Sunday, 26 June 2011

Marketing in an Electronic World. . . My First Steps

Writing is ninety percent listening.  You listen so deep to the space around you that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you.                         Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

Our world may teem with pain and violence, but we have the ability to turn off the chatter, and open our minds to the peace and tranquility all around us . . . this is your choice.

I see wonder in the ordinary, and often get lost in taking pictures of no one . . . pictures without people. 

A weathered wooden fence dappled with layers of peeling blue paint, lifted by decades of heat and rain.  A single rusty nail draws me close.  Who pounded that nail and why?  "Click, click."  Or white crusted barnacles growing on the pilings under Santa Monica pier like on a grizzled old whale.  "Click, click."  Staircases, fire escapes, the angles, the lines.  "Click, click."  A vine hidden treehouse abandoned in the woods long ago.  Where are the laughing children who once played there?  "Click, click." 

Shadows are my favorite, clinging to their subject, if only by a thread.  Shadows add character, depth and dimension to the existing beauty.  If only I can catch it before it disappears.  "Click, click."

Do others see what I see?

Less than 10 percent of new writers have enough promotional ammunition to interest large publishers.                                    
                     Michael Larsen, How to Write a Book Proposal

Never before has a writer had more opportunities to market their own book than today.  Technology continues to advance at such a fast pace it's hard to keep up.  Yet, this is one of the most success-filled avenues to promote your book . . . and the best news is that your choices are ENDLESS.

I'm still wallowing in information, but I want to share what I'm learning as I go . . .
  • Start promoting BEFORE your book is finished - Your objective should be to first create interest.  Then sustain that interest as you build on it.  This will begin your potential reader base . . .  
Currently, my book is in its final edit.  Kay Thompson Lee, my freelance editor, is smoothing out any rough edges she may find, and I'm extremely pleased with her subtle changes and expertise.
  • Create a blog
The first item on my to-do-list, and soon-to-be constructed MARKETING PLAN, was to create a blog . . . my first blog ever.  This was accomplished on Google Blogspot with little difficulty.  My first post was April 9, 2011, and as of today, I've had 1020 page viewers, which includes many other countries.  I'm stunned but delighted because my story needs to be heard.   

How did this happen? 

Each week, after I post my new blog, I send an announcement to all friends and family in my email address book (approx. 80).  This way they know it's posted, and don't have to search for it.  And they have the option whether to view it now or later, or not at all.
  • Join a Writers Group Online
Next, I joined SheWrites, which is an online writers group that was recommended.  SheWrites consists of groups within the group, depending on your genre, interests and the stage of your work.  I joined Blogging about Books and Writing . . . Memoir Writers . . . I'm Thinking of Self-Publishing . . . Marketing Ideas . . . and What Did You Blog About Today?

Each day, SheWrites forwards emails from these writers showing what they posted that day.  I reply to the emails of interest, or to new friends I've made.  My blog address is attached at the end of my reply.  This is time consuming, but definitely joy-filled, and a necessary tool for your success.  And I've met the most amazing women! 

This is where Time Management plays a key role.  And once I figure out how to manage my time . . . I'll be the first to share because I know all writers wrestle with the infamous time bandit.

The women on SheWrites are talented writers willing to share their expertise.  It's been a pleasure getting to know them, and their work, gleaning new ideas daily.  Their comments and encouragement were unexpected, offering friendship from across the country and around the world. 

 . . . to be continued.  

Lesson learned . . . my two cents

Anytime you meet someone new, and they learn you're a writer and show interest . . . NEVER miss an opportunity to ASK for their email address.  Then add it to your address book ASAP (placing a key word next to their name for later recall where you met).  Little pieces of paper have a tendency to disappear, and you don't have time to waste looking for it . . . nor lose a potential sale.

Note:  You can visit:  In The Beginning . . . and Q is for Query Letter . . .  to learn what my book is about.

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