Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Fun Facts

Fun Fact #1: I finished the second draft of my YA novel this week - up to 60K words, which I'm really pleased with. Still some rough spots, but I'll let it sit for a week or two and then go back and tackle a third revision. Now I'm switching gears and working on a short, sweet-heat submission for Samhain's "Just Romance" anthology.

Fun Fact#2: I just added a reading/Q&A for 7:00 pm on Thursday, August 12th, at the Phillips Free Library in Homer, NY. I'll read from a couple of my books and talk about my experiences getting published. And I'll be selling and signing books, of course!

Fun Fact #3: On this date in 1984, Vanessa Williams resigned as Miss America, after Penthouse said it planned to publish photos of her. Remember that? I do - very controversial. I was somewhat disappointed - not so much in her (she didn't pose while she was reigning as Miss America) but in the fact that she was pressured to step down because of something she'd done in her past.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Writers' Wednesday: Making a Name for Yourself

"Success doesn't come to you; you go to it." Marva Collins

It bears repeating: authors need to market themselves. I don't care whether you're a first-time small press debut author or a NY Times best-seller. You need to spread the word about your books, and you need to interact with the public and reach your readers. Best-selling authors, of course, have a little advantage when it comes to a reliable readership. But even new and small-press authors can reach more people by being VISIBLE.

And why am I talking about this? Last weekend I spent Saturday at a booth at the local craft fair in my childhood hometown. It's my 3rd time participating, and I've always had pretty good sales - yes, because I grew up there and people get a kick out of owning a book by someone they knew when we were both 10. But also because even those who don't know me are fascinated by a hometown-girl-turned-published-author.

This past Saturday, I actually sold out of the books I brought with me - 34 total sales for the day, which is a record for me. Better than that, I got contacts from 3 community members who want me to come to their groups and give readings or talks. Of course I said yes (you should too, even if it makes you nervous!), and I can't wait. Even if you aren't the most outgoing person in the world, if you've published a book, you can get up in front of a group of people and read from it. You can talk about your own experiences getting published

And every time you meet another person, you meet another potential new reader. Many of those new readers become regular readers. You don't ever get out there! Participate in signings, in readings, in craft fairs. You don't have to shout from the rooftops or even peddle your books to every person that walks by. But if you have a chance to set up a booth or a table or appear for a few minutes one night to a local community group, take advantage of it! It's all about growing your name.

Good luck!