… there must be more than 5, but we’ll leave it there for now! 😉
I can’t remember when I joined RRBC exactly but it was around 18 months ago. My first novel had been ‘out there’ for six months or so and I only had a handful of reviews on Amazon. These had come from most of the other writers and friends I already knew, or had met on LinkedIn, so I was out looking for other avenues to find potential reviewers for my book Milele Safari. A connection on LinkedIn posted in a group I’d joined about this fantastic community – the Rave Reviews Book Club – I went and had a look, liked what I saw and duly joined up!
I got off to a slow start, because at first it was all about the reviews for me – I got stuck into reading the Book of the Month and the 3 other catalog titles that was the quota for the entire year very quickly in the first few weeks. In fact I’m still well ahead of the game as there’s over 100 books I’ve got on Kindle and I’ve reviewed about 70% of them and some of those authors have returned the favour and reviewed my book. However, reviews aren’t the only thing you need to do when you’re a self-published indie author/publisher. There’s that thing called marketing and/or promotion – getting word about your book ‘out there’. This was what I really sucked at! I mostly avoided social networking and popular online communities because a) I’m a pretty private person and b) I was worried about how much incursion it would make on my personal time. Not surprisingly I was finding it very hard to make connections, so after a while I got around to going on Twitter (and Facebook) a little bit using the networking info on the RRBC member areas.
This was when I really started to feel the benefit of being an RRBC member! And how I discovered that the secret to building up a really cracking author platform was to ‘get out there’ myself and support other people, who would, in turn, support me! Here’s the ‘how to’ list… 😉
#1 ~ get out on Twitter more…
… because I really didn’t understand what could possibly be said in 140 characters that was worth saying. I had precisely 28 followers and I’d barely tweeted a thing B-RRBC (before RRBC). Today, a year and a half later, I have 3024 followers and I follow nearly 2500 people, including all of the RRBC membership. The rest are people I’ve met through RRBC members tweeting and blogging with and about me.
Twitter’s kind of the lingua franca of RRBC, where most of the support action goes on – if you want to reap the rewards, you have to be there yourself. And you really CAN say an awful lot in just 140 letters and numbers!
#2 ~ have a presence on Facebook…
I really don’t get Facebook – still. But, when nearly everyone who uses the internet, quite a few of whom shop on online bookstores like Amazon etc, and share their experience and enjoyment with hundreds of millions of other people, doing the same thing on the same social media network… It’s a no-brainer really, isn’t it? If you have a book you want people to talk about then it helps to go to the same place and have your own window onto that marketplace.
B-RRBC I barely went on Facebook though I’d briefly done some private messaging with friends from a roleplay forum, but didn’t like that there were so many people I didn’t know bombarding me with friend requests and ‘likes’. I backed right off until I saw how RRBC members used it to post up their Author Pages away from Amazon and so provided a place for potential readers to visit and find out more about them and their work. I now have a page and a modest ‘fan’ base who’re talking about me to their friends who might one day buy my book. Free publicity is GOOD publicity and you don’t have to do much more that put a page up and reply to people who’re kind enough to drop in.
#3 ~ get my head around profiling promoting and propelling…
Follow the link above…
B-RRBC I didn’t have a clue about how to do this for myself, let alone to support other people, but RRBC have a number of hot seats to profile, promote and propel members who’ve been wholeheartedly giving of themselves to support other members.. Haven’t looked at the link yet? OK I’ll make it easy for you, but go look at the link afterwards if you like what you see?
- Book of the Month (3 every month) – these are selected from the people who have been most supportive of others
- Spotlight Authors (2 a month) – these are selected from the people who have been most supportive of others and profiles the writer and their book(s) on the blog site, all over Twitter, a 7 day blog tour, Rave Waves Bring on the Spotlight radio show interview, Who’s on the Shelf interview with RRBC President, Nonnie Jules and other stuff that you’d have to hand over a not so small wodge of cash to have done for you anywhere else – just for supporting other people
- Member of the Month – if you’ve been über-supportive you’ll get 5 star support back all month, with a full page profile of you and your book(s) and links to your blog and other contacts and to your books
- in fact if you’re really supportive of others (you see the common denominator here now? 😉 ). There are no end of ways in which other RRBC members can help you out, every day, month and year with other tools like the other Rave Waves shows, #PUSHTUESDAY on Twitter and many more fun activities
#4 ~ make a Book Trailer video…
B-RRBC I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a book trailer. Now I make them for myself! Recently we held a Holiday Train Book Trailer Block Party all through December with up to three trailers every day – there are some seriously talented RRBC people out there and it was a blast to see other people’s work so well advertised on YouTube. 😀
#5 ~ use this Blog regularly!
I didn’t have a personal blog until I saw what other members had been doing to raise their own profile or ‘brand’ and also – how to support and promote other writers… ya-dee… ya-dee… ya-dah! We had a month-long Back to School Book Blog Block Party for that too, at the end of summer – that was great fun as we gave away prizes for people who called in to see us and some of them even bought our books without winning it as a prize!
WHETHER YOU’RE AN INDIE WRITER/PUBLISHER OR JUST SOMEONE WHO ENJOYS A GREAT READ – JOINING RRBC COULD HELP YOU DO THINGS YOU COULDN’T DO TOO – AND MAKE LOTS OF FRIENDS DOING IT!