Sunday, October 4, 2009

To market, to market...


With the current state of the market and the economy, first time authors are having to get creative about marketing and promoting their own books. I am still a long way from seeing my novel in print, and have become quite adept at typing with my fingers crossed in hopes that it will indeed happen. Yet, I do not think I am being premature in starting to build a network now onto which to launch publication news if and when it does happen.

Networking and building a following online are the easiest routes to self promotion, and there are many sites and forums that can help you accomplish just that. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are just a few, making it quite easy to reach a large amount of people. Coupled with a personal website,a blog and participation in online forums, it becomes quite easy to build an online presence.

I do think it is vital, and feel it will give me a head start when the time comes, and yet I often find myself networking rather than writing, and have found that maintaining a balance has been difficult at times. I am still active on Twitter and the writer's forum I frequent, yet have let some of the other forums and Facebook fall to the side. As is evident even here on my own blog, I unfortunately do not post as often as I would like.

I have no idea if all this networking will indeed make a difference when the time comes. However, it certainly cannot hurt and I'd rather start now and take my time in building a following, rather than panic and attempt to build it overnight.

With all that said, check out my new website!

So, do you have a strategy, and if so, what is it? I'd love to hear!

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26 comments:

Cheeky Wench said...

Great post! I've thought about this recently myself. What you've said regarding online presence is pretty much the route I'm taking so far, as well as putting my face out there next year at conventions and conferences.

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks for stopping by! I've also been thinking about conventions, but will probably wait until I'm closer to the finishing line, since the logistics are a little difficult.

Best of luck to you!

Cheeky Wench said...

Luck to you too :D I'll be going to writing conventions mostly until its published. But when I get the book in print, I'll be hitting other conventions (sci/fi - comics etc) and local bookstores. (I guess I could have been clearer. That'll teach me to post while decaffeinated!)
I've also heard that guest blogging is also a good way to rub elbows. We'll see!

Have a great Sunday!

Calista Taylor said...

I can't wait to hit the sci/comic cons. Already getting my steampunk wardrobe in tip top shape.

I think around the time of publication, it does help to guest blog and set up interviews and reviews of the book if at all possible. I think it will all pay off in the long run.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great post, Calista! I haven't heard of LinkedIn before, and I haven't ventured into Facebook territory yet. I find blogging, Twitter and AQ take up most of the time I have for being online.

Both websites look fabulous! I love the steampunk feel. You always find such great images for your blogs too. I think you're definitely on the right track and I can't wait for your books to come out!

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks for stopping by Jemi! I only recently ventured onto LinkedIn, but it feels very stiff and formal to me. It's more of a professional/work networking site. You're off to a great start yourself, and are well on your way with your great blog, and all your contributions on AQ and Twitter.

I'm glad you like the look and feel of the sites. As for the images, you have to love Google. : )

Jody (aka Cat Woods) said...

Calista,

You're doing a fine job of networking. Your blog and your website are professional. Your comments and posts are warm and supportive. You share good information for those just starting out.

Your cyber connections will steadily grow over the course of the next few years. By the time your novel comes out, there will be people across the US waiting in line. : )

jmartinlibrarian said...

Calista, I think you're right on the money about working on your platform now, rather than later. This post has good advice!

quillfeather said...
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quillfeather said...

Great post! You are an inspiration to those of us aspiring to be published.

Love the new website. Professional and informative.

Calista Taylor said...

Cat, Jenny, and quillfeather, thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

A huge thanks to everyone for your very kind words and support. I couldn't do any of it without the constant support and encouragement you all give.

Lord K said...

Well, I am building my online presence for three years - blogs, networks, forums etc. My strategy includes exposure of artifacts connected with the plot. If people are interested in tube mail, for instance, they probably would be happy to read fiction built around the tube.

Calista Taylor said...

Lord K, that's a fantastic strategy to include artifacts and then involve their following! And with three years under your belt I'm sure your platform is fantastic and ready to go. Best of luck!

Rose Ghost said...

Hello! Found your site through a Twitter contact who is a follower of yours on here. :)

Personally I don't think its ever too soon to start networking and sorting out an online prescence. If you start early you have time to be friendly with people and make friends instead of just going 'Oooh, I've got a book out soon. You should buy it'. I just joined Twitter yesterday and I'm still trying to get my head round it all.

All the best and hope the networking works out!

rkl said...

Awesome post, Calista! And you new website looks TERRIFIC. It's really never too early to start the platform building, as I'm finding out myself.

Calista Taylor said...

Rose Ghost, I'm so glad you found the site! And I think you're right-- starting early allows you more time to get to know your potential readers. Best of luck on Twitter. I think it's a great resource.

RkL, thanks for stopping by! I really do think you can't start too early, but I have found it surprising how fast you can build a following. It's rather encouraging. And you have a great new site and blog, to boot! You're well on your way!

thewritelife2 said...

I know what you mean about networking taking away from writing time. It began this way, but I have developed a good schedule balancing social networking and writing my first novel to which writing and social networking have become like a second job.

Calista Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Calista Taylor said...

It's great that you've been able to find that balance, thewritelife2. It really is a balancing act.

Jemi Fraser said...

PS Calista - I've left a little well-deserved "gift" for you over at my blog :)

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks so much, Jemi!! You're the best!

Matt Sinclair said...

I think you're absolutely right, Calista. I've decided that one of my 2010 goals will be to launch a Web site to go with my blogs. Of course, I also have to write more regularly and to get the "completed" manuscript into the hands of agents who can do something with it. But like I said, you're right: It's not too soon to establish a notable presence online.

quillfeather said...

I've just popped a little something on my blog for you. Check it out :)

Iapetus999 said...

Hi, Calista, I just found this (linked from quillfeather's site) and wanted to say, "hi."
I'm writing a Steampunk Romance for NaNoWriMo, the first time I've written either genre. I hope there's a good market for it!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Came across your blog on Wendy Morrell's blog. Very nice, by the way. And great post, by the way. I think you're on the right track! Love the new website. Sitting pretty and waiting for publication. Your publisher will love you.

Calista Taylor said...

I wish you the best of luck with Nano, Lapetus999. I think you'll enjoy the freedom Steampunk offers as a genre. The market has definitely been receptive to steampunk as of late.

Thank you for your kind words, Carolina! I'm glad you found us.