Greetings from Sarah Sundin in northern California, where the weather is actually cooler than the rest of the country. Go figure. Today I have the honor of interviewing author Elizabeth (Beth) Goddard. Beth’s a busy woman with Exposing Amber now available from Heartsong Presents, A Riverwalk Christmas coming from Barbour in September, The Camera Never Lies from Barbour in December, and Praying for Rayne from Heartsong Presents in December. Oh. My. Goodness.
Beth, how did you get into writing?
A voracious reader, I’ve always wanted to write but wasn’t sure that’s where God wanted me. In 2001, I met DiAnn Mills and joined then American Christian ROMANCE Writers (Now Fiction writers) and began submitting a chapter a week to my ACRW critique group. That’s when I knew I was heading in the right direction. The members of that original group, btw, are all published now. Meredith Efken, Lisa Harris, Jeanne Leach, Deborah Vogts, Tammy Alexander.
That must have been a fantastic critique group!
I brainstormed with Lisa Harris at a conference about a series set in Massachusetts. We invited Lena Nelson Dooley (my first conference roommate) to the collection and submitted the proposal. The collection was published as Cranberry Hearts.
What has helped you promote your books the most?
Networking, blogging and interviews.
What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book? Did those mistakes cause you to change? If so, how?
My mother-in-law heavily promoted my first book to her friends and at the time I was told it would be available in some stores and online within three months of releasing to the book club. But that wasn’t the case—people couldn’t get their hands on the book until almost a year later. With Heartsong, this next time, I’ll make sure I focus on where they CAN buy the book—through the book club, my website, or Heartsong Presents direct.
Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
I made sure to have a web presence through interviews and blogging as much as possible.
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
I feel like those doors are still being opened in terms of meeting people and being featured on websites, and author recognition—like a pebble dropped in a pond—we don’t always see all the effects.
Now that you have been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work and why?
Honestly, for several months I’ve laid low, taking time to rest and focus on my family, but now that I’m under contract again and have several books coming out this year, it’s back to promoting. I’m not one who has seen great success at book signings, though I know that works best for some. It seems like our culture is very much focused online, so again, I bring up blog interviews and now we have the new venues of Facebook and Twitter. I’m interested to see how those work for promotion.
Wouldn’t it be nice if promotion could be measured and someone could do a study to show what actually helps most – and for the least amount of time?
What are your top tips for aspiring writers with their first book contract?
As one author told me before I was published, never give up. Keep writing, keep reading, and most importantly, send something out. You can’t get accepted if you don’t send your proposals out. Sure you’ll see rejections, but how can an editor or agent choose your work if they’re not given the chance?
Absolutely! I always high-five my writing friends when they get their first rejection letters – it proves they have the guts to submit and that they’re real writers.
Thanks for visiting with us today!
Writing for Him,