When I talk with friends who don’t write for a living, their vision is that authors sit in cushy offices, munch on gourmet chocolates, write one draft of what will become a bestseller, and the book sells just like that.
Oh, how we wish that were true.
Especially in this economy, authors are expected to be marketers. Half the battle is to write the book. The rest is letting everyone know it exists and persuading them there is a benefit for them to purchase it.
I’m not quite there, but I know how important marketing is. And like most writers, I’m introverted in nature. I don’t want to stand in a crowd let alone stand out in one. To have a voice in this loud voice that has to capture consistent attention that results in positive action from consumers? If I could pass on that, I would.
Yet as I’ve worked on crafting my first contemporary romance, I’ve also spent time building a base. Online I’ve worked hard to have a community throughout social media that I’ve engaged with so when that time comes, I can tell them I have a book out, and they will not only want to buy it, they will partner with me to tell others. That’s my hope, and right now I have a practice run in the works.
My first contemporary romance and now my second are based on the real village of Speculator, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains. This is my favorite place in the world, and where I honeymooned. The actual store in town, Charlie Johns, is what I used to base the store in my story, JB’s.
Charlie Johns had a photo contest where they were looking for the best summer Adirondack picture. I submitted a few, not knowing the process. I learned I finaled with a 12 year old picture of my then toddler playing at the beach in Speculator. The winner is determined purely by Facebook votes. The other pictures are stunning nature pictures that showcase the Adirondacks in grand style. And then there is my little dated picture of a little boy.
The winner receives a two night stay in Speculator, as well as a gift certificate to Charlie Johns or Speculator Department Store, another business I used in my story. To win, I’d be able to visit a favorite place as well as have writing inspiration. My husband admitted he’d love to return to where we honeymooned.
Right now I’m in second place. I’ve had to promote and talk about this contest, and I dread it. I feel like I’m bothering people, but I know enough to know marketing is part of the process. Although this is a photo contest, it’s also part of building my base. The more people who like the Charlie Johns page and see the pictures, the more fall in love with the area. The more people who fall in love with the area will want to know more. And my goal is to want those contest voters to become potential readers. Because I have stories to tell about their new favorite place, the Adirondacks.
So with that confession, how about I show you where to vote?
Like the page, and vote for Speculator Beach Time.