Welcome to the official blog of Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America! We're a local writers' group in the Toledo, Ohio area. Most of us write romance, but we also have members who write other genres too. New members are always welcome to visit or join the group. See the meetings page for details. We post every Monday and Friday about all things book-related. Whether you're a writer, reader, or both, we hope you'll stop by often and get to know our dozen contributors.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

HELP!!! How do I promote my book!!!

So you finally scored that elusive publishing contract....now what?

Ummmmm......trying to get people to BUY your book?

Yeah, how the heck do you do that?

Today, I am going to give you THREE simple tips which which will help you take advantage of the biggest marketing tool available to you.

The internet!!!!

.....which BTW you are already logged on to reading my blog, so you must like to play on your computer :P Now lets try to turn that play into BOOK SALES!!!

As a digitally published author, you might assume that this blog will be dealing with those of us in the e-pub world. Not so. Because unless you hire your own publicist....and can you justify that expense with ONE book?.... you NYC pubbed chickies are going to have to do the legwork yourself, too!

Even if you have not sold a book and are still trying, you should have all of this in place. You don't wanna sell a book, have no online presence then get caught with your pants down....or maybe you do if that's your sort of thing. :P

True story, my publisher contacted me via Facebook to invite me to write a book for them and THAT is how I became published, so don't doubt the power of staying connected.


Pick one and stick with it!!!! Don't spread yourself too thin in the beginning or you will get overwhelmed and quit.

We wouldn't want that!

I recommend Facebook but two other EXCELLENT options are Twitter and goodreads. MySpace has gone the way of the dodo, people and the last time I logged onto MySpace a tumbleweed and an old whore fell out of my computer. True Story!!!!

I know, you are only one person, you probably have a EDJ (evil day job) kids, wife, husband, demanding cats.....you know that thing non-writers call a LIFE!! Sometimes the notion of tweeting, hashtags (who came up with that idea anyway? LOL) and updating your status and all that other crap that goes along with social media can seem daunting. Overwhelming, even. Where do you start?

First...RELAX. Its not that hard.
You are a published author, for crying out loud!!! You can do this!

I would recommend ASAP you get a Facebook account. I know you have been resisting assimilation.
<-----You think that Mark Zukerman screwed those Harvard boys.....but suck it up.

Readers are on Facebook

Reviewers are on Facebook

EVERYONE is on Facebook

...even Elvis, and he's dead.

Make sure you have a regular Facebook account but remember, a Facebook fanpage is free and can almost be more useful than a website. Plus you can link all your other social media to Facebook.....yeah eventually you will have more than one, resistance is futile!

Now that you are on your social media of choice, post, make friend requests of other authors, like your friend's posts, join groups...in other words play on the computer, you're doing it anyways!

But amidst that 'playing' you can post excerpts of your book, scheduled online appearances (I'll be getting to that) release dates, contests to win your book etc. While Facebook can be fun, remember: you are there to sell books!

2) BLOG!!

Oh dear lord, I resisted, fought this one kicking and screaming. Check out my first blog ever, Sham-Wow, Baby! and see what I used to think about blogging.

I've never been too proud to say I was wrong, and.... I was sooooo wrong about this one!

Blogs are a great way to spread yourself out online, AKA more exposure.

More exposure = more sales....its true!

I would recommend blogger, since I find it very user friendly. But wordpress is also popular.

Don't worry, you will learn how to use it. If you have a nice base of social media friends on Facebook or Twitter, you can always ask one of them for help!

Don't forget: name your blog after yourself, not something from your book. Hopefully, you will write more and its YOU not just one book you are selling. :)

You can invite your Facebook friends to 'guest blog' for you and their friends will visit your blog, and guess what???? They might begin to follow your blog and then you know what might happen? They might BUY YOUR BOOK!!!! And there are these nifty badges so people who come to your blog can find you on your other social media!

I have to admit, I am spotty with my blogging (hangs head in shame) but when I am 'on' I can see an improvement in my sales. So recently I have begun to participate in blog groups. Just like our MVRWA blog, you have one blog site and regular contributors. These blog sites tend to get a lot more exposure and relieve the burden of having to do it all yourself.

If you feel awkward joining an existing blog group.....make one yourself and invite some of your favorite social media peeps!!!


Remember that thing we call a life? You have one. You are busy.

Do yourself a favor, bite the bullet, join the 21st century and get yourself a DROID or and iPhone.

You can do all the above stuff so quick, anywhere you go.

Waiting for the dentist? Update your blog, read your friend's blogs. There's an app for that!

Bored at work? Scroll thru your Facebook and post the buy link to your book. There's an app for that!!!

Need to tweak your mss but you're waiting for the kids to get out of yodeling practice? Get into WordToGo.....there's an app for everything!!!!!!

And best of all?

Your cell phone is tax deductible, baby!!!!!!

How about you guys? Any other tips for marketing yourself online? I would love to hear from you!


Bestselling erotica author Deanna Wadsworth leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her hubby of 15 years and three demanding little dogs.

She has a fascination with the exotic and taboo but it is her infatuation with love in all its stages and incarnations which made her chose to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

You can find her online at her blog, Facebook, Twitter and goodreads.

Her books are all available at Decadent Publishing, Amazon and at any reputable e-book distributor


Em-Musing said...

Great tips Deanna, and I needed the reminder about more on Facebook. I blog, but don't socialize as much as I should on FB.

Deanna Wadsworth said...

Yeah the two go hand in hand, cuz you gotta have friends to visit your blog!
Hope you are lovin Mexico! xxx ooo

Patrice Kavanaugh said...

Great starter publishing tips, Deanna. I've just launched my website and Facebook page. As you say, start small, with steps you can sustain and grow from there.

Ayda Recknagel said...

Yay!! I'm on the right track! And thanks for not recommending Twitter. It makes me, well... twitchy.

Deanna Wadsworth said...

LOL, I tweet rarely, its not as user friendly IMHO. Everyone is on FB

Shay Lacy said...

I'm trying to build a blog, but the site locks up on me. It's like Angry Birds on steriods. Thanks for sharing, Deanna.

Tanja said...

How did you know? I've avoided the move to a "smartphone" for 2 mos. and had just about talked myself out of it. Thanks for the insight.
I see now how important this step really is -- Tanja

Deanna Wadsworth said...

Shay....you're gone guest blog for me and visa versa...I will help you set it up ....the least I can do since you got me into this whole rwa biz!
Xxx oooo

Tanja....I loooove my smart phone!!!

Deanna Wadsworth said...

Btw, I made my last post from my phone as my hubby drive us home from dinner!!! 4 min total!

Deanna Wadsworth said...

Btw, I made my last post from my phone as my hubby drive us home from dinner!!! 4 min total!

Barbara S. Andrews said...

I still have a dumb phone and I have nothing remotely close to being ready to submit yet. Why in the world would anyone want to read anything I have to say about writing? As you can see, I'm dragging my feet.

I guess I think my time is better spent ACTUALLY WRITING my novel instead of a blog, and since I use my dumb phone about twice a month, why in the heck should I spend the money to upgrade to a smart phone that will probably only get used once in a blue moon?

I "get" that you wrote this blog specifically for someone like me, Deanna, but do you REALLY think this is a priority for a rank beginner like me?

Deanna Wadsworth said...

Maybe you aren't at a point that you need to have quick access to your online promotions/presence/social media. But I would STRONGLY encourage to build a good network via Facebook (Step 1). When the time comes and you are closer to publication, that base of people will help you launch your blog (Step 2) and then when that is in place and your book is out, you can take that evolutionary jump into a phone that keeps you connected (Step 3).