When I got my first publishing contract a few years ago, I thought the only thing I had to do now was keep writing and develop a backlist. Fortunately for me, the book that garnered my first contract was Book One of a series. I wanted to write a total of nine books about the same family, so a back list was going to be no problem.
Book Six in the series was just released this month, and in the intervening years, I’ve learned a few things. Such as, the chances of becoming an overnight success are slim, so keep plugging away. Such as, if you write the best book in the world and no one reads it, is it really the best book in the world? This reminds me of the old adage, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?
So, how does one get noticed, especially in the crowded publishing world? By selling one book at a time. By finding one more new reader. By putting forth a consistent message on whatever platform you decide works best for you.
Easier said than done. Just as the publishing world is shifting, so is the best way to get the word out about you and your books. There is no magic bullet, at least not one that’s readily apparent. Just when you think you’ve found something that works, such as cover reveal tours or Facebook launch parties, or advertising on sites specifically for your genre, something shifts and those tried and true techniques fall out of favor faster than you can take a breath.
What’s an author to do? If I knew the answer, I’d be on the New York Times bestseller list. My marketing background has given me some insight into tracking my performance. Not just books sold, but the daily number of website and blog hits, Amazon rankings, which guest blog sites work better than others, you name it. What has this obsession with statistics revealed to me? It’s really quite simple.
When I go quiet with my internet presence, so do my sales.
I keep trying different things. I recently attended the RWA conference in San Antonio, and kept hearing the same names over and over. The new hot buzz. I’m giving some of them a try this time. They may not be hot in six months, when the next book is ready, but for now they’re worth a shot. I’ll try to maintain some level footing and sell a few books.
Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a regular contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After column. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at [email protected]. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com
Rosemary Fitzpatrick’s agenda is very different. As the author of the popular Harry Hawk dime novels, she must hide her true identity from her new publisher, who assumes the person behind the F. P. Elliott pen name is male. She must pose as his secretary in order to ensure the continuation of her series. And in the midst of all this subterfuge, her mother is insisting that she become a debutante this year.
Henry Cooper is not the typical Boston Brahmin. Nor is he a typical publisher. He’s entranced by Mr. Elliott’s secretary the moment they meet, and wonders how his traditional-thinking father will react when he brings a working class woman into the family. Because his intentions are to marry her, regardless.
Rosemary’s deception begins to unravel at the Cotillion ball, when Henry recognizes her. The secretarial mask must come off, now that he knows she is a member of New York society. But she can’t yet confess who she truly is until she knows if Henry will accept her as F. P. Elliott.
The more time they spend together, the closer they become. But when Rosemary reveals her true identity to him, will Henry be able to forgive her or has her deceit cost her the man she loves?
Buy a copy of ‘The Duplicitous Debutante’ at Amazon.