By DiAnn Mills
What do you do when the best book you’ve ever written doesn’t hit the sales numbers you or your publisher expected? What do you do when the numbers leave you wondering why you stay in the game? What do you do when you stay awake at night and question your ability as a writer?
In short, what do you do when the Boo Birds Sing the Blues?
I’ve been there, and if you haven’t ... it will happen. Don’t be afraid of the industry’s fickle love/hate relationship with its authors. Don’t quit Simply be prepared. Here’s a list of fifteen sure-fire ways to shoot buckshot into those Boo Birds.
1. Evaluate the book. If the reviews are good, then devise a plan to relaunch it.
2. Are you involved in the marketing and promotion of your book? Or have you left that important aspect of a writer’s life to someone else? Hands-on control keeps the writer in the loop and on top of what is happening in the publishing world.
3. Seek the wisdom of a professional who specializes in marketing and promotion of novels. Pay for it, and you’ll receive the best counsel.
4. Does your website and Facebook pages need a facelift? Is your professional photo more than three years old?
5. Use the social media community to make friends. If this aspect of a writer’s life is a challenge, seek one-on-one tutorials and learn how to effectively manage and master social networking. Discover how to attract readers on Facebook, Google Reader, Goodreads, Google+, Linkedin, and Pinterest. Learn how to use Buffer and employ Hashtags. When you are educated in these areas, then move on to other helps. Social media is not about you; it’s about your reader.
6. Analyze various marketing and promotional opportunities for the writer to establish the best solution for you. Be assertive in your search.
7. Attend conferences and participate in workshops. Consider teaching a class.
8. Let your readers know you appreciate them. Often.
9. Let bookstore owners know you value them. Compose a thank you letter and mail bookmarks. A writer cannot sell a book without the support and assistance of bookstore staff.
10. Ask readers to post reviews on Amazon and give them a token of thanks.
11. Read and reread blogs and books about the craft and the industry.
12. Read your favorite authors in your genre.
13. Publicize contests on social media and your e-newsletter.
14. Target libraries and book clubs in your relaunch campaign. Be available for discussions!
15. Mentor a new writer. When they learn, you learn. Give of yourself and help others.
The above suggestions will not keep the boo birds away, but it will help you live through the moments when they “drop” bad news. Keep your aim focused on your career by being proactive in this wild crazy world of publishing.
Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn's first book was published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books published. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader's Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011. DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. Her latest book is The Chase: A Novel (crime scene Houston).