You adore writing. It’s in your blood. It makes your heart sing and adds magic to your life.
Getting lost in a good story - especially one you’re telling - is better than all the gourmet dark chocolate in the world.
Your characters are so vivid they visit you at night for a bedside chat. When they’re kind, they're whispering sweet nothings in your ears and dropping plot bunnies like rose petals all over your pillow. When they’re angsty (and let’s face it, that’s pretty often), they demand to have their stories told this way and that scene re-written that way to better match their sharp wit and righteous indignation.
Ah, the writing life. It’s what you signed up for, darling, and you love all of it.
When you took on this gig, you didn’t even think about the business side of writing. And these days, that’s keeping you up even more than your pesky, lovable characters and their incessant demands.
Once you’re a published author, you have to worry about marketing.
There’s Instagram and Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. There are Goodreads reader groups and sub-Reddit threads to monitor. Should you go to the young adult conference or contribute to an online symposium? There are book signings to attend, press releases to write and interviews to conduct. You’ve got to reach out to book bloggers and reviewers, and then there are giveaways to consider. And oh yeah, somewhere in your copious spare time, you’ve also got to fit in writing the next book.
Is it any wonder you’re walking around bleary-eyed chattering to yourself and embodying the stereotype of the crazed author? It’s not you, though. Blame the demands of the business that are turning you into an anxious ball of stress.
The good news is this: what you’re going through is exactly what every author experiences when they first put their books out into the world.
Want even better news?
The key to increasing your readership is strategically increasing your visibility.
Years ago, authors were names on book spines; nothing more. Readers didn’t know what their favorite authors looked like, and they certainly didn’t care what writers had for lunch or whether they wrote by hand or at a typewriter. But the world has changed since then. These days, with social media connecting us in ways we never imagined possible, readers fall in love with you, often before they ever pick up one of your books.
And no, that doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere to connect with potential book lovers, nor do you have to do everything at once—no matter what the online marketing gurus might want you to believe. What you have to do, however, is show up for your readers. Consistently, authentically, and from a genuine, heartfelt place. Because all of us can smell desperation and fake engagement from a mile away - and readers noses’ are finely-tuned to suss out BS (most likely from having been being buried in dusty book spines for years).
How do I know? Because I had to figure all this out on my own.
I spent over a decade as a traditionally-published romance novelist, while also holding down a full-time corporate job that demanded 60-80 hour weeks. On the writing front, I was releasing 6 books a year and managing my own marketing strategy and execution.
You can guess what happened, can’t you?
I exploded into a fireball that scorched me to the bone and obliterated my life as I knew it.
This is what most psychologists call ‘burn out’. I call it the ninth level of Hell.
You see, I had bought into the myth that I needed to do everything myself. In addition to having a thriving corporate career in marketing communications, I thought I had to be my own business strategist, marketing consultant, photographer, public relations representative, customer support agent, salesperson, and advertising content creator in order to also have a successful author brand.
I even managed to make it work for a while. And after nearly ten years of driving myself into an early grave, my well-organized and disastrously busy life was thrown into even more chaos when I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl in 2014; and immediately fell into a postpartum depression so deep and dark I feared I’d never find my way out.
Not only did my priorities shift in the blink of a tired mama’s eye, but I also suddenly discovered that I had no more interest in writing. None. Zip. Nil.
Partly due to the crushing depression, and partly because my idea of a hot romantic night now included getting 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and not having anyone touch me, I had to admit that my career as a romance novelist was over. I had to cancel contracts. Give back advances. And then I had to re-create my identity day by day as I emerged from the haze of pain and despair.
Unexpectedly, helping other authors GROW THEIR READERSHIP became the answer.
I had earned a Marketing degree in college, and I’d spent years putting it to use in the corporate world. And having been a published author, I understood the publishing industry and the needs, wants, and frustrations of up-and-coming authors who had toiled over their books for months, years, or even decades in some cases, but couldn’t figure out how to have their work seen by an audience that was hungry for the kind of writing they poured their hearts into.
I started out slow. I talked to my author friends, reached out to my writer network, and asked if anyone could use a hand with their marketing tactics and execution. The response was overwhelming. That’s when I knew that I could contribute in a way that felt both meaningful and aligned with my talents and experience. In addition, I could do something that would serve a community of authors I know deserve to be heard.
I firmly believe that novelists are among the most extraordinarily creative and passionate people in the world. What a shame it is, then, that in the digital cacophony that surrounds us, so many of those talented voices are often drowned out by the noise.
If you feel like your ideal reader has no idea you exist, I can help.
You don’t have to continue shouting into the digital void, getting lost in a sea of sameness. And your book doesn’t have to stay at the bottom of the Amazon chart a second longer.
You can establish your author brand and grow a dedicated fan base without sacrificing your writing time or your sanity. I’d love to show you how.