Yes, we all know writing is a solitary pastime, however we do need to connect with others writers from time to time. In this virtual age many of us have connections across countries as well as in our own place in the world. This is achieved with local writing groups or through the wonders of the internet.
With our imposed isolation those precious moments of physical connection have been extinguished for the time being and ‘virtual’ has become the norm. We have all seen the virtual book readings, book launches and promotions. The greatest thing as far as I am concerned are the growing number of virtual writing groups.
I have such a group, who link up on Sunday’s for three hours of writing. We can see each other and there is a brief hello and details of what project we are tackling. Then it is heads down and write! At the end we report on progress and feel accomplished. We may not be ‘together’ but we are!
The added benefit is that we are accountable and that drives us to write. No matter the circumstances there is always a way to stay connected.
As writers and authors, we are formidable in our ability to create narratives but we also have to learn how to market the ‘end product’ of those many months or even years of creativity. We become a book business.
The first avenue many authors take is social media, which can be seen as a ‘soft’ option. After all we are not up close and personal with the public but at arm’s length. However, due to the countless sites available just choosing the ‘right’ one or two can be overwhelming. Then there is the matter of maintaining our ‘presence’ on each platform. We need to research which avenues of promotion will work best not just for our genres but also our ability to sustain them. Do your research on similar authors in your genre and see what they use (and of course ‘follow’ them).
2. Following selected authors, genre based bloggers, book reviewers, and writing groups allows you to gain followers but also to learn about your particular genre and gain a reader base. When someone is interested in your genre they ‘search’ for more posts, articles, links and books within that specific field. While you are doing that follow 10 ‘friends’ of friends on Facebook and 100 people on Twitter – this can gain a wider audience. However, in light of these two platforms losing participants also follow people on Instagram. (We have to keep up with the ‘in’ thing!)
3. Improve your author bio on all platforms to entice and inform as many followers as possible on all sales sites, your blog and social media platforms. Ask yourself – does it reflect you as a writer as well as a person.
4. Use hashtags specific to writing, authors, books, genre and associated links – look at what other authors use.
5. Then there is the personal touch, which means organizing or being involved in author readings, attending book events and participating in Q&A panels. Search your local area for book related events, get to know your local bookstores, inquire at your library, join a local writing group, the wider your reach the easier it will be to find avenues of sale for your book.
6. Merchandise is another way of promoting your book. It can be as simple as custom bookmarks to T-shirts with the book cover/main character on the front. Make up a prize basket for a contest to be collected at an event (good photo opportunity to use on social media) or create an online contest for a free autographed copy of your book.
7. An easy promotion is to leave five of your author business cards in local businesses, at the doctor’s or dentist’s office, or anywhere you visit on a regular basis. Many places have community boards too so pin some cards or a poster of an event you are attending there too.
Do you have any promotion tips you would like to share?
With the opportunity to indulge in writing with no distractions on my ‘escape’ to Red Deer for a mini retreat – I am in full revision mode with my editor’s notes on The Twesome Loop. It is remarkable how much you can get done when the normal life distractions are eliminated. With the launch date set for 30th September there is still a lot to accomplish. Such as book cover, blurb, modified bio and book club Q&A.
To refresh my brain from revision I have also continued with my YA story set on another planet – Bubble the Gruggle as well as read, of course.
Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge by Pauline Holyoak.
My review: A fantastic venture into Celtic sorcery and reincarnation. Beautifully written with descriptions of the English countryside transporting you to that lush and green land. A thoroughly enjoyable narrative with well developed characters, a page turning mystery and a blossoming romance. Legends make up England and this story encapsulates that historic ancient wonder.
The Long Walk by Stephen King
What book have you just reviewed?
After editing the work on screen or in print, I like to read the text aloud. Awkward sentences and errors that slipped through earlier edits show up readily when reading out loud.
Learn to take criticism and seek it out at every opportunity. Don’t get upset even if you think the criticism is harsh, don’t be offended even if you think it’s wrong, and always thank those who take the time to offer it.
This week I have been editing submissions for my writing group’s Canada 150 book project. All the stories are Canadian themed in one way or another and it has been most enjoyable reading them. I even managed to write one more submission of my own, regarding my first visit to Canada back in 1981. Yep that long ago! At the time I had no idea I would be living here.
My editor and publisher has read my manuscript submission, The Twesome Loop and commented: Yup, it was pretty steamy – at least a good reaction. I am still working on the cover with my illustrator and final pages.
My freelance client has several important events to attend so has not, as yet, come back to me with the answers I require to continue. I’m hoping it will not take too long as we are edging closer to the deadline date.
I am escaping for several days next week, which will give me plenty of time to immerse myself in two manuscripts – Bubble the Gruggle now over 9000 words. I have sent this text to my other illustrator to give him an idea of the story so far. And I can return to The Giving Thief to enhance the narrative.
What are your writing plans for the weekend?
If you are Canadian it is a long weekend for Canada Day 1st July, an extra special celebration for the Canada 150 – so even more time to write.
Merryweather Lodge by Pauline Holyoak.
I’m enjoying this story as it is set near my old home in England. I spent many a childhood visit at Stonehenge chasing my siblings up, over and the stones. Alas no more, it is all fenced off.
TBR pile: It will be difficult choosing which one to read first. Both were birthday gifts.
Try not to edit while you’re creating your first draft. Creating and editing are two separate processes using different sides of the brain, and if you try doing both at once you’ll lose. Make a deal with your internal editor that it will get the chance to rip your piece to shreds; it will just need to wait some time.