When I was growing up, I always thought of my favorite authors as hermits, people who hid away in a dark room with a single lamp illuminating the masterpiece that they were creating. It was an image of romanticism, mysticism, and loneliness. And though I am sure there are many authors who are introverted and prefer their solace, many of us are actually quite social creatures. When we write, we need our solitude, but otherwise we tend to enjoy being among the living and breathing.
When I first started writing with the intent to complete a full novel, I felt alone in the process. Sure, I had my family and a few friends supporting me, but I was mostly alone. Finishing the novel enhanced my loneliness in the writer's world because I could not seem to find a publisher for my novel. My first two novels went unpublished because of the amount of rejection I received.
So, when I wrote my third novel, I decided that I would self-publish. At first, the journey was scary and very lonely. I had to teach myself the process and was lucky to come across a few resources that helped me. And soon, I had a published novel. And then...nothing happened. I had some sales, mostly from my family and friends, but I was stuck.
Marketing is not my friend. I have always had difficulty seeking attention from others. I am the wallflower in the crowd, and I am okay with that. The problem is that you cannot be a wallflower in self-publishing...unless you plant yourself in a garden. And I did!
I came across the Rave Reviews Book Club somehow. I truly don't remember the moment, but I believe the Universe put this club on my path because she knew that I desperately needed a community of authors and readers. RRBC, as the members lovingly call it, is for all readers and writers. It's a book club, but it's SO much more. We have become a family, and family supports one another.
One of the many things that I love about RRBC is that the members will purchase my book, read it, and write a very honest review. I also purchase and read other authors' books and then write very honest reviews (you can see my reviews here). Many of the books are free at times or are on sale for $0.99. I have read some incredible stories that I never would have been exposed to had it not been for this club. I have also received some great feedback about my own writing which only further enhances my craft.
Another amazing trait of this club is the vast amount of support that is given. And this is where I found my garden. I have a hard time promoting myself, but I LOVE to promote other authors. I share what I read with my followers and I promote novels from other authors because book lovers deserve to know about the wonderful books that are out there. In turn, the other members promote my books to their members, helping me to reach other readers who may not usually have come across my novels. It's a win-win for everyone!
Social media is a godsend for this sort of thing, and Twitter is my main venue. I have a pinned promotion at the top, which allows other authors to retweet that promo to their followers. When I want to promote an author, the first thing I do is see if they also have a pinned tweet. I don't always have a lot of time to search through their feed to learn more about their works, so having that pinned tweet at the top makes a huge difference.
Some authors change their pinned tweet often, which allows me to easily share a new view on their works with my followers. I am guilty of leaving my pinned tweet for too long and definitely need to work on updating it more often. Still, a pinned tweet is so beneficial to those who want to help promote your works. So, if you are an author and don't have a pinned tweet, you may want to consider creating one. It could be as simple as a list of author links or a picture of your books with a link to your web site.
Since joining RRBC, my list of followers has grown like wildflowers, and purchases and reviews keep coming. I have met the most amazing people and have added a few more names to my list of favorite authors. I know now that I will never be that writer who is stuck in a dark room writing by the glimmer of a lamp. I am an author who is basking in the sunlight surrounded by a garden of wonder.