1. I’m also doing most of what Kallypso suggests, to a lesser extent, but I am making a conscious effort to blog more. Funny she mentions guest blogs. Starting this Wednesday, I’m having a guest author visit my blog every week (blatant promo here )

    I still haven’t hit the huge numbers Kallypso has, but I’m trying.

  2. Indirect marketing–it’s marketing that sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing. I loved that! I listed the university I received my MBA at on my website and they contacted me about doing a feature article and began carrying my books at their library. When that happened, I contacted the community college, the locale where my books are set, and the other university I attended and received my undergraduate degree. Both did features. I received an email from a news reporter who wanted to do a feature, didn’t remember where she’d seen a mention of me, but it was in the Portland, Oregon area. Again, word of mouth, nothing done on my part…

    The Examiner (online local reporting) has local freelance reporters who write about romance or other topics, and you can contact them based on your area. I contacted the place where I used to live and they called me and did a full featured front page news story! I figured I’d have a tiny mention in the back of the newspaper.

    Doing a blog tour can get your book out there. They’re time consuming, but one new fan told me she kept seeing my book everywhere that she finally just had to buy it. LOL The more people see it, the more likely you’ll have a chance to make an impression.

    There are tons of ways to promote, but basically, promote yourself, your interests, the book is a sideline. 🙂 I never really thought that readers cared much about the dedication and such, but I’ve had several fans comment on my dedications and realized just how important they are. I had a fan send me a note saying that her aunt adored my books after she got her hooked on them, and was in the middle of reading my latest wolf book when she suddenly died. So I’m dedicating the next book that I’m currently writing to the aunt and to the niece.

    Fans are the reason I write.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Edie! This began as my answering questions via e-mail to a newbie who was working on publishing her first book this year, so had the most value for really new writers.

    Margery, I’m doing well to get one blog up a week. Six Sunday used to be that for me, but I was REALLY bad about making the rounds due to my insane life, so I felt guilty and quit doing them. But I think I still have people from there who check me out on Sundays just in case I’m back, so I know I’ve attracted some new readers (most of them also writers). But in the beginning, it’s also important to get noticed by other authors, because we support each other, or we need to, anyway.

    Terry, I’ve never courted the media (and I have a journalism degree!), but have been thinking about that. I don’t want to reveal my real-life self, for security reasons, though, so it might be tricky.

    Word of mouth is THE BEST. That’s what carried me my first 6-7 months when I didn’t have money for marketing. It was my readers telling other readers (and book clubs) mostly. I also send swag to book clubs upon request (including a set of 60 of everything I sent to Indonesia in June).

    I also loved your story about the dedications. I probably have the longest dedication and acknowledgements of anyone writer’s. I believe in giving the names of everyone who helps in any way. It means a lot to readers, too. And in my upcoming book, one of my readers is letting me agree to dedicate it to her son, who killed himself as a result of PTSD after Iraq. (This book involves two characters with PTSD.) But I write BDSM romances, so, of course, I wanted to be sure she was okay with that. I could easily have given his first name only or initials, but she said he’d be proud to have my book dedicated to him and she was going to tell all of his friends. (She told me a very funny story to illustrated why he’d have no problem having the book dedicated to him, too.)

    The best part of writing is interacting with the readers, which is why doing the social media is no problem for me (except that I spent more time doing it than I probably should while on a writing deadline). LOL. But in recent days, I’ve gotten letters from several readers telling me how my books (and my characters) have changed their lives. THAT makes it all worthwhile.


  4. Kally, how great of that soldier’s mother for sharing the story with you. In my last novella (not published yet), my heroine was brain damaged and my hero had PTSD. It was a bit spooky how easily I slipped into their voices.

  5. Great advice. I’ve found that I can’t do it all. So, I’m now trying to figure out which works best. I do know one thing. Writing the next book is most important. Just keep writing.

  6. Excellent post, Kally! 🙂

    I don’t agree about the formatting thing at this point–but since I do have the money for it, I think that may be a control issue! lol!–however, unless you’re very comfortable with the process it’s a good idea to pay someone else to do it. Interacting with readers gives me such a boost though and I do think putting yourself out there, showing readers who YOU are, is so important for authors. I’ve always hate pimping myself, but you showed me the beauty of a good tease and I think my readers are very happy to get a peek into my WIPs. I try to look at whatever I do online from the POV of a reader (and since I AM a reader, it’s pretty easy! ). The authors I check up on the most are the ones who do more than post links to where their books are sold. Hell, I lurk on your page for updates all the time! 😉

    Authors may not get rich writing, but with hard work I believe many can live off their craft. And there is nothing more satisfying than knowing all the hours you put in count for something. Financial breathing room and happy readers rock!


  7. I am one of those authors who spent two days trying to format my books for Smashwords (LOL!) And when I finally succeeded, I was mentally exhausted. But I’m hard-headed like that. I like doing things myself. I am also not a social media chick. I have a website, and I’m thinking of getting a blog but like you said, I go with my strengths. I’m about to release my 7th self-published book and I’m just enjoying the journey of writing and learning new things. Thanks for sharing this wealth of information.

  8. Bianca and Chanta, just keep doing whatever works! Bianca, I remember when you started teasing your readers. Good job!

    Chanta, I would encourage you to engage on something more immediate and interactive, like Facebook or Twitter, if you don’t already do so. Readers love that they can chat, hang out with, tease (and be teased–right, Bianca?), help, and encourage their favorite authors. Even if you just pop in daily or every other day to say hi–here’s how my day’s doing, what are YOU up to, you will encourage your readers to share something of themselves with you. Or maybe ask a question about something relating to your books. Doesn’t have to invite spoilers or be a story question you feel compelled to then incorporate into the books. I have asked them to name characters or pets before. And two of my readers stayed up chatting on my wall almost all night once trying to figure out how they could get me to make one of my heroes a cowboy. (They succeeded–sort of–because it sparked my creative juices enough for me to find a way.)

    But, as Bianca said, it’s SO important that they get to know YOU. I used a pseudonym and try to protect my privacy and family identities, so I refer to family member as “hubby, daughter, son, and DIL.” Or my sisters (all of us were born “Mary”) as Mary 2, Mary 4, Mary 5, etc. My fans have been so supportive of me and my family as Mary 2 has battled recurring cancer almost since the day Kallypso joined Facebook. They’re like my family of choice!

    Seven books is a huge accomplishment! I know Bianca is ahead of me in books published, too. Heck, I’m just trying to get a fourth one out. But each book will help bring more readers your way, then they’ll go looking for your backlist.

    All the best to everyone who shared here or stopped by to read!


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