What can an author do for promotion? With so much commotion of advice vying for my attention, I felt burned out and decided to go back to the basics—the old methods—put ads in the newspaper, present talks at local venues, find speaker opportunities at conferences and make announcements where we can. I began exploring options for authors in local venues. And an idea began forming.
In the spring, I talked to some romance writer friends who were having their first romance novels coming out in 2016 and asked them to join me for a panel talk at a local bookstore, the Book Barn in Clovis. I wanted to share the publicity to help ourselves and our writer organizations (all of us being members of Yosemite Romance Writers and two of us being members of San Joaquin Sisters in Crime). If I had known all the work it would take, I might not have started, but I found that when you set your mind to a goal, help comes along the way to make it possible.
Opportunities opened up, and I flowed with the ideas and inspiration as they came. It started with an ad I saw on Facebook. The local Central Valley Internet Talk Radio was asking for local artists and writers who might want to be interviewed about Art Hop, an event that happens once a month for people in the community to come out and visit local artists where they work and display (I only just learned they were adding authors to the mix and I would be the first author interviewed at CVTR).
So began the journey:
· I appeared on Central Valley Talk Radio to promote Art Hop and my novels. As a result I was compelled to do what I’d been putting off doing; approaching the one bookstore that would be in keeping with my writing themes (past lives/reincarnation and the wisdom of indigenous people)—our one metaphysical bookstore/gift shop in the Fresno area, The Brass Unicorn, so I could announce where interested readers might find my novels during Art Hop.
· I was then contacted to talk ta a writer’s group in Visalia which gave me some ideas for questions for the panel.
I I was asked back to Central Valley Internet Talk Radio and invited fellow author, Krista Lynn, to join me for promotion for the Book Barn event. Our host was charming and made it easy. I was nervous—but not as nervous as when I’d made my first appearance (it gets easier over time).
· I made up a flyer and put copies around town and all the authors helped spread the word and the fliers. We announced it at our respective writer groups, on Facebook, Twitter and in every other venue we had access to.
· Then the Book Barn put me in contact with KSEE 24 TV where we all gathered for an afternoon chat with Alex Delgado and Stephanie Bainum about the Saturday event and our books.
· Finally, The Book Barn event itself was play time. We all learned something in the process of speaking and having some fun with our audience while they munched on cookies we provided. I think we all gained a few fans and feel more confident about our promotional speaking abilities after that.
Long story short, it was a great success. I stopped listening to all the promotion advice of everyone else, learned a few things and lost some of my appearance fears. My admonition to authors who read this and need to do promotion in a way that is right for them, to quote Steve Jobs,
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Share what you’ve done for promotion and good luck on your writing journey.
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