What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?

I don’t generally give advice about book promotion since so many authors are better at selling books than I am, but if I had to, I’d tell other novelists to have patience, stamina, and willingness to give up part of their writing time for promotion. Unless a writer has the benefit of a major publisher’s publicity department, and sometimes even then, he/she will have to spend time promoting their book. It’s not enough to have a blog dedicated to self-promotion or to add thousands of friends on Facebook. You have to give people something to get something — write interesting articles, comment on articles other people write, get to know your Facebook connections. And most important of all, check out Book Marketing Floozy. http://marketingfloozy.wordpress.com It’s an indexed blog with how-to articles on every facet of promotion.

Here are some responses from other authors about advice they would give to other novelists about book promotion. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with Debra Purdy Kong, Author of “The Opposite of Dark”

I’d advise writers to use patience and not expect too much right away. Promotion means engaging with others and building a rapport with potential readers. It means building a solid, longterm platform through social networking, blogging, and designing your website. It can seem daunting, but if you limit your time each day, then you won’t risk burnout. And burnout is a big factor for writers who are also actively promoting!

From an interview with Joylene Nowell Butler, Author of “Broken but not Dead”

If you’ve gone to all the trouble of writing and revising and querying, why not market? Why not spend hours blogging and visiting other blogs and establishing a connection to like-minded writers? I’m still astonished when authors tell me they don’t have time to blog and they certainly don’t have time to visit other blogs. They just want to fill your inbox with news of their book and why it’s important for you to buy it. They’re targeting the wrong people. Writers write, readers buy books. Yet how many emails do you receive in a week telling you why you should buy their book?

Promotion is about creating a presence online. But it’s also about getting out and doing readings, signing copies, writing related articles, doing online, radio and newspaper interviews, joining evening events where the opportunity to read arises. It’s about fairs, bazaars, contests, giveaways, and anything else you think will put you and your book in the public eye.

What about you? What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

How do you juggle the promotional aspects with the actual writing?

RRBookThree SecretsI haven’t been juggling the promotional aspects with the actual writing. I’ve been concentrating mainly on promotion. I have a one-track mind, and for now I am focused on figuring out how to get my books to really take off. I don’t see why millions of people can’t enjoy my books (though so far, they don’t seem to agree). What writing I do falls under the category of promotion, such as blogging and keeping up with my chapters in Rubicon Ranch, the mystery serialization that several of us Second Wind authors are collaborating to write online. You can find the ongoing story here: Rubicon Ranch.

Here are some responses from other authors about how they juggle promotion and writing. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with P.I. Barrington, Author of Isadora DayStar

Promoting and writing? That’s the REAL trick of publishing today. Writing takes time, but for me at least, promotion is constant and at times overwhelming!

From an interview with Beth Groundwater, Author of “A Real Basket Case”

Promotion is something that is ongoing, and which ramps up around the time of each release (every spring and fall for the next two years, at least). I try to focus on the writing and editing I need to get done each week first, then work on promotion later in the day or later in the week after I’ve finished the writing I need to do to meet my deadlines. I have to be very organized and give myself weekly goals to stay on track..

From an interview with Dale Cozort, Author of “Exchange

I tend to do marketing in blocks of time rather than trying to do it at the same time as writing. I have writing days, editing days and marketing days. That fits my somewhat obsessive personality. I’m not sure if it’s the most effective way to get things done.

From an interview with Christine Lindsay, Author of Shadowed in Silk

The marketing and promotional aspects are awful. I love talking to people and making friends, but it’s not easy to always be talking about myself. The phrase “I must decrease in order for Him (the Lord) to increase”  is running through my head quite a bit these days as I try to do my part in the marketing of my novel. It’s not just me that it affects, so I must do my part. But I hope I never sound pushy, but that I encourage someone in everything I say or write.

What about you? How do you juggle the promotional aspects with the actual writing?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

My advice to aspiring authors varies depending on how cynical I am about the book business on a given day.

When I’m philosophical, I tell aspiring writers:

A book begins with a single word. Many novice writers get intimidated by the thought of writing an entire book, but all you ever need to write is one word. I know that’s not much of a goal, but in the end, it is the only goal. That’s how every book all through the ages got written — one word at a time. By stringing single words together, you get sentences, then paragraphs, pages, chapters, an entire book.

When I want to be encouraging, I tell aspiring writers:

Write your book. Rewrite it. Edit it Re edit it. Study the publishing business. Learn everything you can about good prose, story elements, promotion. With so many millions of people out there who have written a book or who want to write a book, the competition is fierce. A writer does not attain maturity as a writer until he or she has written 1,000,000 words. (I’m only halfway there.) So write. Your next book might be the one that captures people’s imaginations and catapults you into fame and fortune. Not writing another book guarantees you will never will reach that goal. It also keeps you from doing what you were meant to do.

When I’m cynical, I tell aspiring writers:

If you aspire to be a writer, write. That’s all it takes.

If you aspire to be a good writer, write — and read. Read how-to books about writing and read good books to absorb good writing.

If you aspire to be a bestselling writer, write, read — and gather luck. Less than 1% of 1% of writers ever attain that status.

Here are some responses from other authors about advice they give to aspiring writers. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with Polly Iyer, Author of “Hooked”:

You’ve heard it before. Keep at it. Period.

From an interview with Sandy Nathan, Author of Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

You’ll make more money as a brain surgeon.

From an interview with S. M. Senden, author of “Clara’s Wish”

Write from a place of knowing. Bring your experiences to what you write; be willing to invest a piece of yourself in your writing so it will be real to the reader.

From an interview with Tom Rizzo, Author of “Last Stand At Bitter Creek”

Read—not only for enjoyment. Treat your reading as a study lab, taking note of how the writer lures you into the story, how characters are introduced, and what makes you like or despise them. Reading soaks the brain with ideas and possibilities. And write, of course. Don’t wait for inspiration. Just write.

What about you? What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?

The best writing advice I ever received I read in an old book called The Practical Stylist by Sheridan Baker: “Clarity is the first aim; economy the second; grace the third; dignity the fourth. Our writing should be a little strange, a little out of the ordinary, a little beautiful with words and phrases not met everyday, but seeming as right and natural as grass.”

Isn’t that beautiful? I paid particular attention to that advice when writing Light Bringer. I wanted the style itself to show that the characters were a little strange, a little out of the ordinary, a little beautiful. For example, “And then there it was, spread out before her in a shallow thirty-foot bowl. A lake of flowers — chrysanthemums and tulips, daisies and daffodils, lilies and columbines and fuchsia — all blooming brightly, all singing their song of welcome.”

Here are some responses from other authors about how the best writing advice they ever received. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with Sheila Deeth, Author of “Flower Child”

I met Jane Kirkpatrick shortly after we moved to Oregon. She told me to keep writing. In fact, she’s told me several times to keep writing. It’s probably the most valuable piece of advice I’ve had.

From an interview with Eric Wasserman, Author of Celluloid Strangers

Frederick Reiken’s literature course on the short story was my very first graduate school class. The very first thing he said to all of us was, “If you’re not willing to submerge yourself in the world of reading fiction, give up now on being a serious writer of fiction.” I wrote this down the moment he said it, went back to my dingy Boston studio apartment that evening, and taped it across the screen of my TV.

From an interview with Sandra Shwayder Sanchez, Author of “The Nun”

The best advice I ever received was from J.R. Salamanca (Lilith, A Sea Change, Embarkation, Southern Light and more) who said the permanence of the written word has more influence on readers than spoken words and to take that influence seriously and try to create a good influence and that is the advice I would give aspiring writers.

What about you? Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received, and what was it?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)