I don’t often have time to write additional posts between Rendezvous updates. And I know that some writers are finding it hard to write right now, even though they have the ‘leisure’ to do so. These are strange times, so I began to think about how life would be in the writing/publishing world after this is over.
It struck me that there are a number of things we can do to make sure that this business of ours survives and does well. And if you have any additional ideas, let me know in the comments 🙂
If your book launch has been canceled, think about ways of having one online. People may have more time to attend and be entertained, and if they like you and your book, they’ll buy! Facebook Live seems like an easy place to start. (Note: If you’re published by a traditional publisher, make sure you have permission to read your book aloud online. It shouldn’t be a problem, but better safe than sorry.)
Or you could video yourself reading from the first chapter, and post it with an offer of a special eBook price, to encourage people to buy. If you can add a background that’s taken from the book, even better. Or make it into a video of you sitting in a cozy spot, with your book.
Ask people who have your book to post photos of themselves reading it, and offer a small prize for the person you randomly select from entries.
Learn something new that will help move your writing forward. There are lots of classes now available online. If you’ve never attended a webinar, try one out and improve a writing skill. If you’re not using social media, or not quite sure how to use it more effectively, find a tutorial on YouTube and learn it. You can do this!
Learn about how to market your book. There are lots of newsletters and tutorials to help you. Just Google it.
I’m going to learn how to use Canva, a free photo management tool that lets you write on top of your photos – to design an ad, in fact. Westport’s poet laureate is an expert at this. Check out her Facebook or Instagram page, to see how many different ways there are to do this. This is a simple one I just tried – but I’ll improve with practice.
Contact an author you love and tell them why you love their work. You can do this easily via social media, (especially Twitter, if they’re famous) and I can tell you that they appreciate hearing from their readers, and will often reply.
On the pay-it-forward front:
Mention other writers and link to their website or social media when you can. They’ll do the same for you one day. Or another writer will – karma doesn’t always come back from the same person.
Review the books you’ve read. One sentence will do! Goodreads doesn’t require a verified purchase, so if they’re library books, it doesn’t matter. In particular, review self-published books or those from small publishers – the excuse of not having the time no longer applies. You can copy and paste your Goodreads review to Amazon, too, which doubles the impact. Some of you may have your Amazon reviews denied if you’re not a regular Amazon shopper, and you didn’t buy the book from them. But mine are all accepted, whether or not I buy them from the giant itself, because I buy enough of my friends’ books there to make it legit in Amazon’s eyes. So, give it a shot. And maybe they’ll review you too.
Buy a book from your local independent bookstore. They’re all offering some way to purchase, even if they’re closed. Most offer audiobooks and ebooks too. It’ll cost you around $20-30 and you’ll be doing good. We have around forty indie stores in Connecticut. In Fairfield County alone we have Byrd’s Books (Bethel), Barrett Bookstore (Darien), Diane’s Books (Greenwich), Turning the Page(Monroe), Elm Street Books (New Canaan) and Books on the Common in Ridgefield. Let’s help them stay in business. Here’s a list: https://www.newpages.com/independent-bookstores/connecticut-bookstores
And one thing we are all allowed to do is go and walk outside. In case you’re lacking ideas for where to walk, a website: Only in Connecticut, has articles on a huge number of places, most of which I’d never heard of, that look enticing and safe. They’ll send you a daily email if you like, or you can follow them on Facebook. For those of you not in Connecticut, the site has a version for every state.
Fresh air is good for you!