Today 30 Days of Promo Goodness welcomes author and friend, Lilly Gayle! Lilly lives in North Carolina with her husband. She has two grown daughters, one son-in-law, a dog and a crazy beast of a cat. When not reading, writing, or working as a mammographer at a local hospital, she likes to spend time with friends and family. And she loves the beach. Visit her at her website and blog!
Take it away, Lilly....
Let’s get one thing straight, I’m no salesman. I couldn’t sell air conditioners in hell. And I especially couldn’t sell air conditioners I’d made myself, even if they were the best darn air conditioners in the world. Why? Maybe I hate taking money from people because I know how hard it is to come by. Or maybe, I’ve been to one too many product parties in people’s homes.
You know the kind of parties I’m talking about. A friend, relative, or co-worker hosts a party where they expect you to buy something or sign up to host a party yourself so they can get free stuff. So, you feel guilty if you don’t buy something and/or host a party. Then you become the one peddling jewelry, clothes, or kitchen wares and calling it a party. And you feel guilty for making your friends, co-workers, and relatives feel as if they have to buy something or host a party.
Some of those party products are great. But most are over-priced items I never would have bought if I hadn’t been invited to a party. Maybe that’s why I hate promotion. To me, it feels like one of those parties. It feels like I’m trying to pressure people into buying something they might not want or need.
Naturally, I want people to buy my book, but I don’t want them to feel forced into it. And when people I know do buy my books, I never know what to say to them later. If they don’t mention it, do I ask if they read it? If they liked it? Or, do I assume silence means they hated it?
I know everyone isn’t going to buy my books, and I don’t want to make anyone feel guilty for not buying it. Some people just don’t read. Or they don’t read romance. But I can’t just put the book “out there” and expect folks to know about it if I don’t tell them.
That’s where promotion comes in. I write books and I want to sell them. It doesn’t have to be a chore or a party I don’t want to attend. It doesn’t have to cost money either. Some of the best promotion is free, and it’s not that difficult to get started.
1. Blog. Everyone’s doing it, so make sure you do it on a regular basis. Once a week. Once a month. Just try to set a schedule. And make it fun. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Blog about juggling writing with the day job. Blog about writing tips. Blog about vacations or your favorite restaurants. Blog about books. Heck. Blog about your pets. I have.
2. Run contests on your blog. Give away copies of your book as prizes. Gain a fan. Give away gift certificates. I like to give away Wild Rose Press gift certificates. That way, a fellow rose (maybe even me) will benefit from a sale.
3. Guest blog. Blog on someone else’s blog or have them as a guest on yours. And remember blogging etiquette. Don’t blog and run. Read and respond to blog comments whether you are guest blogging or hosting a guest blogger. In this case, silence is NOT golden.
4. Create a Facebook page under your author name and a Fan page. Upload pictures of your books or just cool pictures. Update your page regularly. Visit other Facebook pages and leave comments. And never ignore someone’s comment on your page. It could be from a potential fan.
5. Join Twitter. And then spend the rest of your life trying to figure out how it works. Okay, maybe that’s just me. But hey, I’m trying!
6. Join on-line reading or writing communities. Participate. Don’t just post. Comment on other people’s posts.
7. Join Good Reads and create an author page. Read books and post reviews. Post reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble too. Get your name out there. Set up an author page on Amazon.
8. Create a web page. Make it fun. It can be a page set up on a free hosting site, but if it’s within your budget, I suggest paying for a hosting site like Intuit or GoDaddy. I’ve used both. But Intuit is more user friendly for the html ignorant—like me!
9. And lastly, if you’re really brave, have a book signing. With so many brick and mortar book stores going under, and others only hosting well-established or big-name authors, have a signing at a used book store. Have a book signing at a gift shop. Or coffee shop. Agree to buy back any un-sold books. And if the proprietor doesn’t want to order your books, volunteer to bring them with you. Get creative. And have fun.
Thank you, Lilly, for the sound promo-haters advice! Readers, be sure to visit tomorrow to read up on Lilly's new romance, Slightly Tarnished!