Wednesday, November 19, 2014

These long, long days sitting here at my laptop...

In the olden days—the olden days being five years ago—what I did as an author was visit bookstores. Every town we went into, every vacation we took, always part of that time was spent searching the Yellow Pages to find bookstores. Then, my most recent novel in hand I would visit bookstores, talk with managers, and often hand them a copy of my latest and suggesting—nicely—that they might want to consider maybe putting my book on their shelves.

Now, in the brand new world of publishing I no longer do that. First of all, nobody uses the Yellow Pages any more, and second, my writing is online. My entire writing business is online. And yes, it is a business. I used to be a writer and "other people" took care of marketing and book covers and reviews. Any problems and I would just "get my agent to handle it." Now, it's all up to me, and work is darn hard. But it's oh, so rewarding to be my own

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. What I need now, what all authors need, are reviews, and specifically Amazon reviews. Come the new year I will be doing some specific advertising for Night Watch, and did you know that advertising sites look at your Amazon reviews and their ratings to even decide if they want to take your money and advertise your book? So, that's why I need those reviews. That's why I need to be way up there in the Amazon rankings. That's why I have spent long, long hours here at my computers looking for and querying reviewers and book bloggers. 

This fall has been an incredibly busy one for me. I have gone through Indie review sites and sent off review requests by the dozens, whoops, I mean hundreds. But it's beginning to pay off. The reviews are beginning to come it. So Part 1 of my Night Watch Marketing Plan is starting to pay off. 

So, if you are thinking of becoming an author/publisher there are just a few groups I wanted to share. 

  - Indie Author Group:  . This is a great Facebook group of Indie writing friends. You can ask any stupid question you have, and someone there will have an answer

 - The Alliance of Independent Authors -   This professional organization is just what I was looking for after I let my membership to the RWA and MWA lapse. There's a lively Facebook group, plus many, many resources - videos, blogs, etc. Plus, everyone is so darn friendly there! 

One of the by-products and great fun things about all of this is meeting new people. I've met so many wonderful people online, other mystery writers like myself, and we're carrying on some great online discussions of books, life and all the rest. Stay tuned to spring 2015 for Season 2 of my Author Interviews where I'll be introducing some of my new friends to you.

I was just reading somewhere that they say that constant sitting in the same position (for example, when for hours at a time when you're leaning into your computer, squinty-eyed from reading a gazillion book blogs) is worse than smoking. 

And a special and hearty congratulations to Muriel who won the Amazon gift card and to Lois who won a free copy of Strange Faces!

Want to know how you can be involved in future contests, giveaways and book news? Just join my newsletter email list.

But the rewards are there. This past weekend was the physical book launch for Night Watch. It was such a wonderful time in the large and lovely and river front home of friends. Here are a few of the lovely friends who joined me.