Today Kim Smith, author of Buried Angel, drops by Market My Novel to talk about book promotions.
Before you were published, did you know anything about marketing?
No. I felt like a lost ball in the high weeds. It was something that I did without knowing what I was doing. I just went out and joined as many sites as I could and began posting. At first, it was a little like throwing pasta on the wall. Some of it stuck and some of it didn’t. Eventually, I culled the places getting me no bang for my buck, so to speak. Now, I think I have a great foundation.
How did you market your previous books? What did you learn from these experiences?
I have promoted all of my books the same way. Just start talking about them and don’t stop. Never stop telling someone about my work and try to help them get the word out about theirs as well. I’ve learned that you cannot take, take, take. You have to give back to the industry, too.
Tell us about your latest book and your marketing plan for it.
Buried Angel is my new release (January 2010) and it is the second book in my Shannon Wallace Mysteries. In this one, Shannon helps her friend, Dwayne, find the killer of one of his friends. I plan on going on book tour in January, and hopefully doing some contests or writing workshops this year for aspiring authors.
What are your top social networks?
Coffeetime Romances, Facebook, Gather, Twitter are where I put a lot of my time in. I have friends and fans and other writing buddies at those places and it is fun, too.
What is the best advice you’ve learned from other authors?
1. Ask questions.
2. Be positive
3. Create something worth reading
How do you organize and manage your marketing time so it doesn’t overtake writing time?
I have recently made a spreadsheet month by month of how I will tackle the marketing/writing situation, because it can be tough to keep the focus on the right stuff. Even still, I know there will be days when I just ditch the whole notion and go off to play Bejeweled.
Is it difficult to find a balance between writing and marketing?
Yes! One of the most difficult phases of this life, in fact. You can spend all your time marketing and get nothing new written, or you can spend all of your time writing, and no one knows who you are anymore. There is definitely a balance needed.
What is your biggest marketing challenge?
I need a thermometer that tells me when my temperature in the industry is going up. I need my readers to tell me that they are READING the books, or stories that I am putting out. A lot of times fans will just follow along and listen to your verbage but they don’t BUY the work. That is bad. Very bad. I can’t tell when I am hitting the mark with my marketing because I don’t know if the work is being purchased.
What’s the best way to connect with fans in your genre?
In the words of a popular movie, if you build it, they will come. I think that having a website, and a blog, and being at the hotspots of social networking gets me to the people who need to know me.
What else would you like to add?
I hope any aspiring authors out there with questions about writing or the writing life will contact me. I love writers!
Where can we find you online?
I am everywhere!
…and of course facebook, twitter, and other social networking sites. Friend me. I will friend back!