What were the difficulties you faced in promoting your books?
As an author published by small presses, I struggle to have my titles stand out from the crowd. As an author of mostly shorter length stories, my titles are only available in ebook format which sometimes precludes those titles from being reviewed by the larger review sites.
What are the main methods and ways you follow to spread the word about your books?
I post my titles on various book-related sites, participate in genre-specific groups on Goodreads, join blog hops with a theme matching the title I’m promoting, announce releases to the writers’ groups where I’m a member (local or online chapters of the Romance Writers of America), participate in online communities, distribute bookmarks and postcards at in-person events, maintain a website and a blog.
Do you have a certain routine you follow (for example, daily things to do for that purpose)?
Since last fall, I have been blogging Tuesday and Fridays, as consistently as I can. Building a blog following is tough and I’ve heard consistency is the key, in addition to sharing tidbits about me, the person. Plus I host a guest author on Wednesdays. Between those postings and creating posts for guest appearances on other blogs, I balance my own writing with performing edits for clients’ works. Unfortunately, I don’t have a set routine for what I do when. But that is my goal.
How much of your time do you spend to promote your books and how much time for writing? and do you think that the efforts you spend in spreading the word about your books takes you from your passion for writing?
My son asked me this question just yesterday. My answer to him was: about 30% of my time is spent promoting, about 30% is spent on my freelance editing business—Lustre Editing, and the remaining 40% is split between researching my next story, creating pages on a current story, and handling requested revisions on a contracted title.
To what extent you feel you were successful?
Since Thanksgiving 2012, I have been promoting the release of five titles, and am doing spot promo on backlist titles. A task can always be done, there’s always another opportunity, and I keep moving forward. Because many of my royalties come quarterly, I’m just seeing the benefit of promotional efforts done around the first of the year. The way I count myself as a success is the networking within the publishing world I’ve made through this process of publicizing those titles. They were released by three different publishing houses and the contacts I’ve made will serve me for years to come.
To what extent do you use social networking sites? and can you consider it primary in promotion?
I have a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account and a Goodreads page. The importance of having an on-line presence can’t be ignored. Five years ago, the focus was on having a great website. But these days, that is too static. People want new information and the ability to interact. I have a presence on Twitter an am learning how to manage the blur of topics and the sheer volume of posts. On Goodreads, I am an author with a page showing my titles, but mostly I’m a reader. I review or rate every book I read and I always have at least one on my shelf. On Facebook, I share information about my life in the southern California mountains, living at a year-round camp and conference center on 17 acres of US Forest Service property. The posts I’ve shared about living here or my interactions with nature have more views than promotional posts about a new release.
What are your recommendations for people who share the same talent with you?
Know that becoming published is a great goal and an accomplishment, but you need to devote a significant amount of time and energy to get your name out into the cyber-world. Gone are the days of writing in a drafty garret and waiting for the world to discover your wonderful story.
Any final words regarding promotion for writers?
Find a forum that comfortable to use and establish yourself as a person with reading interests, favorite movies, foods and hobbies, who also happens to be an author with a new title coming soon. People (readers) will respond to the grammie who lives in the forest, plays a killer game of Trivial Pursuit, and loves crocheting who just released a reunion romance set in small-town Texas more than they will to an author hawking another small press title.
humanmade.net would like to thank Linda Carroll-Bradd for taking the time to share with us these valuable information, insights and experience in promoting her writings.