I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did.
What’s Harder Than Writing The Book?
Promoting it, of course!
I’m published by a small, print publisher,The Wild Rose Press, who sends all of their titles to various review sites. They have a full-time marketing person who helps with promotion, and other authors who give advice on websites, banners and the like. But other published authors, even those on the NYT list, have said they work hard to keep their readers informed of their upcoming books through author-specific Yahoo groups and updated websites.
Wait! You mean Sherrilyn Kenyon, Suzanne Brockmann, Janet Evanovich and even La Nora spend precious writing time on promotion?
Well, probably not with websites and such (some have fan clubs and paid staff to take care of some things,) but they certainly do spend time pressing the flesh and talking with their reader fans at conventions and book signings. I know, because I’m one of those writer/readers who stand in long lines to get my scant 30-60 seconds of meet and greet with my favorite authors.
Patience, they say. It takes time to build a following. But in the meantime, there are five things authors can take heed of from watching our heroines (NYT bestsellers, of course!) in action:
1. Be gracious and friendly in public, even when your feet are killing you and the migraine that’s been stalking you for days has finally taken over. You never know who’s watching, and that person you just snarled at could be a bookseller assigned to stock books for all the B&Ns in the Southeast.
2. Treat other writers as equals. No one in New York understands what makes one talented writer a bestselling author and an equally-talented writer a one-shot wonder. Just because you’re on top today doesn’t mean you’ll be on top tomorrow (ask Sherrilyn Kenyon.) Guess what? We’re not in competition with one another. As romance writers, our job is to write engaging books that will keep and expand the reader base for romance. It doesn’t matter whether they’re more comfortable reading a print or e-book. What matters is that they read…a lot…and keep coming back for more!
3. Write a great book. And then another…and another. Keep pushing to make each subsequent book better than the last. There is nothing that will make a romance reader an ex-reader quicker than reading her favorite author, only to become disappointed with the results.
4. Give back. Give back to your readers and to the organizations and people that helped you get here. Donate your time to judge writing contests. And when you do, remember to be gentle and give positive, constructive criticism, if it’s called for. Remember, there’s a flesh-and-blood person at the other end of that partial manuscript who had the guts to submit their baby for your eyes.
5. Attend other author’s booksignings and BUY their books. And if you happen to spot that author who has the unfortunate bad luck of being assigned the seat next to a bestselling author at a convention, make your way to her table stocked high with unsigned books. Look her in the eye, shake her hand, and ask for a personalized autograph. Remember, but for the grace of God, go I! And you just may be shaking hands with the next Nora Roberts!
What about you? Do you have a personal favorite? What about your own experiences? Do you have some words of wisdom for this author?
Ana Aragón is published by The Wild Rose Press. Her road to publication has been long and arduous, but along the way she’s made some great friends and learned a thing or two (or three…or fifty!) from the authors she’s had the pleasure of meeting. Her debut book,Sidelined by Love, is a romantic comedy set in rural southwest Georgia and features a cast of characters sure to win your heart!
Her next book Strike Three…You’re Mine! will be available in the fall of 2008 from The Wild Rose Press.