Internet v Bookshops – No competition!

My enthusiastic promotion of real bookshops does not mean that I underestimate the essential role of the internet in book sales, although I must admit in the early days of publication of Riduna I was totally oblivious of its power. In my ignorance I threw myself into book signings, personal contact to bookshops, whose customers I believed would enjoy the novel due to links to myself here in Bedfordshire or in Southampton and The Channel Islands. A friend had advised me that I could not rely on, or even expect my publisher to make contact to everyone. In fact, as a bookshop owner himself, he implied that even if they did, nine times out of ten their leaflets would be ignored, simply because I was an unknown writer.

So it was not until after the book was launched that I had a website up and running and it was not until later, in December 2009, that I joined up to Twitter and began blogging. As my previous posts have explained in more detail. See posts:     

Website Alright                                                                                   Blabbering Blog

                                                       To Meet and Tweet                                                              A Facebook Reflection

I now try to keep up to date with Media Networking, even though at times I find it munches away minutes I desire to focus wholeheartedly on my writing. Nevertheless I have enjoyed connecting with people, including writers though #amwriting on Twitter, and many have become on line friends.

My publisher have of course put the novel for sale on their website and launched it on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. too, and now Riduna is also for sale through Wizzbuzz, The Guernsey Society on line bookshop and the majority of online bookstores including Smiths, Waterstones, LoveReading, Tesco and Asda.

So if I was to give advice to authors it would be:

  • Have your website set up before the launch of your first novel so that it can go on any publicity materials
  • Build up a following on Twitter before the launch of your novel
  • Begin a blog getting your writing out there on the internet as soon as you can. It is a place where everyone can appreciate the style of your writing, from publishers to readers to book sellers
  • Let all your friends and family know via facebook what is happening and have a virtual launch as well as an actual one.
  • Make an author or book page on facebook. I have still not got to grips with this yet although I do have an author page. Some people say they have had difficulty finding it, so it certainly needs me to understand it more. Here is a link to Diana Jackson-Author on facebook.

Having said that, i am far confident that i’m more street wise for the launch of my next novel now, and the experience is a steep learning curve and an adventure. learning is half the fun.

 Finally I would suggest, especially if your writing time precious, that you try to set yourself some rules to avoid frustration, a blog theme I will revisit when i’ve got to grips with it myself.

How do you promote your work on the internet? I’d love to hear from you.

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Filed under Book Shops, Marketing your novel, Social Media Networking, Writing

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