Many, many years ago, I self-published a non-fiction book through a print on demand distributor. (No, I’m not going to tell the pen name or the book title. Some things just need to stay in the past. J ) This book was published back when print on demand was just taking off. The book had been available for months, I’m not sure how many, and sold quite a few copies before I realized the title was misspelled on the spine. Now, I always check the spine for typos.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism? I don’t know. I’ve had my share of negative comments just like any other author who has been around awhile. It comes with putting my work out in the public for commentary. Probably the hardest to take are the reviews that don’t really tell me why the reader disliked the book. The best compliment came from a reviewer of Deceptions of the Heart. The reviewer said the book was “unputdownable.” I love that, and that’s what I try to do, make my books unputdownable.
What are three marketing ideas that have worked for you and one that didn’t?
Since my first release in April 2012, I have seen many marketing trends come and go in the publishing world. Blogging, Triberr, Twitter, Facebook Groups, street teams, monthly newsletters, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the latest trend. Really, I’m still trying to determine what works and what doesn’t. My marketing strategy is three pronged: build an audience through social media, develop a list of monthly email subscribers, and advertise with major promotional sites. This strategy appears to be working.
What doesn’t work? Having a presence on social media if all that my fans/followers see is constant promotion. Twitter and Facebook feeds can be an endless stream of promotional noise. I don’t pay attention to most of it, and I don’t think anyone else does either. Social networking is a waste of time if an author doesn’t become approachable and real. Also, if the only people I’m connected with are other authors, promotion is kind of like shouting into each other’s noise. I believe the key is becoming a real person to the reader.
What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?
I’m excited about this series of books. Writing paranormal is a bit new for me. I released a short story in 2012 with a paranormal element, but it was kind of a fun piece for an anthology. The Haunted Hearts series is heavier on the suspense than the short story and intertwines romance, suspense, and a paranormal element. I plan five books in this series with a backstory running through all of them about how one man can influence the lives of so many people. And there are ghosts.
Where do you spend your online time? Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram? Somewhere else?
Most of my online time is spent on Facebook with some time on Pinterest. I don’t spend much time on Twitter. It’s hard to build relationships in 140 characters or less. So much of my Twitter feed has been generated by automated tweeting services that it’s hard to find a tweet that’s not promotional. It’s easier to build relationships on Facebook. I’ve started an Instagram but haven’t really done much with it yet.
If you were to write a letter to yourself of five years ago… what would you warn, or encourage yourself about, or tell yourself to do differently.
I would tell my younger self to get serious about writing and publishing sooner. In college, I majored in accounting and I’ve used those skills to earn some money, but accounting is NOT my passion. If I can’t write, I might as well not breathe. I would also advise my young self to not discouraged when I receive the first round of rejections and to never give up my dream of being published.
Here’s the third installment of the Excerpt on the Tour
She threw off the comforter, rose from the bed, slipped across the room with the bat over her shoulder, and opened the door to peer down the hallway toward the front stairs. Nothing moved. The house was quiet. Maybe a little too quiet. Only moments before, a symphony of strange noises had disturbed the night. It was as if opening her bedroom door had turned off the sound.