Advice, Marketing, My Books, Publish, Social Media, Writing

Just say no more!

Publishing The Brevity of Roses was the fulfillment of a dream … and then it became a nightmare. It’s been nine months since publication day, so I’ve had time to gain a new perspective on what I did wrong. One thing I’ve learned is that marketing advice—like writing advice—should never be swallowed whole.

Those of you still looking forward to publication are probably working to “establish an online presence” because that’s usually #1 on the advice lists. If you, like me, are not a social butterfly, you’ve probably discovered that being a social media butterfly is no easier. Well, maybe a little easier because you don’t have to worry about your hair and clothes—unless you go all out and do video interviews. In any case, it takes a lot of your time.

While I should have been putting all my time and energy into writing another book, I spent gobs of it on Twitter. Gobs. What did I accomplish? I amassed almost 1,700 followers! YAY—um, no. Most of those followers are other authors hoping to sell me their books. Yes, I have a few friends there. That’s good. That’s also maybe 2% of my “followers”. I don’t think Twitter has helped me sell many books.

I also created a Facebook Author Page. I’ve never really done anything with it. Who am I supposed to connect with there? My target readers? Nope. Haven’t seen any. Mostly it’s authors supporting other authors. That’s wonderful, of course, but I already have that here on my blog.

And I joined SheWrites, Women On the Verge, Google+ and LinkedIn because I was advised to get my name out there. Be visible is the command. And what about Tumblr? Hey, there must be a way to use Pinterest as an author. What next? What next? What next?

How much of the last nine months did I spend writing my next book? Not a lot. Here’s what I’ve learned: I put the cart before the horse. Maybe when I have three or four or five books published (and another nearly ready) THEN I should spend a big chunk of my time “socializing” as an author.

Until then, I’ve picked the single online place where I’m comfortable, which is right here, and I’m letting the rest languish. I’m the real me here. And just being me feels great.

If you’re an author, have you found significant time spent on social media to be a benefit or a drain?

Contest, My Books, Social Media, Writing

Have you entered the Invisibility Cloak Contest?

Let’s shake up the mid-season blahs with a contest! Do you recognize this book cover? Unfortunately not a lot of people do. If you’re a new author, particularly a non-genre fiction writer not backed by a publicity department, it’s hard to get your target readers to notice your book. Maybe you didn’t realize that. Today, I’m asking you to help make The Brevity of Roses more visible.

(If you want to know more about the book or read the first two chapters free, just click the cover image, one of the red title links, or the tab at the top of the page.)

You probably reach more people online than you realize. Certainly, you each connect to people I don’t know. Some of those people would love reading my novel—if only they knew it existed. I want to tell them. How can you help, you ask? Promote my contest.

I’m giving someone a chance to read The Brevity of Roses absolutely FREE by giving away an autographed print copy! I need your help to get the word out about my giveaway. First, you may enter the contest yourself. Then, do your best to get as many other people as possible to enter. You can do that by announcing the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, or anywhere else you can.

How do you enter? It’s simple. Just leave a comment on this post. Want to increase your chances? Get one extra entry for each place you mention this contest, but you’ll have to let me know where I can see your comment, tweet, status update, etc. and give you credit. For instance, if you leave a comment here, Tweet about the contest three times during its run, mention it on your blog once, and post a link in your Facebook status once, that’s SIX contest entries for you.

The contest will run for 10 days. Random.org will select the winner at 7am PST on Wednesday, January 26,2012. Good luck to all!

C’mon, help me lift this cloak of invisibility off The Brevity of Roses!