Guest Blogger: Sharon C. Cooper – When Dreams Meet Reality

When I grow up, I’m going to be a lawyer, a rock star, or marry Denzel Washington…well, if he weren’t already married. Have you ever had a dream to come true, but then reality hits? Such as, you became a lawyer but now you’re working 60-80 hour weeks and don’t have time to spend the money you’re making. Or maybe you’re a rock star, you have more groupies than you know what to do with and you’ve traveled the world – twice, but now you have no privacy and can’t even walk into your neighbor coffee shop without being hounded for your autograph.

Well, my dreams meet reality story is a little different. I am now a multi-published author (woo hoo!), but my reality – marketing my books. I know, I know, you’re wondering how I can compare that to the dream of being a lawyer or a rock star, well it’s not so much about the dream as it is about what happens when you acquire the dream and reality sets in.

First, can I just say, never in a million years would I have guessed that I’d be doing a post about marketing your book. Despite having a degree in business, I’ve come to realize that one aspect of business that I dislike more than anything – is marketing. And the fact that I’m an author hasn’t changed that, but it has made me realize that being published (especially if you’re an indie author) is like running your own business – you’re in charge…of everything.

But whether you’re an indie author (like I am) or if you’ve been published by a traditional publisher, it’s up to you to promote your book. Gone are the days of getting a contract with a major publishing house and they do everything for you – such as: setting up book signings, creating promotional materials, and marketing your work. You now have to do most of it yourself…and if you’re an indie author, you have to do all of it yourself.

Below are a few things I’ve learned about marketing since becoming published (and a few things I knew prior to getting published):

  • It’s all about building relationships – If you’re like many writers, you’re perfectly happy at home with your laptop, hanging out with your imaginary friends (the characters you’ve created), than you are being out in public building relationships. Don’t wait until your book has been published before you build a following (readers). Start  blogging, join social media sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on), and even consider joining some writing organizations. Note: when you join these sites, don’t make it all about you. Be engaging, listen to what others are doing, and talk about things your new friends/readers want to talk about or are interested in (now this doesn’t come easy for those of us who prefer to hang out with our laptop and characters). Being published is exciting! Having readers who enjoy and look forward to your books is…priceless! Here’s a quote by Anthony Robbins – “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” And in my own words – “The      quality of your published life is dependent upon the relationships you’ve built with your readers.”
  • Find a guru – If marketing is not your strength (or you absolutely hate it), find someone to do the work for you. But, if you’re like many indie      authors – you don’t have the extra money to pay someone to do your marketing. That’s when you have to do like the rest of us – research (Google,      read how-to-books), network with those who enjoy marketing, and if none of that works – beg other published authors for information on how they  market their work (most are willing to share ideas).
  • Know what the market wants – Now this is taught in Business 101. If you write a book about the proper technique of nose picking, most people aren’t going to be interested (although there might be a few interested folks). But say you write a book about how to meet Mr. Right with only a smile – you’ll probably get some takers. If nothing else, they’ll be very curious about what you have to say. Find out what people are reading and what they enjoy reading and write your book!
  • Don’t stop! – Don’t stop at one book. If you’ve built a readership, and have written some great books – people are going to want more. Have you ever read a good book by an author, and then went in search of what else they’ve written – only to find out they only have one book and no promises of another book on the way? Kinda disappointing huh? Don’t let this be you. Keep writing and keep putting your books out there!
  • And my last thought about marketing your books (especially if you’re an indie author), grab hold of every opportunity to promote your work…especially when someone is kind enough to let you guest post on their blog! Below is my debut novel.

A Sweet Romance

Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men … and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship and her reclaimed virginity.

 
Betrayed by his supermodel ex-girlfriend, who happens to be the mother of his child, Tim Hollister has placed a padlock on his heart. But when Simone, an old high school friend falls back into his life, he soon forgets his promise to stay clear of beautiful women. Simone was always like a sister to him, but he discovers that his feelings for her aren’t very brotherly. He’s captivated by the woman she’s become and wants to take their friendship to the next level – despite her resistance. Tim can’t avoid their new-found passion, and sets out to prove he’s the man for her.
Available Now at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and All Romance e-books!

Click here to read an excerpt and to purchase your copy today!

Many thanks Yawatta!

To contact Sharon C. Cooper  visit her at:

Website: http://sharoncooper.net

Subscribe to her blog: http://sharonccooper.wordpress.com/

Email: sharon@sharoncooper.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1575943684&ref=tn_tnmn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Sharon_Cooper1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823574.Sharon_C_Cooper

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8 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Sharon C. Cooper – When Dreams Meet Reality

    • Hey Sharon,
      No thank you for agreeing to post. I love the girl with the guitar. It’s pretty funny because I’m going to buy a guitar (been taking lessons).

      Your advice is spot on. I’m totally one of those writers who engages with my imaginary friends (characters). I’m a member on Absolutewrite Forums, but I’ve only been a lurker for a long time. I need to get back in the habit of socializing again.

      Once again, thanks for guest blogging!

      Keep smiling,
      Yawatta

  1. Great advice, and you’re correct about putting out more books! The more books you put out, the more you’ll see your base of readers grow. It’s the best form of marketing.

    • Thanks for stopping by Delaney! I’m counting on that being true because my next book, Blue Roses, will be out in July 2012 and I’m looking forward to my base of readers growing! I’m having a blast meeting so many wonderful people.

    • Hey Delaney,
      I agree with putting out more books as well. It’s hard though for writers who like to dabble in different genres. Then, it’s the whole ‘create a penname’, then you have to try and develop an entirely different fanbase.

      I wrote a romance and thriller. Both will probably come out around the same time. So that’s an obstacle I’ll probably have to face.

      Keep smiling,
      Yawatta

      • Yawatta, many people read across genres. I wouldn’t be too worried about changing pen names unless absolutely necessary. Look how many authors write in different genres and do just fine! James Patterson writes thrillers, romance, and YA. Tami Hoag and Sandra Brown started in romance. It’s all about marketing.

        I myself write sweet and sensual romance and didn’t listen to people who suggested I use a different pen name. Promotion is enough work. I couldn’t imagine having to do it for multiple names.

    • Thanks for the tip of not having to use different pen names. You have no idea how much pressure has been taken off LOL. I was thinking I’d need this blog with my name, then create another one to get fans under my pen name. You’re right–too much work.

      I do already have a name in mind. I’d use my middle name “Finia”. Now, instead of using it for different novels, I’ll use it for my art blog.

      I checked out your site, and you have a lot of cool books. I’ll check one out.

      Keep smiling,
      Yawatta

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