Tag Archives: promoting your novel

Websites to watch: GOODREADS, BOOKBLOGS and THE INTERNET REVIEW OF BOOKS

Today, I am showcasing two blogs that are wonderful venues for finding new friends online and one that is a great place to promote your new novel.

GOODREADS is a forum where you create a bookshelf of all the books you’ve read, and read and review new ones. In the course of doing this, you find other people. The website is organized into five areas: home (your home page), my books (shows the books that you’ve read, are currently reading, or intend to read), friends, groups and explore, where you can explore books by list and genre, swap books, or join a discussion about books.

As you can see, joining Goodreads is one of many things that you can do as an author to find your audience. And if you become an author, you can claim your author page and become a Goodreads author.

I love it, because it is so low-key and friendly. But Goodreads is not just limited to reading and reviewing books. You can also showcase your writing on your profile page.

BOOKBLOGS is also a way of finding friends and tapping into the writing community online, but the focus is on blogging, rather than books, although many members discuss books. It is set up so that you could use it as your blog, with a Your Page tab that leads you to some templates and colors you can use to customize your page. I have tried many times, but have never managed to get it to work. No matter. You can invite your friends, post content, join groups, participate in discussions, all those things you need to do to make yourself visible. I am fairly new to this site, but have already found its members to be helpful and friendly.

THE INTERNET REVIEW OF BOOKS, which obviously models itself on the New York Review of Books, claims to be “An Intelligent Guide for Intelligent People.” It reviews recent books in the fields of science, social science, history, art, music, current affairs, and fiction with attitude and passion. If you want some help in promoting your book, such as putting a screen shot of you book cover on their site, or letting them post a link to a favorable review in the New York Times of Kirkus Reviews, they are happy to help, for a FEE. I do not know what their fees are, but they claim that they are “better than reasonable”.  If you want to learn more about fees, click here. For inquiries about fiction, click here.

–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels.  She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN  is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.FAMILY SPLINTERS is  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Blogs and websites to watch

Why joining Toastmasters might be important for a new writer

If you want to sell books nowadays, the sad reality is that you, the author, has to be prepared to do most of the heavy lifting.  You have to have a platform (people following you on Twitter & Facebook), a marketing plan, and yes, a video.

We all know that many writers are introverts. They like being by themselves, creating their stories out of thin air. But now, they have to wear a public face to market their novels. Standing up in front of a crowd, describing your novel, let alone reading it, is not for everyone. Many suffer from stage fright.

If you are one of those people who cringe at the thought of speaking before an audience, then the best thing you can do is to join Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a group of people who get together to hone their public speaking skills. Typically, their meetings are an hour long, and follow a structured format. There are the introductions, then everyone listens to 3 or 4 people give a 5-7 minute speech. Other members evaluate these speeches. Then there is Table Topics, in which anyone can be asked a question about current events, and has to reply, off the cuff, in a 2-3 minute speech. The meeting ends with reports from the Timekeeper and Grammarian.

As you can tell, I belong to Toastmasters. My club meets in an elegant mansion just north of Dupont Circle in Washington DC. Known to be maverick, Cap 2 meetings last an hour and a half, so that we can enjoy lunch together. People do not always give manual speeches, but there is a lot of fun and laughter at our club.

There are so many Toastmasters clubs, that if you live in a big city, you will be spoiled for choice. All of them are committed to help people become comfortable at public speaking. Don’t worry about making mistakes, everyone does. Take an hour out of your day, go, and enjoy yourself. You will find a warm and supportive environment, perfect for making new friends.

–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels.  She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN  is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear. FAMILY SPLINTERS is  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Filed under How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself