5 Things I’ve Learned So Far On This Journey:
1. I enjoy speaking about the writing process, research, or some aspect of my novels MORE than I enjoy regular book signings. I’m thankful for the book signing opportunities – don’t get me wrong – but I am more comfortable in a “teaching role” – go figure ;-p
You can find some helpful tips on how to be great at public speaking, even when you are scared to death, here.
2. There are a lot of generous, kind, supportive, encouraging people in cyperspace who are happy to host you on their blog and pass along your info on Twitter. But you have to ASK them. Most people (usually) are happy to help, if they know what they can do to help you. If you want to be a guest on a blog, ASK! If you want someone to tweet or retweet your information on Twitter, ASK (triberr is a good way to reach others on Twitter. Here is some more information on using Twitter.)
3. Most of Social Media is NOISE. If all you are doing is selling, people will quickly tune out. So, figure out what you can bring to the table, what you can add to benefit others, and bring it. Tell people about that. The selling will come later. It’s old news now, but it really is about connections. The connections you make between your readers and you, and the connections your readers make with your writing. Focus on those connections and BE AUTHENTIC. People can spot a phony, even if they can’t quite put their finger on what rubs them the wrong way.
4. Your writing is your brand. When I first published my novel, I had several short stories available on Amazon and Smashwords. While these short stories weren’t awful (some of them were pretty good, if I do say so myself), they didn’t fit my brand. I’m a southern writer, and while I may venture into other genres, my VOICE is as a southern writer. One of my mistakes (whoa, nelly, there are many…) was publishing these short stories. Why? When someone read those short stories and liked them, there wasn’t any thing else like it in my body of writing. Which brings me to my last point –
5. If I could do it over again, I would wait to publish my first novel until I had my second one near completion. When someone finished reading Josephine: Red Dirt & Whiskey and they wanted to read more of my work that is similar to it, they had to wait almost a year before I could offer them anything else. That’s a LONG time to ask someone to wait. But, now I have Nelson and Cora – The Beginning available as well Josephine: Red Dirt & Whiskey. My third novel will be available in August – Nelson and Cora – The Journey. In a nutshell – have more to offer your fans than one novel. Don’t be a one trick pony!
***A pet peeve of mine – say thank you, sincerely. Send a thank you email or actually write a handwritten thank you note. It only takes a moment. It makes a lasting impression, and it is good manners! ***
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far in your writing, publishing, marketing journey? Please share in the comments 🙂