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Staying in the Spotlight
If you want people talking about your book, be available to talk to people. Set up book talks and book signings. Become friends with your local newspaper reporter. Get them interested in what you have to say.
Let people know what you are doing. That does not mean tell them every detail of your life. It means tease them with what you are writing about. I am doing a series. It was stepping out of my comfort zone. I'd never written a series before, so it was a challenge for me. What started out as a three book series has blossomed. I have a reader who tells me to stick with these characters for the rest of my writing career.
The first book in the series, Cold Case: Sleeping Dogs Lie, was an introduction to my basic cast. My main character, Macy McVannel, her partner and the people they interact with. I left the book with a cliff hanger as a tease for the next one. Readers have been asking for months when it would be out.
Ta da...Crossing the Line, book two in the series will be out in mid-March. I am excited. My readers are excited. I am able to take pre-orders next week at a book signing. Yes, I am still doing book signings. I love book signings and speaking engagements. I like interacting with the people who read my books.
What do we talk about at book signings? I like mine informal, ask a question when you have one. I don't think you need to wait until the end. I give a brief intro on how I got started writing. I sometimes read some of my writings...the unpublished ones. I take time to answer questions. We laugh. Laughter is good. I give away copies of my books that can be autographed later in the evening. We talk about where the inspiration for my books come from. We talk about my discipline or lack thereof, what keeps me writing. I take personal questions, but we know I reserve the right to not answer them if they are too personal.
Don't be Afraid
I taught school for twenty-eight and half years. Part of that time I taught at the college level. I still hate public speaking. You never know what kind of audience you are going to have. I've had the almost non-existent audience, the one that didn't show at all, the full house, the long time friends and family. I've run the gamut of audiences. Speaking in front of family is the worst. I am always afraid I will mess up and they will be ashamed of me. So far, that has not been the case.
Once I get started, speaking is easy. I relax. I am able to think about what I want to say. I never pre-plan a speech. Like I never outline a book. I do everything off the cuff. It works for me. If you need note cards for a speech, go for it. You have to do what works for you.
You have to believe in yourself. If you don't believe in your writing and what you are doing, no one else will believe in you either. Believe you have done the best you can do. Go forth and speak.
Radio opportunities are a way to get your name to thousands of potential readers. I have done two and have a third one coming up. I get better with each one. I am more relaxed than I was with the first one as I had no idea what to expect. It was done and over before I had time to think. Radio is fast, you might get three min. But it's a good venue.
I don't discard reviews on amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, people read them. Getting your friends and readers to write them is a chore. Best of luck with that.
Set up a Facebook author page and use it to let readers know what you are up to. Don't use it for game playing. Get a domain name and website. Make it simple use the author name you are writing under. Use it to display your books, to let people know where you are going to be, and most importantly when your next book will be out.