We're finishing off our week with Sandra Orchard here on Faithful Romances. It's been a pleasure having Sandra enlightening us this week, and today's topic is Marketing a novel in today's world. I've asked Sandra to highlight what her marketing plan is.
Marketing. The word alone is enough to send icy chills down my spine. Promoting oneself just feels…wrong.
But the days of publishers marketing our books is long gone. (Although with Harlequin, it’s still pretty good.) Readers expect to be able to find and interact with authors online. So at the insistence of my agency’s publicist, I started a Facebook page.
Figuring out how it all worked was a huge learning curve for me, but I have to admit, I’m enjoying it. I still get a thrill every time an email pops up to let me know someone “likes” me. Not sure how pathetic that is to admit. But there you go.
I always click on the person’s profile and learn a little about them. Because ultimately, I’m not there to promote my book, but build relationships with my readers. It’s fun. It’s addictive. It can quickly swallow my time.
For that reason, among many, I had avoided social media like the plague in the past. I didn’t want to spend any more time online than I already was. I wanted to write. When I interact with friends, I prefer one-on-one emails. I’m a fairly private person, and the idea of posting generalized comments for the world to read (or even just my “friends”) was uncomfortable to say the least.
I still feel embarrassed to announce the latest stop on my blog tour, or my latest personal blog post on my FB page. After all, how many times do my friends and fans want to read an interview or review on my new release?
Yet, I want to promote the blogs of the wonderful bloggers like Eileen who invite me to share my story with their readers. Generally, I try to post items that give value to readers, such as the latest free Ebook offerings etc., or share some humorous or newsy items about what’s going on in my life. I’m still searching for a happy balance.
I also started a blog, Conversations About Characters http://SandraOrchard.blogspot.com, and am thoroughly enjoying writing it. I didn’t think I could possibly think of enough things to say in a blog, and am surprised by the ideas that keep coming. I’ve designed it to be interactive, and am very grateful for the comments of my faithful readers. I’ve already made some wonderful new friends.
But to be honest, I’m finding it difficult to find time to actually write my novels!
Since Love Inspired books are only in stores for one month, I decided a blog tour would be the best means to get the word out to potential readers. I was blessed to receive dozens of invitations, and as a result, I have been very busy answering interviews and writing guest posts. I know this is just a season, and once I get caught up, I’ll find my rhythm again.
And hopefully, people who follow several of the blogs that are hosting me, won’t be so sick of hearing about my book that they’ll run the other way at the mere mention of my name!
I haven’t looked into Twitter or the gazillion other marketing opportunities out there. I don’t want to market myself. I want to build relationships with people. So I need to find a pace that works for me. The one thing I’ve committed to do without fail is to personally respond to every reader who emails me. I am sincerely touched when someone takes the time to send me a note.
This is an exciting time to be an author. The opportunities to reach people around the world are truly amazing. Just last week, an editor of a German romance magazine emailed me to ask for an interview for their September issue. I was thunderstruck. I mean, how cool is that?
The best piece of advice I’ve received on marketing came from fellow Canadian author Anne K. Albert. Her editor told her, "Self-promotion is not a sprint, it's a marathon." Now, whenever I feel overwhelmed by the long list of things that publicists suggest I do from press releases to book signings to bookmarks to blogging, I remind myself to pace myself. It doesn’t have to all be done today, or this week, or even for this book’s release. If I do a little each day, that’s good.
Ultimately, the best way to keep readers happy is to write fabulous books and keep them coming.
Sandra, It's been a real pleasure having you visit and share this week. Thank you so much! I wish you all the best with your writing and sure look forward to all your books to come!!
Last Day to Get in on Deep Cover Giveaway:
Leave a comment on this post or any of the posts here this week and you'll be entered to win a copy of Sandra Orchard's debut novel, Deep Cover.
Good Luck everyone!
Surrendering to Him,