Self Publishing Series, Step 5: Connect With Potential Readers

potential readersThe day has finally arrived. Your polished book is ready and available for readers to enjoy! Now what do you do? Why, you market of course! I strongly debated whether or not to even write a post about marketing simply because, to put it quite plainly, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing! The struggle is real. Then I reminded myself that this blog is not about me being an expert, but about creating a community of writers, both seasoned and new, coming together to share knowledge. It’s also about connecting with people who love reading. That’s when the light finally clicked on! Marketing for writers is simply a way to connect with current and potential readers. When I think of it that way, the rest is a piece of cake. I LOVE connecting with readers.

Fortunately, we’re operating in a time when it’s easier than ever to connect with fans. There are so many outlets available. Social media has completely changed the marketing game. Writers have the opportunity to connect with readers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Tumbler, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Blogging, E-mail blasts, newsletters and the list could go on….and on. Which leads me to my next point.

Get ready to get on your grind. Marketing these days could easily become a round the clock job. For independently published authors it practically is. I’m not kidding.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending more time marketing than actually writing. Balance is key. Social media is both a gift and a curse to the modern self published author. My advice is to pick your social media platforms carefully, then put in the time and effort required to build a following. I know that some authors believe that you should create a profile with every single available social media source, but I disagree.

If the point of marketing is to truly connect with potential readers, you can only do that if you’re dedicated to faithfully using that particular social platform. For example, what’s the point of creating an author page on Facebook if you rarely log in to it? I think that the best route is to dive right into a few select outlets and really seek to engage with your followers. Hopefully in the end, whatever source you choose will become less of a required chore and more of a joy as you build sincere relationships.

So that’s my two cents on marketing for now. Future posts to come on other marketing strategies and tips such as: creating a solid brand, soliciting book reviews, etc. As I navigate my way into successful marketing, I’ll take y’all with me! It would be a real shame if I ended this post without inviting you to connect with me via the social media outlet of your choice right over there——>>>>> Pick one, you know you want to 🙂

What marketing strategies have you used or are using? Tell me about them in the comments below!

 

Photo credit: WorldLitToday / Foter / CC BY-SA

Featuring Women Writers for Women’s History Month

Another great interview from one of the fabulous contributors to Voices from the Block! Check it out.

Ann Fields

In previous weeks, I introduced several women writers who are featured in the recently released anthology Voices from the Block: A Legacy of African-American Literature . This week I am pleased to introduce yet another–Toyette Dowdell. I met Toyette years ago and know her to be a highly skilled writer. I consider it an honor for my work to appear with hers in Voices. I can’t wait for you to learn more about this gifted writer through her interview below, and if you’re interested in meeting Toyette in person, she and many of the other contributors to Voices will be at Absinthe Lounge at Southside on Lamar, Dallas, Texas, Saturday, April 5, 7:00 pm.

When did you know you wanted to write?
Toyette: I was an insatiable reader as a child and wrote lots of short stories and plays when I was young, but I decided I wanted to pursue…

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Monday Pick Me Up #Kindle Freebies

Monday’s are not my favorite day of the week, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. In order to make them more bearable, how about a little pick me up? I love books, especially when they’re my favorite price: free! Following are a few e-books that are currently free via Amazon’s Kindle. I only chose books that I actually plan to read and, I’ve gotta say, this bleak Monday just got a whole lot brighter! Click on the pictures to check these e-books out for yourself.

over you

When Jessica Stevens temporarily moves in with her elderly aunt to help care for her, she plans to use the time to heal from a recent break-up. But when her aunt decides to do some remodeling on the old house, Jessica is dismayed to discover that the contractor is her ex-fiancé, a man who dumped her several years before.

Helping distract her from her troubles are mysterious fifty-year old letters she finds in her aunt’s attic. The contents of the letters spur Jessica to do some digging, but as the truth of the past begins to be revealed, Jessica regrets ever finding the letters.

Over You does not contain any profanity or sexual content.

Behind the maskAbbi has the gift of dreams. But her uncanny ability to see glimpses of the future has no apparent purpose or meaning until a dream leads her to a man on the brink of despair and destruction.

Cameron is a man without a name and without a country, framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Long ago forced into exile and believed dead, the passing of years have defaced him of all hope.

The country of Horstberg suffers beneath the weight of tyranny, and only Cameron holds the secret that could see her ruler undone and restore the people to peace and prosperity. While revolution brews and whispers of treason threaten all that is dear to Abbi, she remains unaware of her own ability to answer a nation’s prayers.

Trusting only her heart and the power of her dreams, Abbi gives all that she has to lead Cameron back into a civilized world, where love is real and freedom comes only in facing what hides behind the mask.

Please note that this book contains the entire Volume One of the Horstberg Saga, over 1,080 manuscript pages! Ebook has a fully linked table of contents.

 

Stuck in the MiddleJoan Sanderson’s life is stuck.Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family, and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is stuck at home with Mom and her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement–or romance.When a hunky young doctor moves in next door, Joan sets out to catch his eye. But it won’t be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly, and Joan is sure that she can’t compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, Joan begins to find her way out of this rut and into the life she’s been hiding from.Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, soul searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that is sure to make you smile.

I’ve got a little mystery/romance, a psychological epic novel and some faith-based chick lit. I’m all set!

(All book covers and descriptions are courtesy of Amazon.com)

Jill Scott: Nothing is for Nothing on Def Jam Poetry

Guess what I discovered while watching poetry videos in the hopes that they would help me prepare for performing spoken word  at the “Voice’s from the Block” book launching party? Whew! I could barely get that shameless plug out in one breath. Anyway, I stumbled across this throwback video of the multi-talented superstar Jill Scott! I have to say, it makes me feel better about my performance anxiety when I see that one of the greats used a ‘cheat sheet’ to deliver her poem. It just goes to show, we’ve all got to start somewhere. I hope you enjoy it!

WARNING: This poem is just a tad bit explicit. It’s not vulgar, but I still feel that I should give you a heads up.

I like how she made sure to engage the audience and finished strong. Got any delivery tips for me? Let me know in the comments below!

And the Women Keep Coming

Another one of the fabulous contributing authors of ‘Voices from the Block: A Legacy of African-American Literature’. The awesomeness continues…

Ann Fields

Today reflects the third installment of highlighting women writers during Women’s History Month (March).

Today I introduce you to one of the most diverse women writers I know…Sharron Pete. Sharron is not only a great short story writer but also an accomplished article writer and novelist. In essence, she writes well in either long or short form.

Sharron, along with six other talented women writers, is one of the featured contributors in the recently released Voices from the Block:  A Legacy of African-American Literature, a compilation book of poems, essays and short stories written by some of the most prolific members of the Writer’s Block.

Read on to meet this talented young lady…

Sharron Pete

When did you know you wanted to write? 

Since I was a child, I have always written stories and poems. I’ve always loved to read and I enjoy the aspect of developing characters that others can enjoy. I began to write…

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Today is a Great Day: I’m Published!

ecover

Ok, so I’m fully aware that a lot of people like to play it cool and act like their accomplishments are no big deal. I’m not one of those people, so I’m shouting it from the roof tops.  I’M PUBLISHED! It’s been a long time coming. I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was a little girl, and let me tell you, when your dreams come true it takes a while to fully understand that it’s all real. This. Is. Happening. 

Can you tell I’m excited? So much so, that I haven’t even given you the title of the book! It’s called ‘Voices from the Block: A Legacy of African-American Fiction’It’s a phenomenal collection of short stories written by seven amazing women, one of whom is yours truly. Of course, you do understand that I’m a little biased. But hey, if you don’t toot your own horn every once in a while, who will? So let me continue. When you read this collection I believe you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head in disbelief, you’ll buck your eyes in shock, you’ll FEEL something. Hopefully, you won’t do all of these things at once. That would be a problem.

I poured pieces of my heart and soul into my contributions to this anthology, as did all of the authors that are featured in ‘Voices from the Block’. I truly hope our words speak life to dead places, and create new winds of thought to stir up stagnant minds. Yes, that is a lyrical way of saying I hope it blows your frickin’ mind. See? I’m a word smith. Don’t you want to see how I get down in this book? You saw this coming right? Get your copy via Amazon here.

But seriously, I’m grateful to each one of you for taking time to read my ramblings and ‘visit’ with me every once and while. As you can probably imagine, I’ll be posting more information about this publication in the near future. Just give me a little time to come down off of this cloud of pure ecstasy first.

Btw, don’t be shy. Like my Facebook page, so we can stay in touch!