Here's what she had to say about social networking for book promotion...
In this new age of e-publishing, self-marketing and self-promotion has become an integral part of the writing life. Most small presses don’t have the financial means or the man power to do much in the way of promoting their authors. Thereby self-promotion is now the name of the game. I’ve found the promotion and marketing is often more stressful and time consuming than the writing and submission process.
Where does one even start when first wading into the marketing pool? When I first stepped in, it was all quite confusing. Then I researched a bit and started to organize my attack plan. For those of you who don’t know much about me yet, I’m a military wife. I use a lot of marine jargon and I’m quite forward. So, my attack plan. I bought a composition notebook, a box of pens, and some post-it easy tabs (these things are a God send by the way). I sectioned the notebook off and tabbed the sections websites, publishers, and review sites. Then I began the research phase. I turned to the internet for help. Via these resources I located any publishers I might consider working with. It’s never too soon to think past the current release. I then hunted for all the review sites I cold find as well as bloggers that were looking for guests either to interview or who would offer some sort of informative entry. Sometimes I lucked out and managed to find a blog site that also reviewed. Bonus. Since concocting these extensive lists, I’ve also developed one for those I refuse to deal with anymore due to unprofessional behaviors.
One of the largest social networking sites out there, is a great source for finding and sharing contacts through other authors, publishers, reviewers, and readers. Now, here’s where things tend to get a bit sticky. While I firmly believe social networking is a great tool, it should come with a warning sticker: Buyer Beware—this product contains additives that may cause loss of focus, lead to distraction, cause frustration, hurt your feelings, make you want to curse and cry uncontrollably, and waste immense amounts of your precious time. Who knew? Right?
While I treasure the true friends I’ve made through this particular site and hold the marketing opportunities it provides in high regard, the drama that so often comes with it I can do without. My advice to anyone using social networking, or considering it, as a means of promoting and marketing, go for it. It’s an endless bounty of opportunity. But, be careful. Check out the people trying to friend you. I’m as cautious as I can be in regards to age. Although it is entirely possible for people to lie, and they do so quite frequently, I do my best to ensure I do not friend anyone under the age of 18 due to the nature of my writing. Also, try not to get caught up in the drama that goes on. I’ve seen everything from lover’s spats, to fights over rumors about rumors, to name calling, to virtual cyber love affairs. Steer clear of the public displays of stupidity. Just like in high school, ill behavior can only ruin your rep. My final bit of advice concerns all the games—not the trauma and drama kind either. The farms and zoos and cafes and mobs and whatever else is going on there, that’s what I’m talking about. I’m not saying be a party pooper and don’t play. I’m merely saying think about keeping it separate from your professional page. Consider keeping an authors page strictly for your career, and a personal page for all the other fun stuff.
Yes, self-promoting and self-marketing can be harrowing. It can also be a pleasure with a bit of research and organization. Once you get in a groove it’s actually a lot of fun to zip around the cyber world chatting it up with bloggers from all over the world. So, don’t be afraid. The water’s fine. And remember, above all else, be yourself.
A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us Lila. I have to say that in my experience, social networking is good only in small doses. I simply don't have the time to spend hours on it if I want to continue my writing efforts successfully. However, one cannot deny the benefit of "getting your name out there" by using it. I guess it all comes down to a healthy balance. Just like anything in life. Thanks for joining us. Please tell us more about your brand new release!
After her husband Gage is killed in combat, Madi Melbourne finds out just how hard being a widow can be. She’s been left destitute piecing together a life she never knew Gage was living, and as the puzzle takes shape she begins to fall apart.
Rafe McCarthy has always been known as the unit playboy. Having never married and childless he finds himself examining his life and looking at the what-ifs, then a beautiful widow moves in next door and he begins to discover something he never knew existed inside of him.
Learning to trust…
How can he convince her to trust again and place that trust in him? Will he be able to live up to the responsibility he has taken in teaching her love again?
After a couple of hours of seeing nothing but the flat lands of Illinois decorated with endless fields of corn, they crossed into Kentucky and the landscape turned to the rolling green hills she had left. Even though it had only been a few short weeks since she’d moved, it seemed like a lifetime ago. Oddly, she thought she’d miss it, but as familiar as it all was, it no longer felt like home. Maybe she hadn’t known what home was in so long that no where really was, including CeCe’s farm. She was grateful for the place to stay, and Rafe had done so much work for her it now looked amazing, but it felt like she was just there on an extended vacation. Of course, didn’t having a home also have something to do with having a family? In that she was seriously lacking. While she did have her mother and Meredith, what about the proverbial husband, two and a half kids and Lassie? She wasn’t exactly the epitome of the scared institution.
Gage had always told her that home was where the Army sent them, and family was the people they chose to fill that billet where ever home was. That had always suited her before, but she found herself lately wanting something more than that. She wanted stability and a place she was rooted to. Even with Rafe’s constant presence, she felt the void, and for how much longer he would be a presence was an unknown. He’d told her he was on the fence about what to do about his career but hadn’t been specific about what that meant. What she did know was that sooner or later he would either have to go back to a regular unit, or he would retire and want to go to Montana. They’d never talked about where she fit in to either of those plans.
Before she realized it, the Hopkinsville city limit sign appeared on the horizon. Just a few blocks from the base, Rafe pulled in front of their hotel. While he went to the front desk to check them in, Madi called home to check on Tanner.
“Hey, Tanner, how is everything so far?” She watched Rafe inside, bantering with the desk clerk.
“Fine, Madi. He told me you’re a worry wart, but don’t worry I won’t tell him you’re already checking on me.”
Madi sighed and laughed. “Thank you for that. Listen there’s a pot of spaghetti sauce I left you in the fridge, all you have to do is reheat it, and there is pasta in the cabinet.”
“You didn’t have to do that, but thanks. And have a good time…I mean…”
“It’s okay Tanner, I know what you meant,” she assured him. “If you need anything call.” She shut the phone and slipped it back into her purse just as Rafe returned. A smile a mile wide lit his face.
“What’s going on?” Madi twisted to face his side of the truck.
“They accidentally gave away our room.” He tossed a receipt on the dash and put the truck in gear.
“And this makes you happy why? Where are we going to stay now? It’s flipping Memorial Day weekend, everything will be booked.” She began to make a mental run down of people she knew who could put them up, and where they could look for a room in Clarksville if need be.
“Maybe the campground isn’t full, we could always rent a tent,” she said with an exaggerated sweep of her hands.
“Oh, that won’t be necessary, we’re staying here.” He flashed her another toothy smile.
“Oh, really?” She looked at him like he had three heads. “Did they have a broom closet left vacant?”
“No, better, they upgraded us to the honeymoon suite. The kids who were going to use it cancelled the room and the wedding.”
How ironic. She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Was this God’s way of saying she should just admit to the depth of feeling she held for Rafe, stop being obstinate, and give in?
“Well, gee, was that the best they could do?” She said weakly rubbing her hand across her brow.
Rafe pulled away from the door then hesitated at the corner of the building. “So, you want to go over to the courthouse real quick and make it official?”
“What?” she croaked. “Are you serious Rafe McCarthy?”
He wasn’t exactly sure what prompted him to say it, but it made the most perfect sense in the world. When faced with the truth, he knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
“Yes, I’m serious.” He turned to see her wide-eyed staring at him. “I love you, Madi, marry me.”
“You are serious aren’t you? We don’t have rings, I don’t have a dress, and we don’t have witnesses. Besides all that, my life is a mess. Are you prepared to marry my mess?”
“So, are you saying yes or no?”
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