Friday, February 19, 2016

What authors want to know...

I reached out on Twitter and Facebook to see what types of things authors want to know. I'll try my best to answer the questions I received.

1. How to make time to write. This truly is an issue for everyone who has family, a home, eats, gardens, has pets, works an outside job and wants to write. I don't profess to have all the answers but maybe I can share some messages from some creative masters.
  • Never miss a day. ~Leo Tolstoy
  • Time melts when you find purpose. ~Vincent van Gogh
  • Habit is the bed of creativity. Tuck yourself in. ~Stephen King
  • Life doesn't bend to your schedule. Find the time. ~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Distractions are no excuse. Learn to cope. ~Jane Austen
  • Set a time for concentrated work. ~Thomas Mann
2. How to audition male models for the covers. 

  •  I have no clue on this one, but it might be fun to find out.  
  • Hubby says, "Why go for six pack abs when you can have a keg," as he pats his tummy.
3. How to get publicity for our novels so readers want to purchase them. Now there is a great question, and one that I ask myself every day. All I can really do is share some of the ways I have used to garner publicity that were relatively successful.
  • Hold readings and signings at Libraries in your city and small towns surrounding it. Provide a photo, bio, and make a poster for them to put up. Contact the local newspaper and radio station and let them know about the event. Post something on the author & library social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
  • Blogging. If you are hosting someone on your blog, let everyone know through social media. If you are being hosted on someone else's blog, the same rule applies. This is one I don't do enough of. 
  • Bookstore readings and signings. See the library item above. Also, be nice to the folks that work there - they are often asked to give book recommendations, so be sure they know who you are and all about your book. They also have an "in" with book clubs, which is the author's best way to a best seller.
  • State and local Book Festivals are a good way to get visibility. Put your best foot forward with signs and/or banners, props that represent something in your book and catch the public curiosity or interest, giveaways. Everyone likes free stuff, so if you can obtain some inexpensive bling use it. I always have candy, grownups like it and it keeps the kids busy while they look. Romance writers can put together a little gift bag with every purchase with lip balm, hand lotion, book marks with steaming photos.
  • Book give away is usually a good way to have people try your books, especially if they give you a book review on or Amazon or B&N. I always leave a review and often buy new books based on reviews. 
  • Take advantage of your novel content and find that niche audience. If it involves knitters - approach the local knitting club. If it revolves around animals, connect with the local pet shops, humane societies, and dog clubs. Find that special group of people and let them know about your story.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Some people are able to hire a publicist and once you've made it big, the pub houses seem to have no end to the marketing funds. Seems backwards doesn't it?

I think that all we can do is write the best story we can, edit it fully, and with a little luck and lots of hard work we'll get noticed. Debut authors still make the best seller list sometimes, look at Gone Girl. But here again, Flynn had an "in," she had been a writer for Entertainment Weekly.

There is no magic pill or formula that works for everyone. We just can't give up. 


Jacqueline Seewald said...


This is such an excellent article, full of helpful information for all of us, beginning and veteran writers alike. I totally agree that we need to make time to write no matter how busy our schedules--that is for those of us who really want to write.

Susan Oleksiw said...

I like this post for its clarity and directness. You have lots of good information here, and you deliver it without frills.

People who want to write, write. Those who think they want to write never seem to have time for it. Again, very good post.

Bonnie Tharp said...

Thanks Jacqui and Susan for your comments. It's a challenging and inspiring path we've taken as writers.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Great advice.
Thanks for sharing.
Pinned to:

Bonnie Tharp said...

Cool. Thanks for the pin - Pam! TGIF.

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