Writers: Where are you?

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There are so many opportunities for writers to explore and get their name out. Yes we have the conventional ones that are well-known:

-Twitter

-Facebook

-Google +

-Blogs

-Pinterest

-Linkedin

These are the ones that I try to be active in. But how about the ones where you think outside the box? I mentioned this week about the great news of how I will begin a new career as a freelance writer and photographer. This is one avenue. Another is to review books. In fact I have a site set up just for book reviews: www.mainemuse.wordpress.com. I been reviewing for Booksneeze since 2010 and word has gotten out as various authors have reached out to me. And somehow my name and site has been placed on a page that is dedicated for people who need and or do reviews. That gave me an influx of pleas. Which was fine.

Recently the owners of BTS magazine reached out to me an asked if I would be interested in reviewing for them. After checking them out, I thought it would be fun and also a good thing for me as another circle of people who would learn about me. But there is a double win when you review. Not only are you getting your name out, you are learning to critique and grow as an author. Reviewing is an invaluable tool for writers. I have learned so much in doing reviews for others and it has helped me in my own works.

We have NPR, newspapers, book signings and readings just to name a few places we can try to reach out to the public. In February of this year I, along with other authors, did a reading at a local library. It was scary but fun at the same time.

All of this takes hours and effort from an already busy life. And one must try to not over extend oneself for one can hurt one’s health and sanity to boot. Moderation, yes that is something I need to start learning to do as things drop into my lap. Just now a friend called and asked if she could hire me to help with her thesis. I sure as heck didn’t see that coming. I spent eight plus hours working on this for her.

Moderation, hmm maybe one day I will know the true meaning of that word.

 

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Marketing: Small Places

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When you’re starting out as an author the idea of marketing yourself, whether you are self published or traditionally published, can get a bit scary. One has to think of anything that can help. A local theater in town is now hosting local writers in their lobby. All that is required is a few copies of one’s book and a framed picture. Fortunately I knew one of the actress who is also a fellow author. I was able to showcase my book for a few weeks to the patrons of the arts.

This is a different avenue and one that would never have come across my desk if I didn’t know my friend. But it just shows to think outside the box and don’t strictly go with conventional marketing. Every piece that can give the opportunity to show your works should be considered, even the ones that you have not thought of yet.

 

Marketing My Book

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Even though my book got picked up by a traditional publisher, it doesn’t mean I don’t have to spread the word and do some marketing of my own. This is tough for I am by all accounts a shy person. Times are tough for books. They are competing with ebooks, tablets and people giving away their books for free for reviews. So a year before I started actively submitting “Jasper, Amazon Parrot:A Rainforest Adventure” I hit the social media scene.

You can find me here:

-Facebook

-Google +

-Twitter

-Linkedin

-Pinterest

-Goodreads

-Shelfari

I am on a few others but these are the big ones. I started to network, meeting various people in various stages of their book. Along the way I met some awesome friends. I came across people who helped me in so many different ways. Ami who worked on my query letter that got my book into a few editor’s hands. I met my editor, Nancy, who is just amazing with her talents. I have met writers who have helped me with questions and problems when it came to social media. This is a market every author, whether self published or traditional, needs to tap into. It is pure gold for the taking, you just have to reach for it. And by the way it’s how I met my publisher.

It is time-consuming when you first start. This was the main reason a year prior to submitting I became pro active with my book and the means to promote it. It has been a few years since then and now my social media format just need checking on for maintenance. Being shy won’t cut it in this market. You have to take a deep breath and step forward. Your book needs you to be there for it. It can’t do it alone. And why should it? It has been with you for so long why abandon it now?