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Archive for September, 2014

#Book #Marketing: Guest Post by Holly Michael

September 29, 2014 4 comments

For me, marketing began before I finished my first book. Confident, I’d finish my book, I declared myself an author and started my blog, http://www.writingstraight.com/ to connect with other bloggers and hopefully potential readers. I also wanted to connect writers to readers as well as share about my life, my family, and my faith. Blogging about my visits to India also drew in readers who cared about India, which was good because half of my novel, Crooked Lines, takes place in India.

I also made it a point to visit other blogs and make friends. You can’t be like a person shouting through a megaphone from your doorstep. You have to get out and engage with others, visit other sites, and leave comments. Make real friends who care about you and your writing. You do that by caring about them. Same concept goes for Facebook and other social media. You have to kiss a few babies, or at least comment on that cute grandchild or precious newborn. Who can resist a cute baby, anyway? If someone shares troubles, I empathize with them and offer my prayers. Five hundred friends on Facebook that you don’t know aren’t as important as 50 friends you really know.

But, you can’t let social media suck up all of your time or you’ll never have time to write. I use my iPhone quite a bit when I’m stuck in the car (riding, not driving) or waiting at appointments. I scan blogs I follow, run through Facebook and twitter posts or check out who’s posting what on Pinterest. I connect when I can, but don’t usually spend time viewing every video about amazing dogs and cats.

Once my book was published—just this past July—I entered into an entirely new realm. How do you sell books without being like the annoying uncle selling AMWAY products? It’s a tough line to draw. Do you shout out about your book all day long on social media? I don’t think that’s effective. I personally asked friends to read and review my book and share their review on social media. I also offer to do blog interviews. (But this is give and take. You should also feature others on your blog and review their books, too.) Those who love you, especially if you’ve helped them out in the past, are usually happy to return the favor.

Marketing is tough, no doubt. I read a lot of articles and books seeking new marketing ideas, but the suggestions that make the most sense are: 1. Write a good book. 2. Write a second good book.

Other ideas: Offer books free for a review; besides friends, Goodreads is a great starting place to find reviewers. Do a Goodreads giveaway. Search out Facebook groups where you can promote your book, go to book festivals, check with your local library and local book clubs. Tweet a bit, post a great review on Facebook, but ultimately keep in mind your job is to identify your readers and figure out how you can reach them.

Bio: Holly Michael, published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books has released her debut novel, Crooked Lines. She and her husband, Anglican Bishop Leo Michael, regularly travel from their home in Kansas City to India. She has a grown daughter, Betsy and two sons who play football. One in the NFL and one in college football.  Visit Holly at http://www.hollymichael.com/ and check out her blog at http://www.writingstraight.com/

Book: Crooked Lines

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