I love the word “Serendipity” 🙂 Especially on days that are just that – serendipitous! And, yes, it is wine upon my lips. Regular visitors here may know that I’m switching focus on this blog from being my prime author blog, to one solely of author support, particularly for Rave Review Book Club (RRBC) members.
So, back to serendipity and today. I’d forgotten that today was an RRBC Blog Recruitment day (I really shouldn’t have, as keeping the club’s diary is part of my regular governing board duties) so I’d have been tweeting a lot about the many joys of belonging to the club all day, anyway. However! Tomorrow (my RRBC day off) I’m going to be busy with getting stuff ready for my blog tour with club president, Nonnie Jules promo group 4WillsPublishing Author Services, for the launch of my new book A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac, UNDER MY NEW PEN NAME of SIÂN GLIRDAN… which starts this Sunday! Serendipitous, see – because I didn’t plan for it to work out that way, it just did.
However, the reason it’s so fortunate is mostly down to my making a snap decision, on a whim, in the late Spring of 2014 to join RRBC, mostly because of the reviews aspect, as my debut novel, Milele Safari a kind of ‘marmite’ book (you’ll either love it or hate it!), was struggling to get those all important ranking numbers on Amazon… The other reason was because the LinkedIn invite I’d received also mentioned how it was a great support network for marketing and promotion. For me, although that wasn’t the main attraction at the time, it was the thing I most needed help with, because I truly didn’t have a clue on how to go about that side of things. In fact it’s something I really didn’t want to do at all, being such an intractable social recluse that the mere thought of any ‘public’ exposure scared the pants off me! I tried to tell myself it wasn’t about the money for me, so marketing didn’t matter, and it was enough to have the book ‘out there’ for people to read. That’s when disillusionment set in, because I’d written a book with a ‘message’ that I’d put a lot of myself into and, naturally, I DID want people to read it very much indeed! And of course, if I wasn’t out there telling people about it, who else would – after all, even bestselling authors with agents and full publishing house back-up had to do book signings and interviews to publicise their latest tome.
I joined RRBC for the reviews and stayed for the camaraderie and support, particularly on social media, which I still really struggle with at times. My ‘Damascus’ moment came when I joined the TWEET SUPPORT TEAM and found that I really enjoyed using it to shout out RRBC member handles twice a week. Even though I’d been on Twitter for about 2 years previously I only had the grand total of 28 followers. Today I have 4700 – and that’s with me being ultra picky about who I follow back. Not all those followers are, or have been RRBC members, but I’m certain that most of them have heard of me through belonging to a network of nearly 500 members, all working together to support and propel their fellow club members in a variety of ways.
If you’ve been clicking on the RRBC links this far, you’ll have seen a small sample of what goes on at RRBC already. What’s my favourite thing to do then, I hear you ask? OK – I’m currently addicted to our BlogTalkRadio RAVE WAVES shows! One of my duties is acting as sponsor scheduler for the 8 shows that we run each month, but I mainly got this gig through being really active at tweeting into every show I can, and joining in with the interviews our club presenters have with various club members, who have all been given a brilliant opportunity to come on and talk about themselves, their writing, and of course, their books. Each show has it’s own character and the hosts are great at getting you feeling at home. So much so that even I managed to get over my anti-social ways and extremely croaky voice, to be a guest on Beyond the Cover and Bring On The Spotlight (see the side bar for links as well). Now that is something I would never have dreamt of being able to do as an indie author, but the opportunity to have the experience of having a bona fide media interview was something I just couldn’t pass up, no matter how awful I thought I was going to sound! Actually somebody said I sounded like the Queen, so that’s also good for the old self-confidence as well… 😉
So, as you can tell, far from being a social media wallflower still, I’m now doing OK at putting myself, and my work, ‘out there’. None of that would have been possible without joining RRBC – and I probably wouldn’t have had around 70% of my reviews for Milele Safari on Amazon either. Or started up this blog! 😀
As I was saying earlier, this blog has become one of my main ways of supporting other authors (some of whom don’t belong to RRBC, but not from lack of nagging on my part) with reviews of their books, and hosting them on blog tours or promotional articles. If you want to see my new author page for SIÂN GLIRDAN I’d love to see you over there, as it’s definitely going to be all about me, Me, ME – and my fantasy repertoire – which is where I’m most comfortable writing, and why the book, A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac is so named! See – anyone can learn how to PROFILE, PROMOTE & PROPEL and that’s why I say that RRBC gives great soup for the writer’s soul and is THE best book community on the planet! 😀