Pimpin' Ain't Easy
No, seriously, it isn't, and by pimpin', I mean promoting.
And by promoting, I mean sharing your books.
First, let me start this by saying I write because I want to, because it's all I've ever dreamed of since I was in high school, and the fact that people read my stories blows my mind. But, I want more. I want more readers and the money that comes with people enjoying what I write so I can write even more. Who hasn't fantasized about being able to quit work and just write? A girl can dream.
After I received this quarter's check, you know the one we're all hoping for, the one that's going to pay off the student loans, knock out some bills? Yeah, that one. Well, I got the one that I deserved after having taken a break from promoting my books. That's the one that you debate actually depositing. I've had them bigger, enough that my hubby was quite proud. But, that last one? Pocket change, people.
I didn't get angry. How could I? I was the one who was sad because my books weren't picked up by my first publisher and let's not forget the kids' sports schedules along with my grad school class. In other words, life happened.
Now, the books are on the move with a new publisher, school's almost over, and while I'm taking two summer grad school classes, at least I won't be teaching.
But that check? What an eye opener to let me know that it was time to get my ass in gear. Time to pimp my work.
Are you a writer with hopes of people reading what you've worked hard to produce? Do you envision selling books off the shelves? Won't happen if you don't promote. So, I'm back in. I still remember that goal I have, the one where I want to be someone's "go-to" read. Well, I can't get that if my readers don't know I'm out there, and they won't if I don't tackle the leviathan that is social networking.
Where to begin?
Why don't I share my plan with you and then give you a few bits and pieces that have helped me? Ready?
I have a wonderful friend who helped me with this. I do about 12-15 separate posts in book groups, particularly ones that cater to my type of reader daily. I've saved the words, the links and the image to make it less work. I make sure I time myself 3-5 minutes apart so I don't look like a robot and end up in Facebook prison. Don't know about you, but I need Facebook, so while I don't always agree with their rules, I would rather follow and keep my access than lose all of the friends I've gained. I always post pretty pictures simply because I love pretty pictures of men and flowers and positive thoughts. That's me. Man-loving-legal-hippie who loves seeing men who love men. That is what I write about after all.
Pictures in My Mind
This is it right here. It's a progress. I began with thoughts, transitioned to trying to have it more organized, a newbie writer resource. Then, another friend told me that people just want to know what your struggles have been. Share those and how you're growing. It's what I've been doing lately, and she was right. I've heard more about these than the ones I worked on for weeks ahead of publishing. Funny. People just want you to be yourself. Wink.
I try to do a blog a week, but there may be a span of two or three weeks in between which means I will promote the blog again during the other weeks which works because I gain more numbers for the blog which will give me more readers. Another reason to shake my head. So, if you're blogging daily? Stop it. You have to give people time to read and for your blog to find others. So, a week, two weeks, promote. There are some who blog once a month. It's your thing. Feel it out.
I have a Twitter. Now, I actually use it. I've starting tweeting my books each day, several times a day. It was actually a suggestion I read because I'm always reading about ways to promote. Now, instead of just the one-liners, I'm using hashtags. I still post pretty pictures, images and thoughts. I also include moments. Your readers need to know you're a real person, that it's not all about your books. So, again, be you. Tweet what you like. Someone else is bound to like it. Check out the impressions and the engagements. See what you've tweeted that received the most interest. Then, act accordingly. Know your followers.
Oh, wow. This is so new to me, but it's fun. No real conversations. It's all about the pictures. You can actually take that same Twitter post you did, complete with hashtags, and use it for Instagram. There's a lot to take in for me as it always is when I use something new, but if it helps me to connect with more readers and writers, I'm in. I want to learn. Getting to know more people who share my interest will help. Instagram is instant satisfaction. Let's see where it takes me.
Pinterest Deja Black
As with anything, be mindful of what you post. They all have rules. So, if you have some exposed body parts, you may find yourself blocked from your account whether it's Facebook or Pinterest.
Now, I do have a tumblr, but you can't have that one. I uhm research topics there.
I use my phone to schedule my posts. I try to post about four times a day on all of my social networking sites beyond the twelve-fifteen for Facebook. The sound I'm using? Ocean waves. I find them relaxing which helps to ease the pressure of me adding something to this one, this one, this one, and this one. I do have followers who are on all of my sites which means I need to vary it up a bit. You have to keep things interesting, or they won't come back.
Using a reminder app, my calendar, even a timer are all helpful. If you have a phone, that's the perfect resource. Might as well use it. Thinking of phones, you can access all of the apps with your phone. Your key to pimpin' or promoting your books is in the palm of your hands.
Don't believe me? Here's a few articles I've found, ones that I'll definitely use again. From advice for writers to building a platform through social media, they are all helpful.
10 TIPS (THAT WORK) TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers
9 Ways to Use Social Media to Launch a Book
Can't ever say enough how just building relationships with others is your best tool for promoting. Word of mouth, or help, is just around the corner if you get to know people. Chat, share, laugh, question, all the things you do that help make this world a better place.
Be yourself, and have fun doing it.