Today we welcome back author TRISH MILBURN! Marketing is a word that makes many authors duck and run for cover, but Trish’s unique spin on marketing makes it seem almost fun. While you’re here, scroll down to check out Trish’s giveaway. And heeeere’s Trish!
We’ve probably all encountered self-promotion/marketing attempts by authors that either made us cringe or, honestly, annoyed us. Some of it can be attributed to just not knowing better, but it can still leave a negative impression. Things like when you accept a friend request on Facebook and the author immediately comes and posts on your page about their book, hoping to cash in on all your followers. That’s a big no-no to me. The same can be said of authors whose every post on social media is of the “buy my book” variety. This gets old with followers very quickly, and you run the risk of having them unfollow you and leave with a bad first impression. You know what they say about those – you only get one chance to make a first impression, and you want it to be a good one.
My approach to social media is to be more conversational and fun, to build a type of community of people who can find things in common with each other. Chances are most of my followers like to read, and specifically romance and/or young adult books. Because of that I talk about books I’ve enjoyed, post when my writer friends have new books out, and share interesting industry news that might be of interest to fellow writers and/or readers. But I also tend to post a lot about things that interest me that aren’t related to books or writing.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of TV and movies and big geek girl. If there’s a moving coming out that has superheroes in it, chances are I’m going to post about casting news, trailers, posters, countdowns and my reaction to seeing the movie. Right now I’m in countdown mode to see the new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice that comes out this month. I’m super excited to see the new Wonder Woman appear in this movie.
In fact, her character is depicted on the calendar I have hanging in my office. I also fangirl squeed online last week when the new trailer for Captain America: Civil War hit the Internet.
Each year I attend DragonCon in Atlanta, and I typically post lots of photos afterward of the awesome cosplay costumes I see and the ones I wear. I also have become somewhat known for my hobby of having my photo taken with celebrities at DragonCon and posting those. One year, as a lead-up to DragonCon, I did a “31 days of Geek Girl Tees” series of posts. Every day, I would post a picture of myself wearing a shirt from my vast collection of fan T-shirts. On the surface, none of these posts have anything to do with marketing my books, but it’s more about building that community of people who like similar things. The main reason I do this is because I love chatting with people who fangirl or fanboy about the same things I do. But there’s also the hope that perhaps when I do post about having a new book out, they will remember, “Hey, she loves Firefly or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Marvel superheroes as much as I do. I’m going to try one of her books.”
Another type of post I like to share is of the good news variety – people doing good things for others, pets being adopted, adorable animals or kids, incredible performances from talent shows, funny memes. Basically, all the things that will combat all the negativity and ugliness it’s all too easy to find on social media, especially in an election year. I’d rather watch a video full of clumsy cats than the latest vitriol any day, and I’m hopeful my readers would, too. I will admit to sometimes posting items of a more serious nature because I have a strong, innate sense of social justice and fairness. I always try to be respectful and thoughtful in those posts, however, rather than confrontational.
Sites such as Pinterest make it easy to share even more interests with our readers – photos of fairy gardens or beach houses or places we’d like to visit. And it possibly gets my name in front of people who might not think to follow authors on social media.
I do sometimes get so into posting about things I like and enjoy that I have to remind myself to post about my books. I’m always conscious of the fact that I don’t want to overdo the self-promotion, but I also need to remember that I got on social media initially to help generate sales. It’s how I make my living, and any business (and that’s what my writing is) has to advertise on occasion. Still, I like funny or witty ads way more than those yelling car salesmen, don’t you? I don’t know about you, but that Super Bowl commercial for Hyundai where all the guys in the town are Ryan Reynolds was pretty memorable. Can someone tell me where that town is, please? 🙂
What’s your favorite social media platform and what draws you to following particular people, especially authors? And are you a fan of superhero movies? DC or Marvel? I’ll give away a signed copy of Home on the Ranch to one commenter.
PAT HAGGERTY joins us on Monday, March 21st.
Trish Milburn writes for Harlequin American Romance and independently publishes contemporary romances, young adult, women’s fiction and romantic suspense titles. She’s a big fan of road trips, national parks, cosplaying, watching movies and TV, and, of course, reading.
New out this month is Home on the Ranch, the seventh full-length book in the Blue Falls, Texas series from Harlequin American Romance.
Austin Bryant has come back to Blue Falls to get his grandfather’s ranch ready to sell. Years ago he escaped to Dallas, and now his life is exactly the way he likes it—orderly and neat. He can’t stand all the junk his grandparents collected, and he just wants it gone.
When Ella Garcia is called to haul away the trash from the Bryant ranch, she’s thrilled. Her business is turning one person’s trash into another’s treasure. But Austin’s attitude is a mystery to her—he seems anxious to throw away his family’s memories. Ella notices how at home Austin is on the ranch—and how good he looks in a cowboy hat—and she wonders if there’s more country in this city boy than he realizes.
- Trish Milburn on Setting as Character
- Branding Yourself. Be Careful Of The Hot Pokers. Handsome Hansel
- How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage as a Writer with Carrie Smith
- From Jane Austen to Jane Jetson – Making Yourself At Home Online with Pamela Mason
- Are you making the most of potentially viral avenues of promotion? by Erica Ridley