It’s getting near that time when my book will be hitting the virtual E-Book shelves, and that being said, I started wondering what else I could do to promote myself to the world. I have a web site, book trailer on utube, I’ve started a facebook page just for my writing, I’ve been tweeting, I’ve had cards made up to hand out to anyone who looks my way, I’ve had buttons made, again to hand out to anyone who looks my way, and I have little keychains on order. I have a list of blog sites to guest at when it’s release time, and I’m already looking for conferences to head to where I can sit down and meet the public. But I have to wonder, is that enough?
I've asked Author Jordan K Rose to join me today to share her thoughts on the Art of Self Promotion. After trying her hand at many, many things- from crafting and art classes to cooking and sewing classes to running her own handbag business, Jordan finally figured out how to channel her creativity. With an active imagination and a little encouragement from her husband she sat down and began to write, each night clicking away at the keys with her black Labrador, Dino curled up under the desk. A few short years later she’s entered the publishing arena with no plans to ever turn back. Jordan’s a member of Rhode Island Romance Writers, as well as RWA National, and the New England (NEC), Connecticut, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FFnP) Chapters.
Thank you Jordan for stopping by. Now, what I want to know is,
What are you doing to promote yourself?
Jeanne, before I answer I’d like to thank you for hosting me on Romance in Flight. I’m thrilled to be here and appreciate the opportunity. You’re running a great blog and I’m delighted to be a part of it. Now, on to your questions.
My Marketing and Promo Plan is a work in progress. It continues to evolve as I learn more about what opportunities exist and as my release date comes closer. Currently I use Twitter as my primary tool. It’s short and sweet and super easy, all traits of a promo tool that meet my needs. I also use FaceBook, which I’ve learned to keep to a minimum. I have an author website, www.jordankrose.com, and use the blog portion of it to share info about my writing and appearances. I have business cards as well. In terms of giveaways I’m trying to determine what will give me the best return on investment. As a fan I like pens best of all giveaways. Well, pens and chocolate. But pens provide a better marketing opportunity. Let’s face it. No one keeps the wrapper after they’ve eaten the chocolate. So the pen is clearly the better investment. J I have not ventured into the book trailer realm. I’m a little nervous about trying it. Technology is not my strong suit and becoming frustrated as I try to make a trailer will not help my mindset and keep me writing. The book trailer is in the “maybe some time in the future when I’m well-rested and feeling adventurous” column of my marketing plan!
I also have a website dedicated to a character in my current WIP, www.evaprim.com. Eva blogs about anything of interest to her- movies, books, drinks, fashion. She doles out advice and tips for current vampires and wannabees. I use her site to help promote my name even though my first book, Perpetual Light, is not her story. An issue she has made her opinion quite clear on. She tweets and has a FaceBook page where she complains about the fact that her story is not yet published. She has close to 600 followers on Twitter so she’s also a good form of promotion.
How important do you believe it is to have your own blog/ website/ FaceBook page/ twitter?
Very important. I don’t believe a writer needs to utilize all of them, but at least a couple and she needs to be active on the ones she picks. You have to find your comfort zone. Not everyone enjoys FaceBook so that may not be the best tool for one person. There is so much out there, and with so many opportunities to promote your work a writer should be able to find a tool that fits her style. I think a basic website is a must. I’ve heard agents and editors say that the first thing they do when they are considering a submission is google the author. Your name needs to come up somewhere in the search engines.
I just took a second to google myself, which I haven’t done in quite a while. The first three entries were my own website. The next nine entries were still about me and not some other Jordan Rose. They were my profile pages from a number of other social media groups like Twitter, FaceBook, Paranormal Romance Guild, Shelfari, my publisher, Crescent Moon Press, and other blogs I’ve been on. Wow! I’m surprised and pleased to see my name is out there. This is a great example of why a writer needs to belong to some social media groups and have a website.
In your opinion, what would be Taboo?
I don’t know that I’d say anything that’s legal, morally and ethically acceptable is taboo. However, I would caution that you promote your name and work in appropriate venues so that you attract the type of readers who’ll want to read your books. A writer shouldn’t do anything that will discourage readers. For example, I write paranormal romance and the door is open when my heroes and heroines are intimate. However, I do not write erotic romance. I would not market my books as inspirational romances or erotica. It would upset or disappoint readers, who would in turn report their experience.
In your opinion, what is a complete waste of time?
My marketing efforts have not been in effect long enough to determine if anything I’m doing is a complete waste of time. I firmly believe that simply because something works for one writer does not mean it will work for another. Each person has to find a marketing tool and develop a plan that will work for her. In my own marketing planning two things are very important to me: time and money. How long is it taking me and how much is it costing me? The number one thing a writer needs to do is write. If you’re spending hours and hours everyday marketing, you are not writing. You can be a marketing guru, but if you don’t have anything written, what good is it? And, just because you saw something really cool at a conference, like chocolate bars with an author’s name and newest release on the label, does not mean it’s the best use of your money. Like I said, once I eat the candy, I don’t keep the wrapper.
The goal of my marketing plan is to gain exposure and make my name and books recognizable. But that needs to be done in the most efficient way both financially and time-wise.
Any words of encouragement for those just starting out?
Absolutely. Believe in yourself. Writing can be a fun and exciting job or hobby. It can also beat you down, if you let it. I’ve tried to learn something from every experience, whether it was a contest critique or a rejection from an agent or editor. Get a critique partner you trust and lean on her for support and encouragement. Enjoy the moments you can. Groan about the ones that distress. But then let them go. Get back to the computer and keep writing. It’s the only way to get published.
Jeanne, thanks again for having me. It’s been a real pleasure.