I've wracked my brain over this blog, and thought I might share with everyone what's been most eventful in my life for the last year or so. I should expand, and, truthfully admit this situation has had me scratching at stress rashes, pulling out thinning hair (I can't afford to loose), and doling out more money than I should or would fez up to. I bet you all knew what I was rambling on about as soon as I mentioned the overspending. I'm talking about promoting my books. When my first paperback "The Vicarage Bench" was released over a year ago, I soon realized I'd taken on a whole new career.
I started out promising myself that I would use common sense and go the free route as much as possible. Right!! (written with a sneer) Free means a lot of work doing intricate techie stuff that has guaranteed side effects such as: headaches, insomnia, alcoholism, and a good chance of the need for future marriage counselling. There are many sites out there for anyone who has the stamina to use them. Unfortunately, after a few mind-altering weeks, getting absolutely no-where, my enthusiasm waned and my get-up-and-go dropped dead. Filling in profiles, getting my pictures up on all the various pages, and my book covers in as many places as I could legally stick them was crazy - time consuming and exhausting.
I decided to poll others in some of my different groups for their advice, and it varied. I wrote it all down and ticked them off. The most popular suggestion was to have a website and get business cards and bookmarks. Tick! The next on the list was to join reader and author sites such as Goodreads and Savvy Author, and a gazillion more. Tick! Then I was told to get on blogs and blog my little heart out. Tick! Tick…tick…tick… Like a bomb getting ready to blow, my head swelled and I thought it might explode, spewing out those goofy little round yellow emoticons all over the place.
I was also informed of the importance of a web presence. So I'm on My Space, I twitter lots of little tweets, and we certainly can't leave out Facebook. But more was needed so I called my web mistress for some critical advice. After all, she's been in the business a lot longer than I have. She told me a Newsletter was a must…authors should gather names of people who are interested in us as individuals, and who will therefore be more apt to buy our books. Gotcha! A few painful weeks later – done.
Then the little paperback beauty arrived, and I could hold it in my hand. Maybe it was all worth it. I know my lagging enthusiasm returned, and so I got up the gumption to ask for an interview at the nearest newspaper. I also went to the only grocery store in our small town and requested that they carry copies so my friends who live nearby could buy it locally. And since we have a Chapters store in the larger city near us, I was able to set up a consignment deal for them to stock some books also. Then I sat back proudly and caught my breath.
Hold it! I hadn't finished, not by a long shot.
With a bit more research, I found out that banners are another way that many in the profession reach out. And then there's judging contests, sending the book to review sites, ads in various magazines or online with Facebook and U-tube, giving workshops, and…and…gulp!!
Well I'm sure you get my drift. It's a non-ending drain of time, energy and money. This new marketing career has been the worst experience of anything else I've ever had thrust on me. I guess—because—even though I could get advice from others who'd been down this route, I was forced to actually do the work myself through trial and error.
Then…an amazing thing happened. By some miracle, through all this stress, I found the time to write another manuscript called "Together Again", contract it, and have it released. This time around I was ready. And the marketing went much smoother than it had before.
I realized that I'd learned a great deal - more than I knew I even needed to know (if that makes any sense?) This time I managed to do a lot more marketing, but truthfully, it seemed simpler and less stressful somehow. I've accepted that I can't do it all, so I've chosen the areas I think are the most effective. I manage my time so well, that I only allow myself two games of Spider Solitaire a day! Sigh!
If you're an author, how have you managed the added careers of publicist and promoter for your books? As a reader, did you realize that most authors today don't just write a novel, pass it on, and wait for their royalty checks? I'd love to hear your comments, so please join in the discussion.
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My Newest release:
"Together Again" follows along the same paranormal theme as the rest of the books for The Vicarage Bench Series. It is a lovely, romantic story about a young, pregnant girl who spirit-travels forward ten years in time and invades the body of a handsome reporter. While together, they have some incredible experiences, and they fall in madly in love only to have to separate. He's promised to give her one week to get organized before he comes to claim her. But for her, their reunion date takes place in ten years.
When the time finally arrives, a big question plagues her. Since he's expecting a seventeen-year-old girl, will he love her as the twenty-seven year old woman she is today? Using her alias, she decides to seduce him during that week. Except that he proves to be a honourable man, staying faithful to her younger self. Until the night he almost falters and the guilt is overwhelming.
Check out the interview of TOGETHER AGAIN at The Romance Reviews (with giveaways!).