Good morning from Colorado. Davalynn Spencer here, happy to introduce author Laurie Alice Eakes who has some great things to share.
How many books do you have published and what are a few of your latest titles?
Currently, I have twenty-one books published, not counting the compilation books in which my work appears.
My latest book is The Mountain Midwife. “Over a Barrel” is a novella reprinted in The American Dream Collection with eight other authors, and A Stranger’s Secret released in April, the second book in the Cliffs of Cornwall series.
You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2012. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?
Expect change. Nothing in this industry ever stays the same. So much has changed with me in the past three years I am rather overwhelmed by it, at the same time I am excited by it all.
What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since then?
The more books you write, the more books you sell. Before anyone says that is obvious, let me elaborate.
More books available is more exposure. The more exposure an author has, the more people are likely to find and read one of her books. That one book usually leads to reading more books in the author’s repertoire. Of course Facebook and Twitter, etc. help, and what still sells books is more books.
What are the most effective means of book promotion you’ve tried?
For all that Twitter is too often nothing but a promotion farm, I have seen sales numbers sky-rocket if I can get others to tweet about a new release or a special on one of my books. I also find just posting life observations on Twitter brings more followers, not always promoting my books, and revealing bits of my writer life or me as a person, gets my name out there and people find me.
What are the least effective promotional activities you’ve tried?
My Facebook author page doesn’t seem to do much. People say pay to play and others say that is a waste of money. I’ve been trying harder with that page, posting more often. People especially like pictures of the important people and pets in my life, and I’ve seen some uptick in activity, and it is sometimes like slogging through mud, not my favorite thing, though I love my personal page on Facebook.
What’s your favorite way to connect with your readers?
One-on-one is just awesome. When that isn’t possible, I like Facebook or personal emails. I answer every email I receive through my web site.
What’s the craziest promotional gimmick you tried?
This isn’t very crazy, and I am going to Bristol, Virginia, near the setting of The Mountain Midwife, to have my first in-person launch party and give away 50 books. I have family there, which helps, and traveling 1,500 miles for a launch party to be locational is a little nuts.
What’s the funniest thing that happened during a promotional activity?
Ending up on an author panel where I was the only native English speaker, as in some of the other authors books weren’t even published in English.
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
Just being published seems like an open door from God I never expected. And maybe the most special thing was being able to sign one of my older books at the Romance Writers of America at the Montlake book signing in New York City this past summer. Montlake (Amazon) had bought the publisher who published When the Snow Flies, which gave it life and exposure (and sales) I never expected to have with someone that came out in 2010.
What are your top tips for new authors promoting their first book?
Don’t overwhelm the Twitter world with promotion – 80/20 is the rule of thumb there. And don’t rest on the laurels of having that first book out. Work, work, work to get that next book out there as fast as you can.
Thank you for visiting with us today and sharing these great tips.