Thursday, 24 March 2016

Guest Post - Beyond Publication, by Carol Thomas, author of Crazy Over You

Prior to my novel, Crazy Over You, being released a fellow Matador author told me publishing a book is like giving birth, you focus so hard on aiming for the birth you forget that’s when the hard work begins. They weren’t wrong.

Reaching publication and holding your first book in your hands is a huge achievement. But after you have stared at it for long enough and stopped grinning at it, it is time to think how to get it into other people’s hands. You want readers and not just your friends and family.

Having an author platform is spoken about a lot and it is undoubtedly invaluable for encouraging pre-orders (lifting you in rankings as your book comes out) and future sales. Ideally this should be built some time before your book is actually out, but in reality this is not always achieved.

Facebook is a good place to start. Having a dedicated page, allows people to follow you and for you to start building a buzz about you as a writer and your book/s.

Twitter enables you to reach people beyond your usual circle. Follow other writers and those people who may be your future readers, the chances are they will follow back. Use hash tags such as #amwriting and those relating to your book, such as #romancenovel. Avoid doing too many “buy my book” type tweets. Aim to be interested in others and interesting yourself.

Create a professional looking website that enables people to learn more about you and your writing. Establish your brand by creating a banner that reflects your book covers and displaying it across your website, Facebook and Twitter pages. From your website you should also, ideally, encourage people to sign up to your newsletter or blog (still a work in progress for me).

Begin to get reviews for your book, research book bloggers who enjoy your genre. Follow them on Twitter, read their blog and follow their review policy. Make your request personal – maybe offer an interview or guest blog post. Don’t hassle them; almost all book bloggers are doing it in their spare time because they love books. Once you have a review be grateful, add it to your website and link to it from your own social media.

Contact local bookshops, visit with a copy of your book (at a time convenient to them) and ask if they would stock it. If they do, show your gratitude by encouraging buyers to their shop. Promote it to local magazines (they will do articles on you or reviews on your book if you contact them with a local connection); mention it on Facebook and tweet about it.

Events can be tricky as without being a big name it can be hard to attract people. Attend some by other authors to see what works and to see what might work for you. There is safety in numbers, so working with fellow authors can be of benefit. I met the Chindi, Chichester Independent Authors, group and have worked with them on promotional events. We have monthly meetings and a private forum (where we share ideas) as well as our public pages

Obviously all these things are just a start and to be built on over time. Most importantly keep writing. Don’t lose focus of your next book, as that will be the force that carries your readers forward with you. And that is where I am at now!

Thank you so much for this informative post Carol, and really appreciate the section about book bloggers. I couldn't agree more!

Author bio:

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband and four children. She enjoys taking on a challenge and writing her novel, Crazy Over You, while looking after her children and working part-time has proved to be one of her most exciting challenges to date. Carol has taught in the primary sector for fifteen years and works as a copywriter for commercial websites. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local caf├ęs, drinking too much tea and working on her second novel. 

To find out more about books by Carol Thomas:

To buy Crazy Over You

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