It is my pleasure to welcome Amy M. Reade to Mystery Mondays. Amy is an author and another of my “internet friends” who has generously agreed to share her advice.
The Best Time To Promote Yourself by Amy M. Reade
When Kristina asked me to write a guest post about my novel, my research, or a writing/publishing tip, my first inclination was to write something about the research I did for my new release. But then I changed my mind. I wanted to write the most helpful post I could think of, and research, while I love it and find it endlessly fascinating, is not a terribly enlightening subject for a blog post.
Instead, I’m going to share the best advice I ever received about marketing books.
The best time to start promoting yourself is the day you decide to write a book, not the day you decide to shop it around to publishers or self-publish.
That was tough advice for me to hear, since it came from an acquisitions editor to whom I had sent my first novel. She liked the book, but when my manuscript came across her desk she did an online search for my name.
Know what she found?
Nothing. Not even a Facebook page, because I had sworn to myself never to enter the realm of social media.
She had to turn down my book, she said, because her press simply didn’t have the money to take a chance on a writer with zero followers.
That very day, I set up a Facebook page. Then, a few days later, a blog.
Fast forward three years. I’m still on Facebook with both a personal page and an author page. I still write a weekly blog. But you’ll also find me on my website, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and author pages on Amazon and Goodreads. I also have a quarterly newsletter. I have embraced social media in a way I never dreamed possible. And here’s the best part: I love every minute of it.
My hope as I continue to write and publish books is that I can scale back on the number of sites I frequent and instead concentrate on a select few, but for now the name of the game is getting my books out there and helping people find me and my books.
I try to slip in and out of Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram a couple times a week, but I post on Facebook and Twitter several times daily. I keep my website updated with release and appearance dates and my book information and, as I’ve mentioned, I try to post a blog weekly. As for the Amazon and Goodreads author pages, I check those at least once a week to make sure they’re up-to-date.
I try to follow the 80/20 rule on most social media sites. The rule states that 80% of an author’s posts should be something other than “Buy my book! Buy my book!” The remaining 20%, however, can say exactly that.
The difference is on my Facebook author page, where my posts are almost 100% about my writing, my work, and links to my other social media sites. I try to promote other authors on my author page, but that is mostly done through links to book recommendations and author interviews I have on my blog. But that’s the point of a FB author page- it keeps your readers connected with you and what you’re up to as a writer. I share information and posts about other authors several times daily on my personal FB page (and all the time on Twitter).
And what I just said? It bears repeating: it’s essential to promote other authors because when you do that, it helps everyone. Recall the proverb “When the tide comes in, all ships rise.” It’s the same with authors. Helping other authors works to everyone’s advantage.
That brings to mind one more piece of advice: comment, comment, comment on the blogs of other authors, agents, readers, reviewers, and publishing industry insiders. It’s a great way to get your name out there. You’d be amazed at the number of interview and guest blog requests I’ve gotten just by commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s been a huge boost to me.
If you have questions about anything I’ve said, or about the host sites I use for my website and/or my blog, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. And please visit me on any of the sites below!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
WHO Is Amy M. Reade?
Amy M. Reade grew up in northern New York. After graduating from college and law school, she practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where she lives now with her husband, three children, dog, two cats, and a fish. She writes full time and is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a novel of romantic suspense set in the Thousand Islands region of New York, and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, a novel in the same genre set outside Charleston, South Carolina. Her third novel, House of Hanging Jade, is set in Hawaii and will be released in April, 2016. She is currently working on the first book of a series set in the United Kingdom (expected release date in early 2017). She loves cooking, reading, and traveling.