I am so excited to be a part of the Paper Hearts blog tour! And it’s not only because Beth Revis is a friend and a wonderful human. She’s also a NYT best selling author and a font of information about the business of publishing.
A few months ago I read Beth’s first Paper Hearts book, Some Writing Advice, and I found it wise and reassuring. I’ve published three novels, but there’s always SCADS more to learn, right? Beth has a brilliant way of cutting to the heart of matters and waving off the “noise” that is distracting rather than helpful.
Of course I was eager to read her book on marketing strategies, since this is something that brings me a great deal of stress. To my relief and amazement, Beth has broken it all down and provided reasonable options for getting the word out. So writers, whether you want to be traditionally published or you’re taking the reins to self-publish, you really need to be reading this book ASAP.
***And now . . . a marketing tip from Beth!
Beth says: Work with friends.
No matter what you do in promotion, it’s better to do it with friends.
Holding a giveaway? Grab other author friends, get signed copies of their
books, and add them to the giveaway. Better yet, cross promote and do join
giveaways with several authors. Doing a live event? You could stand up
there and be boring, or you could invite other authors to come talk with
you and make it into a fun conversation about books. Chatting online? Get
other authors to help host a Twitter chat or Facebook party.
Doing things with other authors is not only more fun, but it brings your
audience to theirs and vice versa. It lowers expenses—if you each provide
one signed book to a winner, then the winner could get five books, but
your personal expense is only one. If you’re doing live events with
others, you can get varied responses and also have a break from being
The key here: don’t think of other authors as your competition. People
will buy more than one book. Other authors are your colleagues, and, if
you’re lucky, your friends.
***Also, Beth and I answer a couple of questions about marketing:
1. How did you decide which social media platforms to use and which to avoid?
Beth’s answer: Use the ones you enjoy. Avoid the ones you don’t. That’s all.
My answer: I agree 100% with Beth. Don’t force yourself to use a social media platform just because it’s supposedly cool or the new thing. If it’s fun for you, great — people will recognize that and want to interact with you. If it’s a drag for you, or if you’re only using it to constantly remind people of your book, please stop. I, for one, have given up particular platforms because they just weren’t a good fit for me and it felt like work to keep them up to date.
2. Does promoting your own books get any easier over time?
Beth’s answer: I think it does actually–one of the few things that does! Because it’s
not until you’ve self promo’ed for awhile that you start to realize how
much of it you can let go. How much the advice to just write the next book
really is the best advice. Of course I feel like I always have to do so
much to sell my books–I always feel that pressure. But I give it up
quicker now. Because there’s only so much you can do. And the longer I’m
in this game, the more I know that the only thing I can really do to make
a difference is write the next book. So it’s easier, because I’m able to
let go more and write.
My answer: Again, have to agree with Beth here, particularly about learning what to let go. Keep in mind that Beth is a very creative person and has pretty much investigated every option before choosing what works well for her. I’ve just locked on to a few marketing tricks that are comfortable (if not entirely effective) for me. However, now that I have her book, I might try a few new options. She’s done a lot of the work for us, folks!
***Finally, enter to win signed books!