By Desiree Holt
One of the most difficult and time consuming things for an author to do is get the name out their. Get people familiar with the brand. For a new author it’s always daunting, kind of like standing at the drawbridge with the castle looming over you. If you make a misstep, the drawbridge comes up and you’re left to swim in the moat of anonymity forever and ever. I have been there and done that.
Before there was social media there was Yahoo with all its varied groups. Which group do I join? Will I reach the right audience? Will there be enough readers to get my message! Much hand wringing ensues as you puzzled over the choices.
Then, of course, comes paid advertising. How little is too little? How much is too much? Where should I spend my dollars? Oh, wait. I only have one book out and I’ve already outspent my royalties.
The advent of social media has made this a lot easier. Travel though Facebook and find people you know “in the biz.” Like them, comment on their pages. Set up your author page and ask them to Friend you. Let me add one caveat here—don’t always be about your book or books. Readers get a feel for authors who do “drive-by posting.” We are always careful about revealing personal information (you never know who’s out there and there are serial “Likers” you need to be careful of).
For me the key is my cats. I have three of them, each totally different. Grace, my alpha cat, is the most well-known because she weighs twenty-one pounds and I always have her on a diet. A lot of people out there have cats so they pick up on it. Grace even gets her own emails now!
Same with Twitter. Much easier to used because the size of your Tweets is limited but personalize them. And retweet others tweets.
But for me the best thing has been my App. After all, today everyone has some kind of electronic device they carry with them from phones to tablets to readers. So what better way to get my word across to people? Several companies design apps for writers. They have a template designed specifically for authors. It’s affordable for the design and a quarterly for maintenance. Believe me, it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. I now have every one of my books on my app, along with two Buy links each. Video trailers. I have my bio, my appearance schedule—book signings, conventions, etc. You can send out up to five announcements per day but I try to keep it to two. These include new releases, blog appearances, contests, anything I want the world to know.
The App is free to buyers and is available for both Apple and Android electronics. Free! Once a week I hit all my Facebook stops and Twitter to remind people to download it if they haven’t already. And I keep reminding them that it’s Free!!! My business cards now say I’m an App with the pertinent information included. When I promo new books I always use that as either a tagline or an add on.
So if you want to really get the word out with minimal expense, I say an App’s the way to go. Definitely.
Desiree Holt’s writing is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the pages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award.