Tuesday, 23 April 2013

How to Get the Word Out

Part of my job, as an author, is to talk about my books and get the word out about my books and generally find ways to make readers aware of my books. Of course, there's a polite way to do this and there's an obnoxious way to do this. No one wants to listen to the person who does nothing but tweet their book release date or quotes from their book and NOTHING ELSE.

So in this post, I'm going to touch briefly on what I personally feel are the most effective ways of getting the word out (online). I'm basing this not just on my own efforts but mostly on the methods other authors have used that have successfully caught my attention and, more importantly, my interest. I'm going to keep it short and sweet because I think most of these are self-explanatory.

1. Contests and/or giveaways
I think human beings have an innate competitive streak. Also an innate fondness for goodies. Free stuff is always a winner. I've entered a giveaway in the past and gone on to explore the author's other work.

2. Glimpses into the process
Interesting, funny and honest peeks into the process of writing a book or working on a character always get me interested. And if the glimpse is particularly cool or funny, I will remember the author and the book.

3. Blogging
Fairly obvious, I suppose. But I think blogs also have to be fun places to be. If a blog reader enjoys coming back again and again to read your posts, chances are they'll think they will enjoy your books too. I know I do.

4. Tweets or posts about popular things
This isn't actually about self-promotion, nor should it be, but I often find I remember tweets and authors who talk about things I love - or hate!

And me? What's my favourite way of getting the word out about my stuff? Well, I just shamelessly post cute photos like this one...

Writers, how do you get the word out? Readers, what captures your attention best?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

9 Weeks of Reading

As promised last week, this post is going to be devoted to the books I read (and loved) while the Internet was away with the fairies. There's not actually as many as I thought there were, mostly because an awful lot of the books I read haven't made this list; I'm not going to list the books I didn't like or didn't finish.

So in no particular order...

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I love this book and nothing I say could adequately describe how I feel about it, so I'm just going to leave it at: clever, startling, heartbreaking.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
This is quite a dark book in some ways, and quite a sad book in others, but I spent most of it laughing out loud because Sarah Rees Brennan is just so. Very. Funny.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This wasn't the first time I read it, but I loved it all over again. Definitely a book full of awful things and really sad bits, but also all the warm fuzzies.

Forever Princess by Meg Cabot
It'd been years since I read a Princess Diaries book and it suddenly occurred to me that I never found out how it all ended! So I went and got it. Awww. It ended just the way I would have liked it to!

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Weird as anything, but also weirdly addictive. I couldn't stop. I had to know!

Chime by Franny Billingsley
I love this book so much. It's dark and magical and twisty and features a complicated heroine I absolutely adore.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
I couldn't put this down. It's another dark, twisty story and incredibly sad in parts. But it's also incredibly hopeful and ends with a lovely sense that the wrongs things have been put right.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I know, I know. Why did it take me so long? I wouldn't say I totally and absolutely loved it, because more often than not I was either a little lost with all the sciencey stuff or my wimpy little heart was breaking for how tiny these children were and how much Ender loved Valentine and all that, BUT. That. Twist. Is. Awesome.

ACID by Emma Pass
I can't actually remember if I read this right before the Great Internet Black Hole or during, but either way: it's an action-packed thriller. Normally I don't even like action-packed thrillers, but I couldn't stop reading this. I had to know how it would end. I had to know what would happen. I also love Emma's writing style.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I would have expected nothing less from the author who broke my heart twice with If I Stay and Where She Went. This is less devastating, but is nevertheless romantic and sweet and sad.

There we go! I'm sure I've left something out and forgotten about something else, but oh well. Have you read any of these books? Do you have any favourite recent reads to recommend?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Five Random Things for March and Aprll

(YES! I'm back!)

1. WE HAVE INTERNET! We cancelled the old service and got a new one wired in and now it's up. I can't begin to tell you how happy this makes me. Now I work properly, I can stream stuff again, I can connect my iPad to the network and sync the notes I make there, I can use Skype or FaceTime on a decent-sized screen, I can play songs on repeat on Youtube, basically THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER.

2. The IPL is back. I hate it. Unfortunately my husband, brother and baby love it. Which is means it's on TV all. The. Bloody. Time.

3. Snow. Snow in April. Wtf?

4. BOOKS! Without the internet, I've had more time to read and have read some pretty awesome stuff in the last couple months. I'll post a proper list of the best ones next week, but for now my favourite new reads include the tenth Princess Diaries book (by Meg Cabot. I used the love the others when I was much younger, but somehow never got round to finishing the series), Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (clever and heartbreaking) and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (I love that it's set in England and it's so, so funny).

5. My book. I've been writing my New Thing for something like four months now and I am still so very much in love with it. Whether my agent will love it too, however, is another question... but we'll see. Word count: 81k. I probably have another 25-30k to go.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week! What have you been up to lately? Read anything good?