Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Promotional considerations

I've been doing some research on promotion for books and while I have an exhaustive list of possible places to promote, I've whittled it down to those items that I can reasonably complete given time and money constraints.

The biggest tasks is #1: Write good books.

I have always been a big reader and before I started writing, the extent of my interaction with an author I liked was to go to their website and see when their next book was coming out. That was it. I didn't care if they had a facebook page. I just wanted another good book to read.

Here is the rest of the list.

2. Think about author branding and creating a tag line to make it clear what I write
3. Get a professional picture taken
4. Write an author biography
5. Attend social media / promo classes provided by Harlequin
6. Create a faceook author page
7. Write an author mini-bio for places like Amazon Author Central
8. Host monthly contests on my website once my book is released
9. Let people in my immediate network know about my book: high school, college, university
10. Create a twitter account
11. Find out when Harlequin hosts Intrigue / HRS chats and join in the conversation
12. Email friends and family when the book is available
13. Create blog posts weekly

Obviously, this is all in addition to creating and maintaining my website. That's enough on my plate for the moment. I might add or remove tasks as I figure out which are the most effective.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Next Steps - Revisions, Contract, Author Photo, New Manuscript

Since The Call, I've been busy. I've received some additional revisions on my manuscript and I've set them as my first priority. They are not due until January 2012, but I'd like to mail them off before the holiday.

I received my contract from Harlequin, which I've read and had my roommate from college, now a copyright/patent lawyer, review, read, and help me understand the legal nitty-gritty. I had a few follow-up questions and am waiting to hear back about them.

I received information about promotions through programs that Harlequin offers to their authors. I need to follow up on this.

I've done promotional research on my own and compiled a list of To Do tasks. When I have this list out of draft form, I'll post it here in case it helps someone else on a similar path with the same questions I have.

I've been thinking about getting an author portrait/photograph taken to be used on my website and other promotional items. I'm trying to decide:
1. What should I wear?
2. What background should I use?
3. How should I stand/pose?
4. Which photographer should I use? (this one is the most tricky - most photographers I've talked to only do weddings/baby photo shoots and others want to charge $1500 for a photo session - that's a bit steep for a single picture)

I've also been working on my next book. The hero is the brother of the hero in my current book. The word count will be higher (70-75,000 words). This is the first time I am writing the book and sending it out for critiques simultaneously. I'm hoping to have it completed by the end of the year.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My first e-book

Well, not my first e-book, but I purchased my first e-book last week. A writer buddy, Trish McCallan self-published her book, Forged in Fire. For anyone interested in self-publishing, she has some good information on her blog about her experiences.

I had read e-books/articles/documentation before, for school or for work reasons, but this was my first just-for-fun e-book purchase. I don't own a tablet or a Kindle, so I downloaded Kindle for PC from Amazon. It was easy to set up and simple to purchase the book through Amazon. I spend a great deal of time on the computer, for work and for writing reasons, so I was worried reading on my laptop wouldn't be as comfortable.

So far, that's not true. The pages fit the screen (no scrolling up and down) and it has a highlight and bookmark function that work well, since I often get interrupted as I'm reading.

This might be the first of many e-book purchases. No shelf space required, and I can tote reading material along with me. I'm not ready to give up print books, I still enjoy the experience of holding a book in my hand, but for me, it's not an all-or-nothing deal. I can be a hybrid reader!