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We continue with my recap of panels and workshops at SleuthFest. These are my interpretations and notes, and any misstatement is my error. Photos are viewable from my Facebook Page. Like my page, then click on Photos, Albums, and SleuthFest 2014.
Find your public and reach out to them. Look for mystery listserves like Dorothy L and 4 Mystery Addicts, and join their discussions to establish a presence. Check out groups on Goodreads and LinkedIn for mystery readers. Look for book blogs. Check out Novel Spot for readers.
Terry said, “The key to social networks is being social.” Don’t push your book. You want people to like your post and then they will look up your books.
Peggy gets a lot of hits posting about her cats so she agrees with Terry. “PR stuff is very hard, but if you present yourself as a person, people may become interested in you as a writer.”
Eileen belongs to a group of women mystery writers, and they tour together for events. “The reader is far more important than the writer.” And even if they get your book at the library, then they’ll want to read the rest of your works.
According to Terry, “The best thing you can do on Facebook is to share.” She mentions Rafflecopter for contests and then discussed how to get your Facebook friends to migrate to your Facebook page. Ask them periodically to Like your page.
Neil discussed what makes a good newsletter. You can pepper in short chunks of research, fun and interesting facts, sneak peeks at your next work, giveaways, contests with prizes including other authors’ books. Get readers onto your blog with recipes, pets, or other interesting tidbits.
Friday Lunch Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins
Ace discussed his road to publication and how he kept persisting. You get knocked down, you get back up and listen how to improve your work. Get out to meet people, real people related to your work. If you’re not passionate about the material and love it, think about why you’re in this business. Leave out the stuff people skip over and get to the story. Listen to people talk to learn to write dialogue. Don’t watch television to learn.
Examine who you’re targeting when you submit to an editor. What are their tastes and interests?
Don’t ever stop writing. If it’s not working, start something else. Keep going. If an agent or editor aren’t working out, move on. Always keep the book going. You’ll only get better.
Coming Next: Editors Roundtable