Friday, August 24, 2018

Writing: Tooting Your Own Horn

One of the hardest things for an author to do is what my mother would have called, "Tooting your own horn." Since millions of new books are published in the US every year, the only way an author's work can be recognized is by getting the word out--in other words, "tooting our own horn." I have heard it said (and I agree) that word-of-mouth is the best means of advertising. But in order for that information to be shared, an author must mention that the book is available. This is easier when there's a group of people familiar with prior works by that author, but it's still not "automatic."

An author is always cognizant of the necessity to get people to recognize his/her work, and that means keeping the name of the writer and the latest book in front of people. How can we do this? Social media has changed the way this used to go, and I can't tell if it's for the best or not. All the time that a writer wants to spend writing, they're thinking, "How do I get the word out?" And when the author is tied up with their blog, their home page, their Facebook page, their Twitter comments, their Instagram posts, they're thinking, "I should be writing."

The best advice I've received--in addition to, "Write the best book you can"--has been to pick a couple of types of social media in addition to your home page, post regularly there, and not worry too much about the rest. My home page only needs my attention three or so times a year. My blog has devolved into a twice a week thing. My Facebook author page features information that I think would be of interest to both writers and readers. My tweets cover a variety of things. And in the past, my newsletter (published three or four times a year--sign up to the right of this post) gives news of new releases and often includes special pricing on one of my novels. That's it. The rest of my time, I spend writing (and doing the other things a normal person does).

Every once in a while, I make something available to regular readers of this blog, and this is one of them. Several of my novels and all my novellas are available in audio format. My latest, Guarded Prognosis,  will come out as an audio book by the end of the year. Meanwhile, if you listen to audio books, I have a "key" that will let you download one of these novels in audio form. Simply leave a comment that includes your name and email (the latter in this format to foil bots--Dr R L Mabry at gmail dot com), and I'll send the key to a number of randomly selected commenters so long as my supply lasts.

 Note: I plan to post this on my author FB page as well, but the only comments that are eligible for the audio key will be those left here.

19 comments:

Mike Mr Tarheel Eagle said...

i still believe that self promotion is the most effective. every time a fan sees and likes or retweets, the number of views grows and grows.

Richard Mabry said...

Mike, I agree that it's important to keep your name--and profession--out there...but it's hard for some of us. It smacks too much of "blowing our own horn." Thanks for the comment.

Phyllis Bartram said...

I love your books even if you "toot your own horn."

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Phyllis. It goes against the grain to do that, but I guess it goes with the territory. I appreciate your comment.

Patricia Bradley said...

You've hit the nail on the head, Richard. There is a fine balance between promoting and bragging (or making yourself obnoxious). And you do the first--promoting. :-) Keep it up! Can't wait to hear about your next book. I wish I liked audio books...can't figure out why I don't.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, thanks for your comment. And I'm glad you mentioned audio books. I had a few "keys" left over and was willing to give them away to fans of mine who would use them--no takers so far. That tells me something about audio vs. print books...at least among the members of this group.

Mike Mr Tarheel Eagle said...

I would like the audio book.

Richard Mabry said...

Mike--I'd love to send it. Leave your name and email address (as per directions above). Thanks.

Mike Mr Tarheel Eagle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Mr Tarheel Eagle said...

meagle 029 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I've read several of your books but have never listened to an audio version. I would love a chance ar either one.
lhanberry1 at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

Linda, the key and instructions will be on their way later today.

Mike Mr Tarheel Eagle said...

Book was great. Thanks Richard.

Richard Mabry said...

Glad you liked it, Mike. Don't know which one you chose, but reviews are always welcome. Thanks.

Mike Mr Tarheel Eagle said...

Surgeons Choice. I will leave review at Amazon.,😊

Anonymous said...

I love audio books, and would be delighted to listen to one of yours!
Thanks!!
Rosalyn

allofakindmom at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

Rosalyn, it's on the way. (May have pushed "send" twice--sorry).

Debbie Rhoades said...

Oh, Dr.Mabry, I would do love one one. Heading your books would be very entertaining and exciting! ReadingMama922 at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

Debbie--you just got in under the wire, as I made that offer last month. The key and instructions are on the way.