New year = new purse.

First off…Happy New Year!!

Secondly, I have to admit I tend to buy a lot of purses – it’s my thing. Especially if it’s to commemorate some sort of event, like a birthday or Christmas or the start of a new year. (Yes, I have considered this is just an excuse.) Photo evidence above of my new year’s purse. Isn’t it grand? *huge grin*

2016 is already special to me, as I have made some changes in my life that will make more time available for my family and writing. I’ve already taken full advantage of it and learned of some great new tools for getting my work out there. I thought I would outline some of them here for other independently published authors.

  • Bottom line = other authors are awesome. We are not competition, we are one big supportive family and we are everywhere. There is so much information online available, sit down, dive in, but pace yourself. Sign up for the newsletter from your local writer’s organization. Check for groups on Facebook and join in on the conversation. I’ve already connected with several authors in my area and learned of a book fair this summer.
  • If your book is available on Amazon, make sure you fill out the author profile to its full extent. Same goes for Goodreads. They will allow you to link to your Twitter (which hopefully you have set up) and your own personal blog (which hopefully you also have setup). All great ways to keep your social media connected!
  • One of my goals for 2016 is to build up my reader reviews on my Amazon listings. One way to do this is to pitch your book to a book reviewer who will review your book in exchange for a copy of your book. I am learning there is a huge community of book reviewers out there and I find that awesome! Works for everyone! Book Blogger Directory has numerous listings of book reviewers and by going to their respective site, you can learn of their interests and requirements. Worried about potential negative reviews? Several sites I found advised they would not post any review that was below 3 out of 5 stars, as they only wanted positive reviews on their site. Again…works for everyone!
  • Go grassroots. Independently owned bookstores will usually have a “local author section.” Approach the owner professionally and inquire if they carry books on consignment. Typically the split will be 60/40, so make sure you set a retail that will bring you some profit. It may not be as much profit as you would make with an online sale, but it’s still getting your work and name out there! One owner offered to let me bring in promotional material such as a poster, bookmarks, business cards, etc. Yet again…works for everyone!
  • I love short fiction, especially flash fiction. The more content I can pump out, the more my name is out there. Try to find a balance between submitting great content to potential publishers and keeping great content on your own personal blog/website. My first published short fiction “Harmsway” came out on 365tomorrows in November. They also blasted it on their Facebook page and Twitter account. All that means more exposure to new readers!

This is just a start. I have had this blog for a year now and I have to admit it was one of the best things I have done for my platform. I was worried it would draw time away from my “real” writing but instead I found it drove me on even more. Small ideas were no longer a waste – put it on the blog!

Look for more content and updates from me in the future. It’s full speed ahead from here on out and I couldn’t be more ready.