Happy 2017 to you from a wintry Colorado. Davalynn Spencer here, pleased to warm up the morning with our encore-author guest, Tanya Stowe.
Welcome back, Tanya. Please tell us how many books you now have published and the names of a few of your latest titles.
I have fifteen novels and novellas published with two due out in the next months. My most recent romantic suspense is titled Santa Fe Sunrise. My novella, That Doggone Baby is due out in April and Falling Stars will be a part of White Rose Publishing’s Pure Amore line.
You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?
I’ve learned it’s essential to pace myself and allow sufficient time to write a quality book, not just quantity.
You are so right – such a valuable lesson in this day of quick turn-around pressure. What have you learned about promotion since your last visit here?
Spend my PR dollars on venues where my readers spend the most time. Now that I know what I enjoy and where my readers are, the “scatter gun” theory doesn’t work for me.
What are the most effective means of book promotion you’ve tried?
My publisher helped with a promotion and that seemed to give me a great boost. I have to say that Facebook continues to be my most stable “connection” and promotion with my reader’s – mainly because that’s where my readers are.
What are the least effective promotional activities you’ve tried?
In-store book signings. However, now that my husband and I are traveling, I look forward to finding independent books stores that support Christian fiction.
Do you have a favorite way to connect with your readers?
Again, Facebook is where my readers live. I can pop on at any time and talk about upcoming events and the fun in my motorhome, or just say hi and I will get an enthusiastic response from someone.
What’s the craziest promotional gimmick you tried?
Well, I’m not sure you could call it crazy, but it definitely didn’t pan out. I tried to feature another Christian writer on my newsletter each month with a giveaway and was shocked to have no response! Usually, I can give away anything and I’ll have a response. But once I put the author friends of mine in the newsletter, response slowed to a crawl and stopped. I was shocked.
What’s the funniest thing that happened during a promotional activity?
I love to run Facebook parties and usually I’ll have two or more authors featured in the parties. I try to keep the parties short and sweet, so they are fast and furious. Twice now I’ve been so flooded with visitors making comments and posting, that Facebook froze and shut down on me. It was a good thing because it gave me time to ask one of the other moderators to stop posting so she could track the posts. Otherwise, I would never have been able to track the commenters for the list of giveaways. Many times we have people coming online late and asking questions about posts that happened at the beginning of the party. The authors will be typing fast and furiously to answer new and old questions. It gets crazy but fun, fun, fun!
Did you see God open any unexpected doors in the promotion of your books?
Yes. Definitely. I’m one of the few authors I know who likes to do promotion, so helping other writers with theirs has become an unexpected work of love. The best part is the wonderful relationships I’ve built in this unexpected venture.
What are your top tips for new authors promoting their first book?
Find the social media outlet where your readers spend most of their time and spend your promotion dollars there. Pinterest. Snapchat. Twitter or Facebook. Try them all until you find the one that you enjoy and where your readers spend most of their time. Look for new and innovative ways to connect with your readers and create relationships. Don’t worry about sales. They will come as you build reader friends and they spread the word.
Thank you, Tanya, for these great insights – and happy traveling!