It’s been an interesting week, this last one, both as an author and also for my health and me.
It gave me an idea for a new feature on my blog, covering two topics that are close to my heart: Writing and disability. I always wanted to make this blog about making progress as a new author, learning new tricks, making new contacts, finding new resources, etc., but I also wanted to be able to speak directly to people that write with their own challenges. For me, it’s my health. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis back in 2001 and live with it every day. With this new feature, I hope to be able to provide some helpful tips and resources for new authors, but also share with you some of the other part of my life, MS.
If you’ve followed along, you will know that I speak openly and frankly about MS and will continue to do so, but I also enjoy laughing at myself. I ask only that you enter into this with an open mind, but if you do want to laugh, laugh with me, not at me!
So it’s with great excitement and not an insignificant amount of trepidation, I present to you:
The Diary of an Author with MS
Week beginning 18th February 2017
My book has now been available for just over 3 weeks. It feels a lot longer! The paperback version is now available, and I am starting to see sales. I have had a couple of my Facebook followers send me a picture of themselves holding my book, which is a massive buzz!
My focus at the moment is promotion of my book, A Sinister Six. To that end, here’s what’s been happening:
This is huge for new authors, at it gives your book that social proof that’s needed. That is, it tells other potential readers that this is a book worth purchasing. It’s all very well telling readers that your book is good, you need others to tell them that.
I’m hopeful that people will begin leaving reviews for Sinister, but to jumpstart that process I have been contacting bloggers that review books. Usually for the price of a free copy of your book, you can get an honest review that will be posted to a variety of places – Amazon, Goodreads, etc. of course, if you’re not willing to receive negative feedback, I recommend you spend some time polishing your book and letting beta-readers give feedback first!
Where do you find these bloggers?
I’ve been spending a lot of time across a number of other people’s blogs and from time to time you will find people that would be interested in reviewing your book, but much more effective than that, is to go to them directly. One of the best resources I’ve come across for reviews is http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/
There are hundreds of bloggers listed that offer book reviews. Just be aware that some of these people are incredibly busy, so expect a wait for a review or response!
There are many other similar resources, just search for ‘book review bloggers’ in your favourite search engine.
There are many websites that will offer to interview you for their blog. You will usually be sent a questionnaire to complete, and the resulting interview will give you an opportunity to point people towards your book / author website.
This is a longer term project, as I would recommend spending several weeks/ months getting your face noticed on the blogs in question, commenting on others people’s posts, and generally being helpful, perhaps reblogging posts from their site, etc. If you can get an influential blogger to offer you a guest post or an interview, this could increase your traffic, plus, it’s a really great way to meet new people and learn new tricks! There are many I could suggest, but I’ll mention the first few that come to mind:
I would suggest going to one of these (all of them) and taking in all of the amazing hints, tips and information that is on offer before you even consider asking for help boosting your profile.
Another way to increase your reach, is by guest blogging – that is, writing a blog post for another website, preferably an influential site. In the last week or so, I’ve had a guest blog post over at https://blondewritemore.com/2017/02/19/the-author-test/ . I’d been observing for a while, enjoying the content, then one day Lucy (blog owner) posted something that made me laugh. I had previously written something very similar, so I took a chance and contacted her, explaining that if she was interested, I had a post that her audience may enjoy. Luckily for me, Lucy liked the piece and posted it on her blog, which went on to be, for me at least, the most liked piece I’d ever written. Check out the post, and Lucy’s blog while you’re there!
This week has been particularly difficult, but mostly self-inflicted. I forgot to take my meds on Monday! Meds I have been taking at the same time, twice a day, for several years. How did I manage that? Well, I have to take them at 10am and 10pm, but at my day job, I think I had answered the phone and was speaking at the time that my medication alert went off. Although I saw the alert, by the time I had finished on the phone, it had slipped from my mind, so I missed taking it. The effects didn’t hit me until I arrived home. I noticed I was finding it hard to get out of my car, and my pain levels were even higher than normal. That was the point at which I realised my mistake. D’oh!
In writing terms, it also meant that I was super-tired, so I didn’t get much done. I spent Monday and Tuesday evening sitting on our settee, just answering emails and browsing blogs on my phone, so it wasn’t a total loss.
What have I learned? I’ve learned that when the alert goes off, I need to take the medication THEN, as if I wait till later, I will forget!
That’s it for the first diary post. I think I will be posting these updates about every other week. I will aim for Sundays, but don’t hold me to that! I’ll keep you informed of what I’ve done, and what I’ve learned!
If there is anything specific you would like to know, or have any questions relating to what I’ve been up to, just drop a question in the comments.