kindle. The newest is Late Summer Monarch.www.angelawelchprusia.com
Janet Nitsick’s newest work, Bride by Arrangement, is an anthology with best-selling romance author, Ruth Ann Nordin. http://www.janetsyasnitsick.com/