It took a lot to get to this point in my new career as an author. First, I had to believe that what I had written was good enough to even consider being published - and even then, I thought it would be a family thing - copies for each of my girls and copies to sit on my mantel so I could say, "Hey, I wrote a couple of novels!" Then, when I got positive feedback from my editor, I made the decision to pursue more than the family mantel. I was going for it!
Online promotion consumed me at first as I learned about Facebook, Twitter and a plethora of other avenues I could pursue. However, I quickly determined that I could spend 24 hours a day in front of the computer and still not have enough time to cover all aspects of online promotion. So, which ones did I choose? Facebook and Twitter were good starts. Then I did giveaways on goodreads.com (in fact I have one going until this Saturday for books 1 & 2). The goal was to get reviews. Out of the 10 copies I gave away, I had one lovely person write a review for me. I was actually shocked at the amount of money I spent to mail out those giveaways, as 9 out of the 10 went to the States. The giveaway I am currently running is only for Canadians since I'm running out of promotional money!
Local media came next. My daughter, Diana, decided to become my PR person and she arranged for a local paper to write an article on myself and my other daughter, Laura, who drew the artwork for the covers of my books. She also lined up 2 television appearances for me on 2 different tv stations. I was amazed at how well they all went despite my nerves.
The library came next. I work for them, but I followed the guidelines and entered my novel, just like any other author would - and they bought it! They are about to buy the second novel in the Anandrian Series, too.
Next, I wanted more face time with real people. I went to Indigo and Chapters at the beginning of December, thinking they might want to have someone come in before Christmas and do a book signing. I hung around for AGES in each store waiting for a clerk to become free so I could inquire about the possibility of me showing up for an event. It seemed like every time I went to approach a clerk, another customer walked up to them to ask for help. I nearly walked out, until a clerk approached me from behind and asked if she could help me. YES! I took a deep breath and started with, "I'm a local author..."
Both Indigo and Chapters were very positive about taking me on - BUT NOT AT CHRISTMAS. Apparently this is their BUSY time and they don't hold any events during the holiday season - so I was told to check back after the holidays. The holidays came and went, and when I appeared again, they told me it would be several weeks to a month before they had an opening. So, looking ahead at the calendar, I asked if I could do one the Friday before the March Break, and the next one, the Friday before Mother's Day. I figured it would be great to tie the event to another event thus generating more sales.
Maybe it's time to contact the media again...
It is really tough to get your work noticed, and you often wonder if people will like what your imagination has contrived. You have to throw caution to the wind and step out in the big bad world to see if your product will sell. If you never try, you'll never know. I'm trying, and I have to admit, I am pleasantly surprised at how well my novels are being received.
My secret wish?
To be noticed by a big film producer (maybe one of the ones who did Harry Potter, or The Avengers, or Star Trek...) SIGH! One can dream - AND GO FOR IT!
By the way, I just entered Destiny Calls in the Book Pipeline Competition - which introduces novels to film and television producers.
Keep your fingers crossed!