Friday, February 4, 2011

YOU WROTE IT, YOU GOTTA PLUG IT!

Hey all,

It's another Friday and we have an impressive blog by author Rie McGaha who has some great things to say to new authors and those who are striving to become published.  She's got some excellent ideas about interviews and how to promote yourself.   But before we listen to her words of wisdom, let's hear a little about her and her work.

Rie McGaha is the author of more than a dozen books ranging from paranormal to suspense. Her favorite saying is "Genres? We don't need no stinking genres!" Which is a good thing because she crosses those lines so much, you're likely to find her stories falling into several genres all within the same book.   She was born and raised in northern California along the shores of Humboldt County where her grandmother often took her to dig for clams and watch the whales migrate. Being raised with the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, gave Rie a deep love for nature.  She lives in SE Oklahoma in the wilderness with her family and a plethora of 4-legged kids. 
 
I think we can all learn something from the post Rie has done, so without further ado, let's welcome Rie McGaha to the blog.
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Recently I interviewed several new authors who had never been interviewed before and found the whole process quite aggravating. I wasn't aggravated at the newbie authors because I am the mom of twelve, Nana of thirty-three, worked as a counselor, taught classes in a prison, worked as a teacher's assistant for developmentally handicapped kids, worked with handicapped adults and I've been a substitute teacher, so I am quite used to helping others learn. What I aggravated me was the fact that the process took me back to my early days as an author when I had my first published book and didn't have a clue what I was supposed to do next. Apparently, I am not the only one left in that position and with the competition to sell books by at least a million other authors, the task can be a tad daunting.

It's no secret that to be a successful author, your books have to sell. The problem is knowing how to promote your work and yourself. For me, that was the most difficult part. I hated talking about myself and my first few interviews consisted of single sentences made up of as few words as possible. To tell the truth, I was embarrassed to answer the questions, and felt self-conscious about self-promotion. In fact, I felt as if I was doing something wrong. Somewhere in the back of my mind I kept hearing a voice whispering how vain I was being, and the word "braggart" kept floating around. I'm sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with that bit of information, but my childhood is not the problem. My fear of standing naked, in the spotlight, center stage in front of all those people is my problem!

Finally, I took the problem by the horns and decided if it's naked I had to be, then I'd just go for it and see what happened. I began answering those interview questions as if I was on the Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson. For me, a very surprising thing happened, people began to read and comment on my interviews and then I began to get unsolicited offers to do interviews. But that wasn't the big Kahuna, nope, writing a blog was the next hurdle I had to jump. Boy, was that one difficult. What to write. How to write it. I couldn’t begin to think of writing a blog but there was only one way to get past that fear – just do it! I learn by doing, and by doing, I got better. Now I can whip out a blog on little or no notice at all, and not even worry about it, because in the end what's to worry about? People are going to either love it or hate it but at least they're reading it and leaving comments!

For those who are just starting out, I'd like to offer a few pointers. Let's face it, if no one knows who you are or what your book is about, they aren't going to buy it.

• If you don't have a website, get one immediately. www.webs.com is free and easy. Even if you only have one book out, you need a website to display your cover, blurb, excerpt and buy link. You also need a page for reviews, links to your interviews and guest posts.
• Join those Yahoo groups. There are a lot of groups out there for every genre that can help you learn to be a better author and a better promoter. Your name is the readers' link to what you do, so get your name out there.
• Get a tag line. Mine is …fantasy that keeps you up, it's a double entendre and it works.
• Make a banner with your name and tag line to post on your emails and group posts. It's an easy way to get your name and website out there without feeling like you're shouting from the rooftops. http://www.mybannermaker.com/ is free and easy. Wise Stamp is an easy way to attach that banner to every email you send. http://www.wisestamp.com/
• Join Blogger www.blogger.com and start following other blogs, commenting on their posts and don't be afraid to ask if you can be interviewed or be a guest blogger.
• When you are interviewed, answer those questions like you're on The Tonight Show. The more information you give, the more people respond to what you say. If the question is, what is Jack and Jill all about, you can either say, "it's about a boy and a girl who go up a hill." Booorrrrrinnnggg! OR you can say, "Jack and Jill was the most fun I had writing a book. Jack is just a little insecure when he sets out on a mission, so he convinces long time friend, Jill to go with him. What happens next is a series of events that sends them both on the trip of a life time!" See the difference? 
• Most of all, have fun with your interviews. This is an extension of your writing and a necessary evil that will help sell your work.

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Excellent post, Rie, and true in so many ways. And it's so much fun because you meet a lot of great people along the way. What about you all? Tell her what you think, readers, and if you want to learn more about Rie check her out at her WEBSITE. She loves to hear from her readers, so mail her at rieanswers@gmail.com. And if you'd like to be her guest, please send a note to sizzlingreleases@gmail.com

And don't forget to check out her latest release.Written In Stone.

Blurb: Gavin Richard Charles Philip Stone III is handsome, rich and has his pick of any woman he wants. He has no desire to settle down and produce grandchildren for his mother, but after a hundred and fifty years of playing the field, he might just have found the woman of his dreams. Unfortunately, she has no interest in him whatsoever!
Angela Elliott has been confined to a wheelchair ever since an accident killed her husband and unborn child. She detests attending any social affair at all but her caregiver just won't take no for an answer sometimes. Giving in one more time, she went to the ball only to sit in the back and watch the other young women dance the night away. That is until Mr. Stone introduces himself and asks her to dance. She is polite but has no desire to be pitied and turns him down flat.
But when Gavin is out strolling one night he catches Mrs. Elliott in a very precarious position...


I'll be back on Monday with another of my recycled blogs.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you around the web.

Hugs, 
CJ England










Follow Your Dreams
http://cjengland.com/secondchances/lifesadance.htm

http://cjengland.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CJsaysFollowYourDreams/

28 comments:

Harlie Reader said...

Great advice. Thanks for the great post.

Rawiya said...

Awesome post Rie, such sound advice for us newbie authors...

Thank you and continued success!

Rie McGaha said...

Hey CJ, thanks for having me. It's always great to be your guest. And Harlie, thanks for stopping by, I hope my advice helps make the road to PR a little less frightening!

Rie

Rie McGaha said...

Hi Rawiya! Thanks for stopping by. I'm always happy to help others when I can, especially new authors because it is a virtual jungle out there when you don't have a clue what to do next. I stupidly thought once I had a book published, people would somehow just know about it! LOL
Glad my advice was helpful.
Rie

Tina Donahue said...

Good advice, Rie - you have to promo, promo, promo!

Rie McGaha said...

Hi Tina! Yes, it is all about the promo, promo, promo and I hate it, hate it, hate it!!!

LOL

Evie Balos said...

Rie,

By nature, most authors are reserved so we tend to resist the limelight. But promoting one's work is an important part of professional writing, so that's a good nudge for newbies.

:-)

Rie McGaha said...

Thanks for stopping by, Evie. I agree. I just wanted to sit back and write, not be a PR person!

R-

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Great advice about promoting your work, Rie. I feel much the same way you have and especially about blogs but I'm gettin' better--gettin' better each time I do it.
Written in Stone looks like a wonderful book and you lucked up with a super beautiful cover.

Rie McGaha said...

Thanks, Sarah. It is a beautiful cover and I can't take any credit at all! Reese Dante is the cover artist and she ROCKS!

R-

lastnerve said...

It's so nice to see a seasoned author give advice to a new author. It's stuff they need to know. Your new book sounds so good Rie, and it's on my to buy list right now.

Hope you have amazing sales.

Val
lastnerve2000@gmail.com

Rie McGaha said...

Thank you so much, Val. That's really nice of you to say and I hope you enjoy Written In Stone.

R-

CJ England said...

WOW! I go to bed and wake up to a great response for Rie. Thanks to all of you who dropped by and left a comment!

CJ England said...

And thank you, Rie for the wonderful and timely post.

Rie McGaha said...

My pleasure, CJ!

R-

Pender Mackie said...

Great blog. I can really relate to feeling uncomfortable about doing promo work. My mother always told me it wasn't nice to brag. LOL

Good luck with the book. It sounds like a good read.

Phylis said...

Great post. I love the excerpt for Written in Stone! I was a bit suprised at the turn but pleased! lol Another on my to buy list when I get my e-reader!

CJ England said...

Pender and Phylis,

Thanks so much. I agree it's a great blog and the excerpt is awesome!!!!

Rie McGaha said...

Hi Pender & Phylis! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words.

R-

PS: That isn't the only twist in Written In Stone! Shhhh!

Redameter said...

Yeah, I hate talking about myself too. I find it hard putting my foot out there or my big mouth either.

Love your cover, reminds me of mine, Jodi's JOurney. Very similar. Who did yours?

Anyway, it hard to promote yourself without sounding like you think much more of yourself than you do. But like you said, you wrote the darn book, and who else is gonna promote it for you? So we have to try.

Love and blessings my friend
Rita

Layla Hunter said...

As a new author trudging her way through the promo process, your blog was VERY timely! I've felt a bit overwhelmed and uncertain, wondering if what I am doing is working. I'll just live by the mantra promo, promo, promo!

Thank you for sharing your advice and experience! I need to get to work on a tagline *smiles*

And your book looks wonderful! Going on my TBB list!

CJ England said...

Thank you so much all for coming and visiting. I love reading all the comments!!!!

Sherry Gloag said...

How I can relate to how you felt at the beginning of your promo journey.
It's a huge part of the current writing scene and something we all have to face. I just love your premise -
'Just do it'
So simple and yet totally totaly true.
Thanks for sharing

Rie McGaha said...

Hi Sherry! Yeah, I'd rather have root canal than promo my work! Although, it has gotten much easier over the years, I still look it at it as a necessary evil.

R-

Rie McGaha said...

Reese Dante is the cover artist for Written In Stone, Rita. And the reason the covers are similar is because they have the same Jimmy Thomas pic on it! He's everywhere these days! Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Rie

Rie McGaha said...

Hi Layla! I'm glad you found my post useful. I know how overwhelming learning to promo can be. Feel free to hit me up for an interview &/or a guest blog spot! And that goes for any author who has something new to show off, or something not so new that you'd like to remind folks is still out there!

Just drop me an email at rieanswers (at) gmail (dot) com

R-

CJ England said...

Great Comments, everyone! I love it!

CJ England said...

And thank you, Rie for being a part of my blog! It was awesome!!!