Darlene, how did you get into writing?
How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?
I have fifteen books in print and five more in process. This fall I’ve had three books published: Lone Star Trail, book 1 in the Texas Trails Series; Christmas at Barncastle Inn, a contemporary Christmas anthology; and Knight Music, a contemporary Heartsong romance.
How did you get your first book contract?
Tracie Peterson did a paid critique on Romanian Rhapsody. Years later, she bought the book.
Trial and error. I connect with people online (blog, Facebook), I accept any interview that’s offered. I talk about my books and my life…fairly transparent…I feel that draws people to me. I’m also comfortable talking with people one on one at book signings. Put me at a table with more established authors, and I may outsell them.
What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book?
I did very little marketing with Romanian Rhapsody. As I said, I’ve learned by trial and error. I had no web presence at the time, and did very few interviews.
Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
No one single thing. As with the concept of “building your tribe,” it comes with making friends one by one…people interested in me and therefore, in my books. Whether I meet them at the library, a restaurant, a writers meeting, on Facebook, on my blog – the principle remains the same.
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
I was surprised how open secular bookstores like Barnes & Noble were to book signings by Christian authors. And oh, yes! I saw a display at my bank promoting a local business. I inquired about it, told them I was an author – and ended up as the featured business last October.
Now that you have been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work and why?
Traffic to my blog increased dramatically recently with the addition of book giveaways. Unfortunately, I have let that slide as book deadlines piled up. Setting up reciprocal arrangements for endorsements and interviews also is good. If you agree to help another author, they will be more likely to help you in return.
What are your top tips for writers with their first book contract?
1. Get any freebies your publisher offers by way of post cards or bookmarks.
2. Make yourself easy for your readers to find. Get a blog, a website, and an author page on Amazon.
3. Respond to all people who contact you.
4. Jump on offers for interviews.
5. Choose your influencers wisely. How much can they do to promote you?
6. Talk about your book to all kinds of people.
7. In contract negotiations, ask for additional author copies. Publishers are usually open to sending additional books, and they’re handy for giveaways.
8. Every appearance on the web will probably introduce you to at least one new reader. It’s well worth it.
Thank you, Darlene! Great advice!Readers, if you’d like to learn more about Darlene and her books, please visit her website at http://www.darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com
Writing for Him,