Thursday, February 9, 2012
Promotion of books – Pain or Pleasure?
Then we became excited to discover that my out of print, inspirational romance back list of books will be released again as e-books. So, here is the preliminary announcements of these books. We are excited but know these contracts will also bring us both great pleasure but some pain too as we try to promote them so people will know about them and hopefully be able to buy them. Our prayer has always been that God will use these efforts to bless, challenge and entertain our readers
For some time now, I’ve been realising how fortunate I was back in the 1990s about how much personal promotion I was expected to do for my published books. Certainly, I was very busy then too. There were a couple of contributions to the Heartsong Presents Book Club newsletter. I contacted Christian bookshops and an Australian distributor to shops about my books published by Barbour. I had a book-signing for my first medical romance from Harlequin Mills & Boon. I joined writers’ groups, especially Romance Writers of Australia, went to writer conferences. I had as many speaking appointments as I could that focused on my writing efforts.
Sounds busy? Yes of course it was, but even though I had teenage children still at home for most of the time and was a busy “minister’s wife”, I simply had more time to actually write my novels than I seem to these days. Of course, being older now too doesn’t help but there simply seems to be so much more promotion and publicity I need to do now and thus far less time to work on this current manuscript.
The main culprit seems to be the internet. There is so much information on other writer’s blogs, websites, newsletters etc to try and read to keep up with not only books by my own favourite authors, but current trends in Christian fiction, publishers, conferences and all that we need to keep up to date with and know as published authors in this writing career.
And now my dear husband is discovering how much he too should be doing about promoting his books. Until now he has quite vigorously resisted getting involved in having his own website, his own blog and especially his own Facebook wall. As you know only too well it has been great sharing my blog with Ray and also the information about him and his writing on my (our) website. But as I mentioned to him today, when anyone would do a Google search for Ray Hawkins to find out more about him and his writing, would they find many sites? Would they find out both his 31 Day devotional books are also e-books?
I have had to spend heaps and heaps of time learning about websites, how to publish blog posts and about Facebook, how to have an “internet presence”. Now it is time to make sure Ray knows how to do these things – and eventually without my help!without my help!
However, I hope he too discovers that while promotion, especially on the internet will take time, there is also often great pleasure in hearing from readers, connecting with other writers and learning from them– especially those targeting the same kind of audience as ourselves.
So often pain and pleasure can go hand in hand. Discipline and having a God directed priority will keep it more pleasure than pain. Of course, what I really need is a secretary/helper to do some of the “business” of writing for me, but that is still just a dream.
Okay, this is where I am at the moment – enjoying making contact with readers of my blog and Facebook, but suffering “pain” too because of the time it all takes me away from writing my books. Would love to have some comments about how you cope with your own responsibilities and, if a published author, what you do to make time to write your next book.
Oh, and by the way, you will be hearing a lot more about books from Mary Hawkins and Ray Hawkins in coming days!
Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author. A Queensland farmer’s daughter, she became a registered nurse before going to Bible College. She and her minister husband have three adult children and five grandchildren, enjoyed over 47 years of ministry including church planting in Australia, two years in England, three short term mission trips to Africa and now live in Tasmania, Australia's island state. Her first inspirational romance novel, Search For Tomorrow was released in 1993 Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents book club which was recently sold to Harlequin. 19th title, Justice at Baragula was released May, 2011.
Read more about her books, her husband Ray and his devotional books on their blog from the website: http://www.mary-hawkins.com/