Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Author Promotion: What Works, What doesn't?

Greetings everyone! Today's blog post is all about author promotion. I'm curious as to what others, authors and readers, think works and doesn't work when it comes to getting word out there about books.

At a time when ebooks are the rage, Amazon, Nook, Sony, Kobo, Apple, all have ereaders or apps available to read books on their devices. There's also still plenty of print books out there. I was in Barnes and Noble the other day, it was very busy, with kids camped out in the children's section reading, parents walking around with coffees and checking out books, the line at the checkout counter was wicked long. It was a Saturday and busy. Busy for a brick and mortar store is good, right?

So here's my question. As an author, promoting my work is essential, but at the same time, a little disconcerting. There are dozens of blogs, social networks, Yahoo!Groups, Goodreads, websites, reviews, and means to get word out. But what works best? What annoys you as a reader?

If you gravitate toward a certain blog, what draws you to it? Do you prefer newsletters, emails or other types of correspondence with authors/readers?

If you're drawn to an author based on their work, what is it about the book that sells itself to you? A sexy cover? A specific series you've started and can't get enough of. I admit it, I'm an author, and a reader. Whenever J.R. Ward comes out with another BDB book, I am at the bookstore buying up my copy! I can't put it down because I'm so invested in the series and the Brothers and have tremendous respect for her as a fellow author. Ditto goes for Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters.

Do you like reviews of an author's books? Getting one, whether from a reviewer/blogger or from a reader on Amazon or B&N or Goodreads, is a trip. I think it's important to remember that all views/opinions are subjective. Not everyone is going to 'get' the characters or the story. At the same token, getting that nice email from a reader or a review site, is wonderfully exciting.

Do you, as an author or a reader, prefer author blogs that do more than promote their own work? Personally, I love blogs that interview cover models or offer writing tips or interview someone with specific knowledge about a subject. I don't have a single solitary tattoo, but I'm drawn to books and stories with inked characters and frequently write books with tattooed heroes and heroines. A friend of mine is a tattooist so I've interviewed her in the past.

Hopefully, this blog topic doesn't seem scattered. I love being an author, love my books and characters and the sexy romantic idea of HEA. But I'd love to know what works for others. Comment here on my blog, share what draws you to an author's books and even blogs or sites you like to go to for information about upcoming books.

In upcoming weeks, I'm making a conserted push to reach out to readers and fellow authors to help understand this crazy world of publication and promotion. Answer/comment right here on my blog, and over the next 3 days, and you could win an autographed print copy of my newest trade paperback, Field of Play, Ellora's Cave Moderne!

Until next time,


  1. Frances, I am a self-confessed "promo whore". I do tons of promo, and my readers have told me it helped them discover me, but like all of us, I wonder what works and what doesn't.

    I *think* professional reviews help. I *think* a professionally-done, regularly-updated website helps. I *think* doing special events (scavenger hunts, blog hops etc) help. I *think* going to conferences and meeting readers helps.

    But I don't know for sure. I'd love to hear what readers say works.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Cassandra. Very helpful.

  3. I like a blog that provides more than a ‘buy my book’ sentiment. I also prefer websites that are easy to read – so many are cluttered with stuff, crazy patterns or colors that make it difficult on the eyes. I’m drawn to a book by a combination of the cover, reviews, prior author experience and the ‘if you liked x, you might like y’ recommendations. Over the years, I’ve had some real duds but also discovered many wonderful authors. Because I read reviews, I started writing my own to give back to other like minded readers. I am prepping my own website to post the reviews that I submit to assorted sites. It will also have specific information that the main character in my as yet unpublished book would provide. So it’s a take on a blog that offers more than a call to purchase – it will offer tips on small business based on my 20+ years of experience. Great post!

  4. I agree with Cassandra because I share or RT lots of her posts ;D whether they are hers or someone she is pimping out too. As for what sites I gravitate to, I can't say there are many that I won't go to, but one thing I do have to say is that I don't like the ones with music, not sure why, because I love music. I finds lots of new blogs all the time and usually its because an author I'm following commented about it. One other thing I have to say is that if I go to your site, I want to be able to find links to your FB page or Twitter pretty much upfront, I don't want to have to go looking for it, if I have to spend so much time looking, I may get tired and give up.

    1. Hi there! I'm happy to say that I drew your name as the winner of a signed trade paperback Field of Play, Ellora's Cave Moderne. If you'd prefer a giftcard to Amazon or your favorite ebook store, let me know.

  5. Thank you so much for the replies! This is all great information. I tend to avoid gossipy-type blogs, if that makes sense. I love to read reviews for my fellow authors, but what drives me to a particular author tends to be a series that I can't get enough of, and the writing. I also do tend to gravitate to books with awesome covers, and the covers I like tend to have people on them, not objects.