Aspiring author? Sasha Hibbs has some words of wisdom for you–read on!
Advice for authors:
Recently I have discovered the pains of promotion. Becoming published, undoubtedly, was the hardest hurdle to jump through. But now you’re here! What’s next?
Promotion, promotion, promotion.
Let me preface anything I’m about to write, by saying, that while promotion is essential to the success of your novel, you don’t want to cram your book down people’s throat. There’s a time and place for everything.
Example: one of your co-workers great-grandmother dies, it probably isn’t a good idea to show up in black, coincidentally holding a brand new copy of your book. “Hey….sorry to hear about Grandma Beatrice, but maybe you wouldn’t mind distributing copies of my novel since there’s a huge crowd here today.”
Think about an awesome song that just came out. We love it when it comes on the radio, but after hearing it over and over and over, you get tired of it. Your book is no different, trust me. When you use your social media outlets, mix it up with other interests, not just, “Buy my book, buy my book, and please buy my book!”
I try not only to promote my own novels, but others as well. My interests mainly are in reading, so I like to share what I’m reading and I like to reach out to other authors and help them promote their books, too!
Onward and upward!
If you are traditionally published your publisher should submit ARC’s (advanced reader copies) to reviewers. If you’re self-published, you need to have some of these folks lined up beforehand. Look up different promotional/tour companies that will help promote your book. This usually comes with a fee.
Regardless if you’re traditionally or self-published, you still need to try and line up reviewers willing to read and review your novel. Look for reviewers in your genre on Twitter, FB, Goodreads.
The critical piece of reviewers:
First: submitting a request to a reviewer is much like submitting your novel to literary agents and publishers. Follow their guidelines! Make sure that your novel falls into the genres they read, otherwise you are wasting their time and your time.
Secondly: Be prepared to send them a FREE copy of your novel once a reviewer has accepted your request. Your publisher may provide you with X-amount of free copies, if not, then you must buy or gift the reviewer. Most reviewers will not purchase the book themselves, and that makes sense to me.
Thirdly: Once reviews have been posted to sites such as GR, Amazon, B&N, etc. smile at the good reviews, and do NOT, under any circumstances, ever reply to a bad review. Think reverse-Nike mode: JUST DON’T DO IT! Period! You can do this instead:)
Let me ramble on regarding bad reviews. If you’re published and someone other than your mother is reviewing your book, you need to brace yourself. You will at some point receive a harsh review. It’s just a fact of life. Remember, it’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you react to it. You can go on GR and Amazon right now and search for a NY Times Bestseller, check out the reviews, and I’ll bet you my next paycheck, there will be more than one scathing review, and I mean brutal.
Having reviewed some novels myself, I don’t have it in me to write horrid reviews. If I cannot make it through a book, I usually just don’t write anything. But I’m not every reviewer. They are all different.
When shopping for a novel, do you read the reviews? If so, how does that sway your decision in regards to buying or not buying?
Recently, I purchased a novel from Amazon and the reviews were pretty bad, but it was in relation to the poor grammar/misspellings, etc. I bought the book because the pitch was interesting and when I stumbled across the poor grammar, I knew it going into the book and was able to overlook it because I’m not an editor, I’m a reader and writer and was looking for the story, not all the flaws. Of course, most folks are not like that but I’m only speaking to how everyone is different.
So, if you are new to publishing, just been accepted into the shark infested waters, here’s your check list:
1.) Get cracking on a FB page, Twitter, Goodreads account, a blog…social media is crucial in promoting.
2.) Line up some reviewers or folks willing to host you on their blog.
3.) Smile and wave with good reviews and bad ones. NEVER comment on bad reviews, it just looks bad.
4.) Reach out to other authors, you’d be surprised how welcoming they truly are.
5.) And be willing to do the same for others trying to get established. Don’t forget what it was like for you in the beginning. Remember the Golden Rule!
About the Author:
By age 5, Sasha Hibbs’ favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.
With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.
When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.
Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters, Aeliza and Ava. She is currently hard at work on book two in The Vulcan Legacies series.
Ally Watson struggles to live with the choices she made, the worst of which resulted in her soul mate’s death. Michael’s sacrifice to save the girl he loved may have reversed the Apocalypse, but not the permanent damage inflicted by living with his loss.
Ally begins a journey where she soon discovers that death is not always the end, but sometimes the very beginning. With old friends, she journeys to the Nosferatu Nation where she meets with new alliances willing to help her in her quest to defeat the Devourer. At every turn, Ally unearths secrets that threaten to destroy those she loves.
The second installment of The Vulcan Legacies series will put Ally to the ultimate test, forcing her to face her fears and the true destiny she will fulfill as Azrael, the Seraph of Death.
Ally quietly turned to leave but stopped as she heard Marik.
“No, please. Don’t…go,” Marik said.
Something grabbed hold of Ally’s chest. She stood still trying to understand what she was feeling inside. This didn’t sound like the Marik she knew. He sounded wounded, weak, vulnerable—all the things Ally felt. She shook her head, trying to rid herself of the conflict she struggled with now.
“Ally…” Marik whispered.
“You called me Ally. The Devourer refused to call me by my name,” Ally said. She didn’t know why she responded to him. He didn’t deserve words or kindness, but there was something in her that was drawn to him.
“Ally, I will not ask your forgiveness. I…don’t deserve it,” Marik said between breaths. He struggled to push himself up into a sitting position, wincing as he did. “But I will tell you,” Marik cleared his throat, “I am…so very sorry.”
“Sorry is not enough,” Ally said. She moved in closer. She lowered herself to the floor, to where she was eye level with him. She circled her fingers around the bars. “Sorry will never bring Michael back,” she said. She didn’t know where the words were coming from but she continued. “Sorry will never be enough to pay for the sins we both committed together.”
“You are blameless,” Marik said. “You didn’t…know. I did and I let him…take me.”
Ally didn’t move away as Marik scooted across the cell floor closer to her. The only things separating them were the thick steel bars. Ally truly had no fear left. It was simply gone.
“Was there truth to anything you ever said to me? Or was it the Devourer the entire time masked as you?” Ally asked.
Marik was mere inches from her. He raised his hand and swept his raven black hair from his eyes. Ally had nearly forgotten how piercing blue his eyes were.
She stared into their icy blue depths. They reminded her of winter. They were cold, like frost over ice. They reminded her of Michael, too. She felt as though she were truly looking at Marik for the first time. Even through the moonlight, she could see the resemblance. If Michael had had black hair like Marik’s they would have been nearly identical. It was painful staring into his eyes, to see how his skin was stretched over his cheek bones. She could see more than a craving for blood, the sustenance the Nosferatu required, in his gaze. There was another hunger there. Something different and unlike anything Ally had seen in their depths before. But her gaze never wavered. Ally didn’t flinch under his heated gaze.
Marik reached through the bars, gently brushing his fingertips against Ally’s hand.
She didn’t jerk away. She looked down to where his skin touched hers. Ally looked back up, as a single crimson red tear slid down his cheek.
“The Authority help me, but I never lied about the way I felt and still feel about you.”