Friday, September 21, 2012

I recently joined Absolute Write’s blog chain.  Each month there is a prompt that you need to post something to your blog about, so here is this months:

This month's prompt: The Number Seven

September used to be the seventh month of the old Roman calendar and its name literally means seventh "month," so this month is brought to you by 7. Write wherever the prompt inspires you, fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry. Do try and keep things at a PG-13 level, though.

When I first read this, what came to mind were the 7 wonders of the world, then the 7 chaukras, then the 7 places of power and wisdom (American Indian), then chapter 7 of my current WIP, then 7 days in a week, Se7en the movie, if only it were 7 degrees cooler outside, or I weighed 7 pounds less, or I was 7 years younger, or my drink had 7 ice cubes that didn’t melt in it, or times 7.

Too many things to do with the number 7.  Then it hit me, my latest novel sale is due out in 7 weeks.   I could promote that—then to tell the truth, that is all I have been focusing on, PROMOTION, raido interview coming up, ordered bookmarks and cards to pass out, press release, joined twitter, posting to twitter, moved my blog because the old site that I moved the blog to was too hard for people to comment on, joined AuthorsDen, took down old blog that had been hacked, read over the radio interview questions at least 7 times, put up an author’s site on WIX, discovered that there are about 7 times 3 social media sites out there that I need to look into for more promotions, my brain is on publicity overload. 

I’ve also been trying to get
 my authors to promote their work.  And that led me to why is it so hard to get authors to promote themselves?  Yes, the publisher does some of it, but like anything if you don’t promote then how does anyone know it’s out there?  You took the time to write the novel, went through the grueling process of editing (YES, I am that bitch editor they warned you about) so why does the love stop there?

So here it is: 7 things you must do to promote yourself:

1)  Believe in your book.  Seems pretty simple.  When you first wrote the book you had that thrill this will be it, it will be the next bestseller, keep that going.  Bad reviews do not matter.  (Unless they are all bad, but that’s a different matter)  If the book matters to you, you will market the book.

2)  Flood the online community.  Not just a facebook page that you let sit there.  Actively seek out other authors (bestselling authors), see what they are doing on their pages.  COPY them.  Stalk them, follow them to twitter, to linkedin, to myspace, to blogger, to anywhere they promote, and do it.  Here’s a list of places to check out and flaunt what you got: Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Reddit, Digg, Delicious, Linkedin, Myspace, Posterous, Sphinn, Blinklist, AuthorsDen, Pinterest, Google+, MSNreporter, Hackernews, Bloggerradio, Amazon authors pages – and I am sure there are more.

3)  Set a schedule that you can stick to.  All too often writers fall back on well, the muse didn’t hit me today so I’m not going to write or I can’t write.  That’s complete BS.  If you have a day job can you get by with saying oh, I don’t think I’m going to work today, I don’t feel like it?  Answer: not for  very long and still have a job. The same with writing. Set a time and place to write, then do it no matter what.

4)  Set aside time to promote everyday.  I spend 3 hours per day promoting. 

5)  Find other writers not in your area to help you.  Got your bookmarks to pass out, buy more.  Get together with other writers not in your area and get them to do an exchange with you, you pass out 50 of their cards, you pass out 50 of what they have.

6)  Have a financia
l goal in mind.  Yes, set a goal, a reasonable goal, not just I want to be a best seller, a number I want to or need to make $$$.  Then decide how you are going to do that and see number 1 through 5.  If you are not meeting that goal 7 months down the road then rethink, redo, stalk some different authors and see what they do.

7)  Flood your local community.  Contact libraries, the local newspapers, the local schools anywhere that you can. A press release is fairly simple and many local newspapers and TV stations will be thrilled to have a local human interest piece.

Well, that 7 things I can come up with off the top of my head, there are many more things you can do to promote and market, but 7 seemed like a good number to start with.

Other blogs in this circle, please visit them!

Participants and posts:

orion_mk3 - (link to this month's post)

Ralph Pines - (link to this month's post)

bmadsen - (link to this month's post)

writingismypassion - (link to this month's post)

pyrosama - (link to this month's post)

areteus - (link to this month's post)

randi.lee - (link to this month's post)

wonderactivist - (link to this month's 


BBBurke - (link to this month's post)

meowzbark - (link to this month's post)

SuzanneSeese - (link to this month's post)

AFord - (link to this month's post)

Kricket - (link to this month's post)  


  1. Good advice. I think the reason authors don't like to do self-publicity is b/c it's a lot of work. We'd rather just write. But reality is a bitch sometimes. Work it is.

  2. This is wonderful advice. I'm glad you joined the blog chain. Welcome.

  3. Good advice, but on #2, how do you avoid a flood of promotions turning into a morass of spam?

  4. Spam, not made from ham. It's like soilent green it comes from people, well actually most of it comes form a bot, but the bot was created by people. There is an app for twitter called trutwit that protects from spam, it does make it harder for people to follow you, so you may lose some followers that way, but if spam is a concern then it's a good idea.

    Set up a separate e-mail that you use for notifications about twitter, your blog, facebook etc. And you should have a separate facebook, blog, etc., just for your writing business. Don't just mass accept every person who wants to friend you check out their page, same with twitter, someone with no or very few followers but tons of people they follow, god chance they are spam, check out the pictures they use as well, and anyone with followers and no tweets, don't follow. Any time you post your e-mail address, do it as shaunnawolf (at) gmail (dot) com With your addy of course.

    Yes, you run the risk of spam, and part of your time spent on publicity and marketing is going to be spent getting rid of and blocking spam, but is your fear of spam going to keep you from meeting your goals and selling your book?

  5. Best Wishes with all of your literary goals