One of the things I never realised when I began writing my first novel was the amount of work it would take to get the word out there. I will admit marketing my product is not one of my greatest talents; I’m a little too introverted to be a top class sales person but I’m doing my best. I’m delighted that I have the internet to help me with this, although I still do lag behind some of the more aggressive sales pitches I see on facebook and twitter.
I’ve read various articles and chatted to some folks and a couple of valid points came up which I’ve been able to put into practice and which I’ve found are beginning to pay dividends in the form of widening my ‘network’ and getting my name spread a little wider.
Someone told me that someone told them, that you should blog regularly. Apparently it doesn’t necessarily have to be about your book so long as you’re writing. People will see how you write and express yourself and it could lead to them taking a glance at your book. That’s easy; I love to write so blogging every other day is a piece of cake. Sometimes I scratch my head for a subject but I have a vivid imagination and something always comes.
A lot of articles talk about working with twitter and this is something I’m just getting into. Retweeting pays dividends; folks will often retweet you if you retweet them first. I am also finding that retweeting increases my followers much more quickly. Retweeting also has another benefit – it makes me read a lot more tweets and many of them are links to awesome blogs and really helpful articles.
There’s only one thing that might be a fly in the ointment; and I say might because I’m not sure, it’s just the weird way my mind works. I’m now networking with a lot of great, friendly booky folk on twitter and enjoying great conversation with a few from time to time, but they’re all authors themselves. Are authors also buyers? Is this huge network of authors also a huge network of potential Lilean Chronicles fans? I’ve not yet found out whether authors and readers are different species. It would be kind of ironic to end up with a network of 15,000 author followers who never buy books; that’s just the kind of humour destiny likes to get out of me..!
An interesting thing usually happens when my writing crops up in conversations. People either ask, “have I heard of you?” and if not they change the subject, or they say something along the lines of, “oh you write books? Oh nice, cor it’s cold today innit?” It seems no one reads these days. I cannot remember a time when I couldn’t read. When I was at school and the other kids were learning to read using the Through The Rainbow series of books in infant school, I bypassed the whole series and was sent straight to the school library to choose my own books and when the teachers gave the kids 3 pages to read for homework, I got 20. My mother scrimped and saved and joined a postal book club called The Children’s Book Club. Once a month they sent a book and I read it and enjoyed a lot of them. A couple are still amongst my fondest memories of a childhood blighted by child abuse and lack of love. There was one called The Cloud Forest, another called The Snowstorm and a third called Mortimer Also. Jeez I’d love to get hold of copies of them again.
Nowadays with the advent of facebook and twitter, not only can people not spell for toffee, they just don’t read books any more. I clean houses for people as my ‘day job’ and most places I go into have few, if any, books and those that I do see are photo books rather than novels or stories. I see piles of dvd’s and cd’s but very few books. Such a shame.