Sentimental Beginnings

I’m starting a new job where I’ll be an incoming customer service representative for CVS at a call center in Sarasota. This new job is full-time with excellent pay, full benefits, vacation time, etc. It’s everything I’ve been waiting for while working part-time at the post office. Now that it’s official and I’ll be starting November 30th, I’m of course feeling sentimental and sad that I’ll be leaving my current job. As of today, I have been working at the post office for exactly two years. It doesn’t sound like much but a lot has happened in that time. We’ve lost a lot of friends along the way, including our previous boss Linda and my grandpa, I was in a car accident and almost died, and the government tried shutting our job down. On a happier note, I moved into my own place in April, got a new car two days after the other was totaled, have made new friends and spent time with some old ones off at college, and am starting this new job. I am so excited.
I guess the reason I started writing this blog post is to say that every now and then, I remember how things used to be and it makes me sad. I miss spending the holidays with Linda and her chiding herself when she forgot her white sweater at work. I miss racing around in my silver Mazda 6. I miss going home to my mom’s house every day. I miss giving my grandpa big hugs when I visit and discussing the latest books and movies. I miss my dog, Sassy. But all of that is ok. I have those wonderful memories to be thankful for and to return to at any moment that I want. I just wish, like everyone else does, that I could make them materialize for a little while when that sentimental mood happens.

Never Publishing with Realmwalker Publishing Group

Back on September 17th, I submitted “The Dragonscale” to the publishing group suggested by my friend. I was e-mailed back and was told to expect to receive a decision by the end of October. November 13th (over eight weeks later in total), I e-mailed the company wondering about the status of my submission. I ended up getting a very rude response back. After that, I’ve the notion to believe from the response that they never viewed my submission and their whole system of doing anything isn’t organized at all. Needless to say, I will not be publishing with this company and honestly do not recommend them to anyone. Put simply: It looks like they don’t have their shit together. And you never want someone like that backing you.

“Shadow Blossom” Free – Nov 19th and 20th

Shadow Blossom free poster      As the title suggests, the second book in my Arbedenion Trilogy will be FREE for the first time ever on November 19th and 20th! I’m really excited to try this form of marketing and am anxious to see how well it will go. You’re probably wondering why I’m not doing “The Dragonscale” first because it’s the beginning of the series. Many people have already bought that book but fewer have bought “Shadow Blossom.” This will give them the chance to get it for free and compel them to purchase the third book when it comes out next year. I’m currently well-known for leaving cliff-hangers at the end of my stories so they’re addicting. I really hope this goes over well!

Ten Book Marketing Strategies

Sorry for the delay in my blog posts again. I’ve been extremely busy at my day job because all of the snowbirds are coming back to town. I’ve got a really good topic to discuss with you all today. In my Fantasy Writers group on Facebook, a member asked for marketing tips. When I gave them the following suggestions, they claimed it was more work than writing the book itself but “thanks anyway.” If you plan on being a true author, the first thing that you’ll understand is that you can’t just write the book and then be done with it. You have to market that book for the rest of your life in order to make any money from it. Without further ado, here’s the list of suggestions. It’s more effective if you do all of them but, as a beginner or someone with limited time, you can pick and choose what works for you and it will still be very effective.

  1. Personal website. Everyone that I know who is a successful author has their own website. They use it to update their readers on their book releases, deals, and tidbits of information to keep their intrigue until the next book comes out.
2. Blog. In order for your blog to be successful, you need to post at least 1-3 times a week. Anything less will rapidly lose your audience. I’ve been blogging solidly for five and a half years now on this site. That’s more than long enough to figure out that the more you blog, the more traffic and followers you get. When you don’t keep up with it, they lose interest rapidly.
3. Facebook ad/Newspaper ad. Do both of these. Try setting up a $5 ad on Facebook and see how well it does. I assure you that you’ll get at least 30 new Likes and 1-5 book sales. That more than gets you your money back and everyone on Facebook will still be talking about it when the ad goes away (through sharing).
4. Do R&Rs (read and reviews). There are several websites where you can pay to have hundreds of people R&R your book. The cost of this is very small considering that a higher number of reviews will make new readers purchase your books.
5. Have a mailing list. The people who follow you have e-mails. That’s how they see that you’ve made a new blog post or published a new book. With this in mind, set up special announcements directed at them so they know that you care about your readership and don’t just send out mass updates.
6. Advertise daily in Facebook groups designated for advertising. You should always join several groups that allow you to promote once (or more) a day within the group. Most people post all of their links in one post. Don’t do this because it’s overwhelming. I find myself skipping over all of those because it makes the person seem desperate and to be honest, I don’t have time to sort out the links to the sites that I actually use to follow people. No matter what book link you share, always include your author page link. Even if you don’t accumulate any sales, you’ll at least accumulate several Likes.
7. Go to your local book stores and leave business cards/personalized bookmarks. This option is harder for introvert authors or ones that are very busy with the day job and families but there’s no excuse to not do this. Eventually, you have to get out of the house or have a family outing. Stop by a local bookstore, speak to the manager, and just drop off a handful of cards, bookmarks, or flyers.
8. Ask your local bookstores/libraries to host book signings for you. While you’re at that local bookstore or library, ask if they’ll host a book signing for you. Always offer to order and bring copies of your books on your own if they seem dubious about letting you have a signing. It usually convinces them because it costs them no money and you only need a small table in the corner but it gets their store traffic.
9. Hire a marketing business. The most obvious option is just to hire a marketing company. Within your budget, of course!
10. Word of mouth. Word of mouth is the strongest marketing strategy in order to obtain lots of sales. People are more likely to trust their friend that your book is amazing versus believing an advertisement that you clearly paid for.