Well autumn has definitely kicked in, even here in sunny Cyprus we’re experiencing cool evenings and it’s time to throw an extra cover on the bed at night. For me, the summer seemed to rush through. We had our usual hot weather beginning in June and we’ll most likely have perfect temperatures right up until Christmas. But what have I achieved during that time?
I think I’ve achieved quite a lot.
April heralded in the arrival of my second novel, The Assassins’ Village, in June I wrote a short story, The Bamboo Mirror. July produced my short story collection, Echoes of Life & Love to which I added extra content in September, and the latest, Children of The Plantation, was newly released on September 28th.
So apart from thinking, planning, plotting, writing, editing and more editing and then the publication the rest of my time is spent in marketing. Oh and I have a husband, family and hundreds of friends to spend ‘quality’ time with. Phew.
What staggers me most is not the writing –that’s the easy part – no, it’s the marketing.
I’m sure lots of readers think it’s easy to write a book, do a spot of editing and then publish it – especially as it is so easy nowadays with the advent of Amazon and its ‘self-publishing’ arm. Uh-uh.
The hardest part and the longest part is the marketing. And I firmly believe it’s not the book you’re marketing, but you. You, yourself, the writer and author.
Over the few years I’ve been writing (which is my choosing and I dearly love what I do), I’ve come to understand that my biggest fans or followers are those that I get to meet or correspond with. I’ve built up a steady following on Facebook and Twitter and have some great rapport with friends on there – all good stuff. And then there are the paperbacks.
I regularly attend fairs, fetes, shows and give talks to local societies. Meeting people and making friends, opens your eyes to all manner of things. I was recently exhibiting at a large show and sold many paperbacks. Some were bought by old friends/customers and some to newcomers. It was truly fabulous to get talking to these people and hear the real feedback they gave me.
Unknown to me a lady on the next stall was observing how I dealt with visitors old and new. She said that she’d never really appreciated just what benefit meeting your public, your followers and friends did for your product.
Well let me tell you it is 100% benefit. People love to meet you, interact with you. And for me it’s a big deal. I enjoy listening to what they have to say and the advantages far outweigh the time I spend doing so. Good PR is vital. These people can make or break you. They deserve your time, after all they may have bought one or more of your books and don’t forget they too might have friends that love to read.
So the next time somebody takes the time to write to you, or leave a written review somewhere, telephones or bumps into you at a fair, never forget YOU are on show 100% of the time – be nice to them, it pays.
Good reading and thank you everyone, who has bought one of my books, written a review or simply sent me a nice message – I appreciate it!