by Jessica O'Gorek
YA Paranormal Romance/Sci-Fi
Date Published: 4/13/2013
Angry at the human race and its methodical destruction of her resources, Mother Earth recruits souls who have just left their bodies to serve Her, and turns them against humanity. A powerful, rising force proceeds to carry out Mother Nature’s plan to systematically destroy towns, cities, states… and eventually, the world. Amidst the chaos, a forbidden relationship between a human girl, Violette, and Onyx, a lead Gemini, begins. They will both find themselves in the middle of a revolutionary war that will either save, or destroy our world.
I was born in Chesapeake, Virginia on April 19th, 1979. I was raised within the American Indian religion and was taught great respect for the earth and all its living beings. Powwows, sweat lodges, vision quests, you name it, I’ve done it. I was the weird kid who would confront kids on the playground in elementary school when they squished a bug. I would very sincerely tell them what they were doing was morally wrong and then I would pray for the bug to come back as a butterfly in its next life.
I grew up admiring my father, Barry Weinstock, as an author. He took me around the country
to different places so he could research and write his Wilderness Survival books. One of his greatest works, “The Path of Power,” was written with a great medicine man, Sunbear. When I was twelve I started
hand writing novels. My first one was two thousand pages. My dad always encouraged me and would rave about my writing. He gave me the confidence I needed to keep writing and follow my dream. My daughter, who is twelve, is currently working on her first novel. I hope to continue the legacy.
HOW TO CREATE A SOCIAL NETWORK TO SUPPORT YOUR BOOKS!
When my publisher first told me that I should start blogging and social marketing a year before my book would be released, I didn't understand the importance of that advice! Now, I do. After countless hours of marketing, networking, tweeting and emailing, I am starting to feel like my book is finally living and breathing!
The first thing you must do is create a marketing platform/plan. Who are you marketing to? What is the age group and social status? Will you market yourself nationally or internationally? Plot out what you want to do, how often you want to do it and measure the success of it. Example- Posting this on Goodreads resulted in this many people adding my book to their TBR list, or this Tweet resulted in this many new followers, (Unfollowers.me has a great feature that allows you to schedule and track the success of your tweets and it costs $20.00 a year!) or blogging about this topic, with this headline, got this many hits on my blog... it really is a numbers game to some degree.
The most important thing I found was to have my reviews lined up ahead of time. For the print book, in 6 months, I had 25 review copies ready to send and 100 ebook copies. That was about 400 emails though. Rule of thumb- you can never have enough reviews lined up because 30-40% of them will wash and won’t come through. Copy and paste, copy and paste. Get on the blogs you like that promote your genre, ALWAYS read the review policies as this will save you and the blogger time. Remember, if people don't want to review your book, they may still help promote it! If you get denials for reviews just respond back asking for something else like interviews, spotlights or guests posts. Don’t double your workload by taking the rejection of the review as the final ‘no.’ Use a spreadsheet to keep track of who has agreed to review and their preferred format/contact info.
Make sure you have a book cover or an image to brand yourself with- or an avatar/profile pic that you use consistently use on all sites. Remember- you are your own brand now and like everything that is marketed- you need a logo or a slogan that people will recognize quickly. I would choose no more than three images people will associate you with.
Make sure you have the following- a blog (I would say a website as well, but I haven't used mine that much even though I spent hrs. making it!) Twitter, Facebook, Google plus profile, Pinterest (on your blog you should have options to follow you with bloglovin', GFC, Networked Blogs, posts via email and RSS feeds and Google Plus circles.)
Goodreads/Facebook/Google Plus/Twitter strategies: Every time you make a friend, or get a follower, thank them and ask them to check out your blog. Offer to follow them back if they follow you. Type out a generic response, something simple, like “Thanks for the friendship, please check out my blog if you have a moment and follow if interested.” “Thanks for following me! I’m following you back. Check out my blog when you have a moment!” Paste your responses in a Word document and keep it on your desktop. It will become your bible eventually. You can also use it to post all of your links, your bio, your book blurb, things that people ask for all the time to promote you on their blogs. If you do this consistently, your network will grow a little every day until it’s actually hard to keep up with all four sites!
Goodreads- Add your book to some Goodreads lists on Listopia and ask your friends to vote for your book! When you get a Goodreads review, good or bad, respond with a thank you and send them the link to the lists you’re on asking for their vote. When someone one adds your book to their TBR list, email them and keep them informed of promo offers.
Facebook- Create a page for your book that is separate from your profile page and start getting likes for it. Join author events where everyone trades likes. There are also tons of like ladder parties too. When you have an audience built up, create a Facebook event and pick random winners for prizes. Play games and tag people to come play. Invite all of your friends and ask them to invite theirs too. Need someone who knows the ins and outs of social marketing and can help you with your journey? Check out Aileen Aroma at https://www.facebook.com/aileen.aroma.1 She is an incredible support for me!
Twitter- Tweet your heart out and join Unfollowers.me to schedule Tweets when you’re away. Your Tweets should be eye catching. If it wouldn’t grab your attention in the slew of Tweets out there, then why would it grab someone else’s?
GFC- It’s like Facebook without the annoying ads and friend requests, or posting limitations. Try it!
Blogging tips- You don’t have to blog only about your book. In fact, you may not get many hits this way. Mix it up a bit. Blog about things you’re passionate about- things that people will connect with.I started blogging about cancer because it had taken my dad from me and it felt good to scream out to the web and get it out. I also started posting guest posts from other authors and interview. I would mix it up with excerpts and then reviews. I know I mentioned this before, but I can’t stress it enough. All of your social icons should be at the top of your blog or at least in the tops of your left and right sidebars! Link to other blogs. Create a blog button with HTML (Google how to do this if you need help) and trade with other like blogs.
Time management- When I first started doing all of this self-promotion I was obsessed and would spend hours a day on the computer. (I still do some days) Learn to pace yourself and don’t let it become a drudgery, or a job. Take breaks, write, breath, laugh, don’t tie yourself to it 24/7.
Hearing no - You will hear no a lot in the publishing industry- it’s the agent’s and the publisher’s favorite word. Take the nos and let them inspire you, not beat you down. When you were a teenager what did nos do? Did you find a way to get around them? Did they make you want to wear that mini skirt or drive that car that much more? The same applies here- rebel and conquer!
Ask and brag- I know this is a little cliché, but don’t ever be afraid to ask your network of supporters for help in spreading the word about you and your work. Besides, what is the worst thing someone can say? No? Fine! Shamelessly brag about yourself and be proud of your creations! If people don’t get the sense you believe in you then it will be hard for them to.
*Create a marketing plan- Microsoft Excel or Word (using the table feature) is great for this!
*Get reviews lined up by visiting blogs, reading the blogger’s review policies and emailing them. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of who has agreed to review and their preferred format/contact info
*Respond to review turn downs with questions about other options like interviews, spotlights and guests posts
*Get an avatar, profile pic or use the cover of your book to use across the web
*Set up a blog, (I recommend Blogger) a website, (I recommend Wix) Twitter and Facebook account, Pinterest, and Google Plus
*Make your blog easy to follow by joining Bloglovin’, Google Friends Connect, Networked blogs, Linky, and any other possible blog engines out there! Get their widgets and put them at the top of your blog. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve been to where all the social follow options are all the way at the bottom.
*When you get friends on Goodle, Goodreads, or Facebook, or followers on Twitter, thank them and ask them to stop by your blog.
*Goodreads- Add your book to relevant Listopia lists and ask for votes. Email people who add your book to their TBR lists and keep them updated on promo offers!
*Facebook page- get likes, have events.
*Twitter- Tweet! GFC- Try it!
*Blogging tips- switch up your posts between your book excerpts and other things that inspire you to write about them. All social icons should be at the top of your blog. Trade links with other bloggers and make a blog button- not sure how to make a button? Google the term “make a blog button”
*Feel free to contact me, I am always happy to help!!! firstname.lastname@example.org