Promo Tip: In the beginning

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven months since my first book released from Noble Romance Publishing. At the time, the idea of promotion was quite daunting for a self-confessed introvert and still is truth to tell. I had no plan to follow, that would have worked out better, but now that I’m better informed I thought I should jot down my discoveries.

Pre-Release

Depending on who you’re publishing with, the lead time you have for promotion can vary so its very hard to set up a strict timetable. I have heard that a two month pre-release campaign is a good lead up. Even if you’re just starting out, most writers would have heard that a web-presence is essential so let’s start there.

Facebook – Facebook is the number one social networking too worldwide. I’m on there, along with all the lady scribes blog members and almost every other writer I know. Facebook can be a vast source of potential readers, (authors are readers too) yet with so many signed up its also possible to waste huge amounts of time. As a suggestion for your first steps I suggest you friend the authors you like, especially if you write in the same genre. Then add some of their friends, a little at a time. What you want, and what’s practical is a slow growth in your network connections. Don’t friend one hundred people on the one day and make sure to say ‘thanks for friending me’ when they accept. Not everyone will, and some can take months to do so, but you want to grow your Facebook connections with people who will comment, share and like your posts.

Twitter – Twitter is my favourite social networking tool. Like Facebook you find interesting people to follow, but with Twitter your conversations are limited to 140 characters:

 @LydiaDare The new book cover rocks!! Cannot wait till March for It Happened One Bite to be released. Are you doing book signings next year?

That was exactly 140 characters. Twitter conversations tend to be real-time, more like a chat session than Facebook’s posts, and like Facebook you can waste a huge amount of time reading posts and following links. Again, start small, get to know the people you follow and who follow you back. You can follow people without them following you, and you can easily unfollow someone without offending. You can block someone too – especially good for those marketing tweets you’re uninterested in recieving. With twitter you make your own little community and, as an isolated writer, I really love that feature.

The twitter code! There are often little tags on tweets that can make no sense at all. A hashtag # followed by a few letters. These are twitter topics to bring likeminded people together. They are searchable, and the really popular ones feature as Trending Topics on Twitters sidebar. For example:

#FF is used on Fridays. It means Follow Friday and is a way to give a shout out to your special friends.

#amwriting – authors use this to give updates on their work in progress

#whyiread – why I read is another

The choices go on and on. The use of hashtags is the way the twitter community continues to grow. You often see celebrities and their fans use them for movies and tv show. Follow NathanFillion (from Castle and Firefly fame) for other examples. Current affairs events pop up too. It all depends on your interests.

If you’re new to either Twitter or Facebook give me a shout out. I’m @Heather_Boyd on Twitter and here on Facebook.

If you’re an old hand at twitter do you have any hashtag topics you use often and care to share?

Comments

swishy2

3 Responses to Promo Tip: In the beginning

  1. Teresa Thomas Bohannon December 9, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    Thank you for the article on using Facebook and Twitter as a beginning step to book promotion. I have recently self published my first Regency Romance novel, A Very Merry Chase–which I actually, originally wrote 35 years ago. Since I’m an old hand at both writing professionally and working with a variety of computer software publishing tools, the most difficult part of the process–for me–has been the promotional piece.

    Like you, I am at heart an introvert, so promoting the book has been a matter of literally forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone every day. However, the real problem occurs in that I have to spent time promoting that would prefer to spend writing.

    As part of this process, I have discovered that both entering and holding contests to give away books is also one of the better ways to promote your own books. Usually these are tied in with book reviews and author interviews, so that–speaking in terms of PR–the return for time expended is worth the effort.

    Although I have entered several contests, I am currently running my first independent promotional contest at http://ladysilk.net/a-romantic-contest/ which is the blog I set up specifically to promote my Regency romance novel. Since there are so many of these contests available, I wanted to lead with an unusual prize, so I selected a vintage romance comic with a beautiful painted cover from 1951. Please feel free to stop by and leave a comment and any suggestions you have for improving traffic to the contest.

    Thank you,
    Teresa




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    • Heather Boyd December 10, 2010 at 10:40 am #

      I always love meeting Regency authors so I’ll drop by soon to check out your contest!




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  2. Heather Boyd December 15, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    Came across other Twitter Topic I had forgotten about

    #pubtip – publication tips from agents and editors
    #fb – tweets are cross posted to facebook account (I don’t use this one)




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