Thursday, April 28, 2016

The PAPER HEARTS blog tour: Some Marketing Advice

I am so excited to be a part of the Paper Hearts blog tour! And it's not only because Beth Revis is a friend and a wonderful human. She's also a NYT best selling author and a font of information about the business of publishing.

A few months ago I read Beth's first Paper Hearts book, Some Writing Advice, and I found it wise and reassuring. I've published three novels, but there's always SCADS more to learn, right? Beth has a brilliant way of cutting to the heart of matters and waving off the "noise" that is distracting rather than helpful.

Of course I was eager to read her book on marketing strategies, since this is something that brings me a great deal of stress. To my relief and amazement, Beth has broken it all down and provided reasonable options for getting the word out. So writers, whether you want to be traditionally published or you're taking the reins to self-publish, you really need to be reading this book ASAP.

***And now . . . a marketing tip from Beth!

Beth says: Work with friends.

No matter what you do in promotion, it’s better to do it with friends.
Holding a giveaway? Grab other author friends, get signed copies of their
books, and add them to the giveaway. Better yet, cross promote and do join
giveaways with several authors. Doing a live event? You could stand up
there and be boring, or you could invite other authors to come talk with
you and make it into a fun conversation about books. Chatting online? Get
other authors to help host a Twitter chat or Facebook party.

Doing things with other authors is not only more fun, but it brings your
audience to theirs and vice versa. It lowers expenses—if you each provide
one signed book to a winner, then the winner could get five books, but
your personal expense is only one. If you’re doing live events with
others, you can get varied responses and also have a break from being

The key here: don’t think of other authors as your competition. People
will buy more than one book. Other authors are your colleagues, and, if
you’re lucky, your friends.

***Also, Beth and I answer a couple of questions about marketing:

1. How did you decide which social media platforms to use and which to avoid?

Beth's answer: Use the ones you enjoy. Avoid the ones you don't. That's all.

My answer: I agree 100% with Beth. Don't force yourself to use a social media platform just because it's supposedly cool or the new thing. If it's fun for you, great -- people will recognize that and want to interact with you. If it's a drag for you, or if you're only using it to constantly remind people of your book, please stop. I, for one, have given up particular platforms because they just weren't a good fit for me and it felt like work to keep them up to date.

2. Does promoting your own books get any easier over time?

Beth's answer: I think it does actually--one of the few things that does! Because it's
not until you've self promo'ed for awhile that you start to realize how
much of it you can let go. How much the advice to just write the next book
really is the best advice. Of course I feel like I always have to do so
much to sell my books--I always feel that pressure. But I give it up
quicker now. Because there's only so much you can do. And the longer I'm
in this game, the more I know that the only thing I can really do to make
a difference is write the next book. So it's easier, because I'm able to
let go more and write.

My answer: Again, have to agree with Beth here, particularly about learning what to let go. Keep in mind that Beth is a very creative person and has pretty much investigated every option before choosing what works well for her. I've just locked on to a few marketing tricks that are comfortable (if not entirely effective) for me. However, now that I have her book, I might try a few new options. She's done a lot of the work for us, folks!

***Finally, enter to win signed books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learn more at
Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice on Goodreads

Purchase Paper Hearts, Volume 3: Some Marketing Advice
AmazonKoboBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Follow along with the rest of the tour at the Paper Hearts Tour Headquarters, or follow Beth Revis on Twitter!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Favorite: Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë turned 200 yesterday.

The Brontë blog offered a plethora of cool links, and The Brontë Parsonage Museum is celebrating in grand style. So it seemed fitting to celebrate here by sharing some CB-related favorites (and future favorites?).

Favorite Charlotte Brontë novel and film adaptation:

While Lucy Hughes-Hallet makes a good argument for why Villette is better (and I do love Lucy Snowe), my heart will always belong to Jane Eyre. There's quite a pile of film/TV adaptations, but my favorite is the 2011 film directed by Cary Fukunaga (and this will be news only to more recent blog followers). It does compress the story, and perhaps Fassbender and Wasikowska are too pretty, but for me this movie nails Jane's quiet strength and Rochester's anguished yearning. (I also enjoyed the Toby Stephens/Ruth Wilson mini-series and probably need to watch it again soon.)

Favorite non-fiction books about Charlotte/The Brontës (click photos for more details):

Non-fiction books I've partly read/plan to read:

A fun thing I just discovered:

There are so many modern riffs on Jane Eyre, but this is the first middle grade option I've seen!

Thirteen-year-old Charlotte is obsessed with Jane Eyre. She dreams of living in a Gothic Mansion in the Yorkshire countryside instead of attending Harraby Comprehensive School. Charlotte's love-life is pretty much non-existent, except for the gorgeous Jack Burley, who doesn't seem to notice her. Resigned to her boring life for the time being, she decides to find a Mr. Rochester for her mum. Charlotte's prayers are answered in the form of the dark, handsome new French teacher. But Charlotte has to control her imagination and aspirations of being a bridesmaid, because Mr. Grant turns out to be not nearly as charming as his sideburns had promised.

The book is only available from used book sellers, but you can find the audio (with sample) at

Me in Haworth, many years ago...

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]