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Anne R. Allen's Blog

...WITH RUTH HARRIS

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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."


Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Secret to Publishing Success in the Era of Social Media: Teaming with Your Fellow Authors


by Anne R. Allen


Jon Stewart said on the Daily Show on August 27, (with heavy irony, of course) "Everybody uses Social Media as a weapon; that's what it's for."

He was, as usual, uttering spot-on truth disguised as a joke. Lots of people DO seem to use social media as a weapon, whether it's to shame an ex, brag about themselves, gang up on a perceived miscreant, or bully people into action.

But that's not how to use social media if you want to succeed in publishing.

As I have said before, social media should be used for making friends, not direct marketing, bullying, or personal horn-tooting. (A little tooting is okay, but make sure it's sandwiched between lots of helpful stuff.)

I think writers should be making friends with other writers, not just the people they perceive to be their "target reader demographic" (although that is always wise as well.)

This may be the opposite of what you're hearing from some marketing gurus, but hear me out—

I'm not telling you to MARKET to other writers. That's pointless, annoying, and a great way to make enemies.

NOTE: NEVER market through a personal Direct Message or an @ message, ever. And anybody who spams my email with a newsletter I never subscribed to: I WILL remember you. And not in a good way. (I'm sure the spammers don't read this blog. They probably skim my info from FB groups or Goodreads. Do not do this.)

But writer friends can be helpful to you in a lot of more important ways than as one-time customers for a book. 

So get out and meet them. Especially authors in your own genre. Other writers aren't your rivals; they're your colleagues.

I see a lot of pre-published writers talking trash about the stars of their genre, giving them rotten reviews or making disparaging remarks on forums. Oddly, this seems especially true of literary writers, as Stephen Almond wrote recently in Poets and Writers , but I see it in all genres. This is old-school thinking that can backfire, big time.

When you trash superstars, you're also trashing all their fans. That's a whole lot of your potential readers you've just alienated.

Some authors even try to knock another writer off the spot ahead of them on the bestseller list, as if selling books were a contest or a "reality" TV show.

There was a huge scandal a few years ago when a bestselling trad-pubbed author was caught leaving sock-puppet one-star reviews on "rival" authors' books. He seemed to think that by bringing down other authors' books, he would get more readers of his own.

That either/or thinking is ridiculous. If somebody liked one military thriller, they're likely to buy another. They're not going to read one and say, "Okay, I'm done with thrillers. Now I'll go buy me some chick lit."

In response to a recent nasty bit of bullying of an established author by a vicious plagiarist using sock puppets, David Farland wrote a list of "Standards of Excellence for Writers" that's worth a read.

In the era of social media, other writers can contribute a lot to your own marketing, so play nice.

One caveat: There are ways authors should NOT team up for marketing purposes. Beware "author rings" that trade reviews! It's against Amazon's TOS and can get you kicked off the site for life. It is also unethical. As David Farland says, "many people are getting positive reviews by giving positive reviews. I’ve seen them swapping openly on Facebook. This is just as illegal as buying reviews any other way, and it’s just as bad."

But there are lots of ethical ways to team up for book promotion. Here are some:

1) Guest Blogging


I first met Ruth Harris when she made a comment on this blog and I recognized her as a favorite author. I immediately asked her to guest. When I saw she didn't have her own blog yet, I asked her to make her contribution permanent.

I know this blog wouldn't have the success it's enjoying now if I'd tried to do this all on my own. Partnering with a seasoned, bestselling author who also worked behind the scenes at several Big Five houses has made this blog what it is.

When I needed guest posters this summer, I looked for other bloggers who appeal to our readers. Those bloggers almost all have "how to write" and "how to blog" books: books that could be seen as competition for my book HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE.

So do I treat them as rivals? Nope. I invited the authors of HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL, BLOG IT, and PLANNING YOUR NOVEL, to guest for us.

That meant that fans of Janice Hardy, Nathan Bransford, and Molly Greene came over here and discovered this blog. And Janice, Nathan and Molly got introduced to this blog's audience.

We all grew our subscriber lists and increased our book sales.

2) Spotlights and Interviews


I will always be grateful to the many, many author-bloggers who have interviewed me and spotlighted my books. Not all of them are published yet, but they all have valuable blogs that are read by people I want to tell about my books.

And when they are published, you can be sure I'll remember them and do what I can to help their careers.

One interview came up in a Google search a year later and got my book NO PLACE LIKE HOME noticed by the features editor of More magazine, which led to an interview that has done a huge amount to raise my profile with my target readers who may NOT be on social media.

3) Tweeting and sharing book news and blogposts.


If I love another author's books and see they're on sale, I will spread the word on social media. I also always tweet a link to a good blogpost.

And smart authors do the same, no matter how high up they are on the food chain.

Superstar Anne Rice shared a link to this blog on her FB page last week. I haven't read one of her books since Interview with the Vampire. But now, I just may pick up her new LeStat book…

So many of you are wonderful about tweeting and sharing this blog. I know who you are. I stop by your blogs when I have time, and tweet and share them too. And when you get book deals or publish a book, I'll spread the word.

4) Forming a multi-author joint blog, collective or even your own publishing house.


Some of the highest profile writing blogs, like Writer Unboxed, began as joint-author blogs of just two or three aspiring authors. As their careers grow, so do their blogs. Sometimes authors in the same genre who blog together will also join up for an anthology or boxed set, like the Embracing Romance group, who plan a Valentine's historical anthology.

We ran a piece about the international publishing collective Triskele last year. Banding together for cover design, formatting and marketing has worked very well for this group of hardworking, successful authors.

Two veteran trad-pubbed authors who have gone indie made news last week by forming their own crime fiction publishing house, Brash Books

5) Joint Promotions


This is a biggie.

In his bestselling book on marketing, LET'S GET VISIBLE, David Gaughran says the best forms of ebook promotion are:

1. A sale promoted through a bargain newsletter like BookBub, ENT, KNT, EBUK, Fussy Librarian etc.

2. A guest post on a major blog

3. A joint promotion.

#1 can be a gamble—sometimes an expensive one—but #2 and #3 simply involve getting together with your friends you've met on social media. You can put together a joint promotion with dozens of other authors, or just two or three.

It can be an anthology, a multi-author sale, or a boxed set. 

Anthologies


Authors have discovered that if they band together with other authors in their genre, they can offer a sampler that expands readership exponentially.

The first joint promotion I was involved with was the super-successful INDIE CHICKS ANTHOLOGY. Twenty-five women writers contributed short essays about their publishing journeys, and we all included a sample from one of our books that linked to the buy page for the complete novel.

The anthology came out when I was going through my grueling launch-five-novels-in-three months marathon three years ago. I was a little out of my depth, but they were all so kind that many of the "Chicks" have become permanent friends. I know the anthology had a lot to do with my initial success when I re-started my career. 

Multi-Author Sales


My books first started to hit the bestseller lists when I did a joint promo with nine other Rom-Com authors I met in a Chick Lit Facebook group. We all chipped in for an ad and ran 99c sales on our books for a holiday weekend. We all brought in our own fans and they got to know the other writers' work.

We were very lucky to have a tech-savvy member who put up a landing page for us. It linked to our websites and buy pages. We all promoted it on our own social media pages and it was simple and very effective.

Boxed Sets


The joint promo that's having the most spectacular success right now is the limited edition multi-author boxed set.

A nice benefit of ebooks is they can be easily bundled so a set of multiple novels that is as easy to deliver to your ereader as one book. That means boxed sets of complete novels can be sold a give-away prices (they're usually only offered for a limited time.)

Some of the biggest names in indie publishing have collaborated in boxed sets that have made the NYT and USA Today bestseller lists, like the Deadly Dozen that featured some of the biggest names in indie publishing and made the NYT bestseller list. Now every one of those authors can put "NYT Bestseller' on their Web pages and they've all gained thousands of new readers.

For more on boxed sets, there's a great post by Jason Kong at The Book Designer blog, and another by James Moushon at the E-Book Author's Corner.

And I'm very honored to announce that I was invited to join five bestselling comic mystery authors in the SIX PACK OF SLEUTHS boxed set that debuted this month. I'm in awe of all these fantastic authors. Dani Amore/Dan Ames, who's a veteran of this kind of promo, is a big fan of the boxed set. He says they're great because "an author can receive a lot of exposure for little invested money."

More on our boxed set below.

So play nice with your fellow authors. Don't spam or trash-talk. Make friends. It's amazing how being helpful and friendly can have a great influence on your bottom line.


What about you, Scriveners? Have you ever collaborated with other authors on an anthology, joint sale, multi-author blog, or boxed set? Have you collaborated in some other way? What was your experience? Have you ever bought a multi-author boxed set? 


BOOKS OF THE WEEK


SIT BACK AND CRACK OPEN A KILLER SIX PACK 
* * LIMITED TIME OFFER * * 
99c!!!

Six Award Winning Bestselling Authors bring you a Six Pack of Sleuths DEATH BY SARCASM by Dan Ames writing as Dani Amore MIAMI MUMMIES by Barbara Silkstone THE PERFECT WEDDING by Sibel Hodge, SADIE’S GUIDE TO CATCHING KILLERS by Zané Sachs (the demented alter-ego of author, Suzanne Tyrpak) BEING LIGHT by Helen Smith, FOOD OF LOVE, by Anne R. Allen



Six Pack of Sleuths is available from:


all the Amazons

Happy Reading!
This set is featured on Kindle Books and Tips

OPPORTUNITY ALERTS


The Central Coast Writers Conference One of the best deals around in a weekend writer's conference. And it's held on the Cuesta College campus in beautiful San Luis Obispo, CA. Mystery writer legend Anne Perry is the keynote speaker. See you there! September 19th-20th

SCHNEIDER FAMILY BOOK AWARDS: NO ENTRY FEE. These awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three awards of $5000 each will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction. Deadline December 1, 2014. 

For NEW WRITERS! THE FICTION DESK NEWCOMER'S PRIZE ENTRY FEE £8. First prize £500, second prize £250. Short fiction from 1,000 - 5,000 words. Writers should not have been previously published by The Fiction Desk, and should not have published a novel or collection of short stories in printed form. Deadline October 31st.

GLIMMER TRAIN VERY SHORT FICTION AWARD $15 fee. Maximum length: 3,000 words. 1st place wins $1,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue. 2nd place wins $500 (or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies). 3rd place wins $300 (or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies). Deadline October 31, 2014. 

CHICKEN SOUP - HEARTFELT STORIES BY MOMS Pays $200 for 1,200 words. Stories can deal with the pains and highlights of motherhood, the wonders of parenting grandchildren, special moments of raising a newborn, being a role model to a teenager, or anything that touches the heart of a mom. Deadline September 30th.

Steamy Romance Anthology. No Fee. Fast Foreword is open for submissions for their "Holiday Hot Romance Anthology" Holiday-themed steamy romance or erotica. 3,000-8,000 words long. If the work has been published elsewhere, you must include bibliographic information and hold all publication rights. Deadline September 20th.

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56 Comments:

Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations on the book package! I'm seeing a lot of authors do that now. Joint promotions are great for everyone involved.
I've contributed to three anthologies and really hope the IWSG anthology that's coming up will have an impact on all the writers who contribute as well as the website itself.

September 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Excellent post! Lovelovelove your anthology. Great title and cover + some of the best writers out there. Not to forget a super fab bargain for readers!

September 14, 2014 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Alex--I didn't know IWSG has an anthology. Let me know when it comes out so we can give it a plug. Very smart move to raise the profile of the group and all its members!! Congrats.

September 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Ruth--That's the best part--these are such an incredible deal for readers. They get six full-length books for a few cents a piece. And I get to be read by the fans of all these bestselling authors. I truly am honored to be included!

September 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Sibel Hodge said...

So happy to be part of the boxed set with such amazing authors! And a super bargain at only $0.99! <3 :) xx

September 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Barbara Silkstone said...

Thank you, Anne. It's super to be boxed in with five great authors. I love your blog. So informative.

September 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Donna Fasano said...

I love multi-author anthologies. It allows me to find new authors to love and save money at the same time. :)

September 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger CS Perryess said...

Excellent.
Also, association with fellow authors helps published authors in many of the ways it helps aspiring authors -- we learn from one another, attend one another's workshops, pull together as friends, AND because we know a heap of quality authors, we get to read all kinds of compelling stories. Thanks for another fine post.

September 14, 2014 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Sibel--Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm a big fan!

September 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Barbara--I can't thank you enough for inviting me to join the "six-pack". You're one of the funniest writers I know!

September 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Donna--That's the great thing about anthologies and boxed sets--readers get to know so many new authors. And at a bargain! Thanks for stopping by.I'm so honored to be in a collection with a USA Today bestseller!

You do so much to help your fellow authors with your Awesome Romance blog.

September 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

CS--Whether we're published yet or not, writers on any part of their publishing journey have so much to teach each other. Not just for promotions, but, as you say, for critiquing and workshops and just plain moral support. PLUS we get to read great books. I've just started on the six pack myself and I have such great reading ahead. All practically free!

September 14, 2014 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Linda Maye Adams said...

Not talking trash about other books includes on writing message boards. Before I got off all the boards I was on, every time a particular couple of books came up, hatred just spewed out from the writers who stated things like they didn't understand how the books were so successful when they were so (fill in the blank). Newsflash: It just sounds like sour grapes. Even that business from a professional writer who told a hugely successful writer to "step aside" so others could have a chance had the same flavor, and it's not appealing and only highlights the inexperience of the people commenting. If someone thinks writing is all about the words, they have a long ways to go.

September 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Linda--You're so right! Forums and writers' boards are where I see the worst offenders. Wannabes seem to think trashing bestsellers makes them sound smart. Like it will somehow make them look "better" than Dan Brown or James Patterson or J.K. Rowling to make disparaging remarks about them.

Saying nasty things about people doesn't make you better than them. It just makes you ruder.

And thanks for the reminder of that idiot who told JK Rowling to step aside and make room for newer writers. JK Rowling personally created more readers than any other author alive. We should all be erecting altars to her, not trashing her.

You're also right that in the era of social media, a writer's character is as important as the words on the page. You can destroy a career in minutes by being a jerk.

September 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Helen Smith said...

Great advice in your post, as always. I'm delighted to be included in Six Pack of Sleuths. Thanks for mentioning it here.

September 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Helen--I'm so honored to be in this boxed set with you! I see you're going to be on a panel at Bouchercon in November, with Melodie Campbell. She's one of my favorite funny people. What a blast! Maybe I'll try to make it down there. I'm on the Central Coast of CA so it's not so far away.

September 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your boxed set. I'm seeing more authors do this or to do book signings as a group. It's great to band together to help each other.

All your advice is so right on. Another thing that is good to do is not just market your book to your group of friends who already support you and probably have the same group of blogger friends as you. It's good to expand out and become friends with book review bloggers too and expand the audience you're promoting to.

September 14, 2014 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Gay Degani said...

Love the idea of a "boxed" set. Yours looks fantastic. Comedy and mystery, what's not to like?

Also about becoming a part of community as a writer, this is so essential for building a professional reputation, learning from others, and having a support system. I don't think I would be writing if it weren't for my online community. I believe in the golden rule of doing unto others and doing it without expectation, because frankly, you never know who out there in the ether will fall in love with your work or what they might do to help you along. It's amazing to me how few people really every seem to be resentful or jealous. Maybe we're more careful when we have time to measure our words.

I've gone into this whole "career" assuming most people feel the same and it's been a terrific experience.

September 14, 2014 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Julie Valerie said...

Just bought Six Pack of Sleuths. So excited to read them - feels like Christmas came early this year!

September 14, 2014 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger B.R. Marsten said...

A really wonderful post full of good information. Thank you for sharing. I've just recently tossed my hat into the self-publishing game, and everything you had to say is very true. Social Media has been a great way to market myself, but in a friendly, open way. And more importantly, you get in contact with the people reading your work; and learn firsthand what they like - or don't like- about the projects you're doing. Support is the one thing every writer needs when starting out, and Social Media lets you build an audience and a list of friends to cheer you on. I'm following you blog NOW! So happy to have found it. =)

September 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Natalie--After I hit "publish" I realized I meant to add some other joint blogs that have become very successful, like your 'Literary Rambles" with Casey McCormack. It s a great resource for YA writers.

Absolutely: don't market to authors, especially the same circle of authors who are all marketing to each other! Big. Waste. Of. Time. (And annoying.)

Great point that book bloggers are a wonderful resource. And treat them as friends, not minions (which unfortunately some publicists do.) And read their blogs!

September 14, 2014 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Gay--It really is a great set, if I do say so. I've just started reading it, and every book looks hilarious.

Community is the operative word here. For emotional support as well as teaming up for marketing.

If you approach people in an open, friendly way, you tend to attract people who are similar. I think you're right that most people in this business are generous and friendly. That may be why the nasty ones are news. :-)

September 14, 2014 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Julie--Thanks for buying and sharing! I'm pretty excited about reading it myself!

September 14, 2014 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

B.R.--Welcome! Congrats on jumping into the publishing world. Social Media is for making friends. When you're friends with somebody, you're much more likely to pay attention to their books. And we do need support in many ways. This can be a lonely business, but it doesn't have to be in the era of social media. Thanks for following!

September 14, 2014 at 2:17 PM  
OpenID jacquelincangro said...

Steve Almond's article in Poets & Writers Magazine really resonated with me. He makes so many insightful points about why writers (and the general public) seem to feel the need to post negative comments and reviews online. Perhaps it really all comes down to insecurity as he says.

These are great tips for positive ways to get word out about a book, Anne. I'm seeing more and more multi-book offers.

September 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM  
OpenID mmjustus said...

Articles like this make me wish I wasn't so intimidated about approaching other authors, and had a clue about how to go about it. I'm active in social media, but so far I really don't feel like I've connected with other writers in a meaningful way, and I don't know what specifically that I'm doing wrong.

September 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Jacqueline--It resonated with me too.

I observed this in the theater, too. Mediocre actors who were only getting walk-on roles would always savage the performances of the leads. Sour grapes.

With creative writing students, I think their profs may even encourage it. These are people who are teaching instead of writing, and bitterness may seep in when they see genre writers making a living.

September 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

MM--The best thing do to is just what you're doing. Comment on blogs. If you see a comment you like, go comment on that person's blog, too--and let them know you liked their comment. Another great way to get to know writers is Facebook groups. Try Tom Winton's Author's supporting Authors. I think that's still an open group. Lots of great info there and people are friendly. And check out Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group. Just click on his name on his comment above. He has a wonderful community centered on his blog.

September 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Jacqueline--Sorry. Blogger thwarted me again. Your reply is below this, after mmjustus's comment.

September 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger florence cronin said...

How wonderful, Anne. You've done it again. Giving readings great stories and giving all of us great advice. Most of my networking has been to find likened souls to share the angst of being in the beginning stages, but I have enjoyed linking to multi-published writers. I have learned so much from their example and my work is so much better because of their feedback.

Keep these great posts coming. You know I love them and you :)

September 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Florence--I'm so glad you've found a way to post on Blogger. I remember the Blogger elves used to try to mark you as spam all the time. At least they're over that stage.

The great thing about social media is that you can connect with other writers at all stages of their careers. I love that I can chat with new writers and superstars and we all treat each other as equals.

September 14, 2014 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Kayelle Allen said...

I've practiced this since I started wriitng, and it's proven itself true many times. No one reads books by just one author. We can't write fast enough to keep a person in books for life, so it makes sense to collaborate. If my readers know I'm not just a good writer but also a writer who tells them who the other good writers are, they will come back to me. Thanks for putting this in such a clear and interesting way. I suggest Marketing for Romance Writers for those looking for good places to practice this concept. It's a free service that promotes its members.

September 14, 2014 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Anne OConnell said...

Hi Anne,
As always, this post is Golden! I agree wholeheartedly about networking and collaborating with other writers. I compare it to the dating advice so many people gave me many years ago that you can never meet a 'nice guy' in a bar. Well, I'm in the bar, aren't I? And, I'm a nice person. I ignored the advice, met my husband in a bar and we've been together now for 24 years :) By the same token, I'm an author and, guess what? I read! Imagine that! I love supporting other indie authors and have discovered some great reads by engaging on social media. You don't have to 'market' to fellow authors... it happens naturally as you get to know one another. By the way, I had to hop off just now and get the Indie Chicks Anthology! Can't wait to read it.

Thanks for another great post!
Anne

September 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM  
OpenID paulfahey said...

Anne, I'm definitely in when it comes to teamwork.In my other life as an educator, the main criterion for hiring someone new at our edu clinic was whether we thought this person was a team player. So I guess I come by this share and share alike philosophy pretty naturally. I really enjoy sharing posts about an author's new book or an interesting guest post or a good review or joining in for a multi-author panel or event. It's loads of fun and the refreshments are mighty good as well. :) Wonderful post and it goes without saying that I will share. Oops. I just said it. Now I'll say it again on FB and Tweet. Brava!

September 14, 2014 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Kayelle--That is so true. Nobody who reads sticks with one author. That would be so miserable! Readers are omnivorous. And having a reputation as a trustworthy person is as important for a writer as having good writing skills. I don't know Marketing for Romance Writers, but I sure will check it out!

September 14, 2014 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Anne--How cool to hear from somebody who actually met a nice guy in a bar! And yes, the advice not to spend your time befriending other authors is silly. Your fellow authors are your co-workers. You shouldn't be treating everybody you meet as a "mark". Glad to hear you're going to check out "Indie Chicks"! We sure had fun with that anthology!

September 14, 2014 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Paul--Running a literary magazine like Mindprints would certainly have been a lesson in teamwork! Sharing is the name of the game in this business. People who don't know that get left behind. Thanks much!

September 14, 2014 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Zane Sachs said...

Great post, Anne. I'm so honored to be part of the boxed set. It's been great meeting so many wonderful and supportive fellow writers through the Internet ... can't wait to meet some of my cyber friends on solid ground.

September 15, 2014 at 8:37 AM  
OpenID paulfahey said...

MIndprints, A Literary Journal. Yes, everyone pitched in. Great example of what you're talking about here. How did I forget that? Senior moment for sure. Thanks for reminding me, Anne.

September 15, 2014 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Jan Ryder said...

Adding my congratulations for your boxed set, Anne. Good luck with it. :)

September 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Zane--Me too. And I can't wait to read your brand new novel--the only one written exclusively for the six-pack! It would be great to meet in person, wouldn't it?

September 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Jan--Thanks! The set is climbing the charts! It's such a great deal.

September 15, 2014 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Phyllis Humphrey said...

Anne: Thanks for another post with great help for writers. Although I read your book FOOD OF LOVE ages ago I'm going to order the anthology and look forward to many hours of great reads.

September 15, 2014 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Phyllis--Good idea. I've actually read two (well, I wrote one) but it's STILL a bargain., because these are full length books (Also this is a very different version of Food of Love--re-edited this summer. Much shorter and snappier.)

September 15, 2014 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Collette Cameron said...

I really need to start a notebook to keep all this great stuff, Anne!

September 15, 2014 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Collette--Thanks! Maybe I'll have to start putting this stuff together into a few ebooks! That's what my publisher keeps telling me.

September 15, 2014 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Terry Tyler said...

So agree with this. It's why that awful Roundteam app method of using Twitter doesn't work. I think that (unless your book is one of those that just 'hits' straight away), marketing is a slow, drip drip drip sort of thing, that happens when you get featured on others' blogs, get tweeted by other people, etc. That happens because you've made the effort to get to know other writers, not because you've asked to be featured on their blogs! I am happy to say I have never come across the bitchy side of the self-publishing industry, but I know people who have - it seems to be particularly prevalent amongst some genres, which is interesting. Marvellous post, as always.

September 16, 2014 at 1:08 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

This comment came via email from Aya Walksfar:

I always find interesting information on your blog. Thank you, again, for this post. I am still working on finding fellow writers and making those valuable connections, but I keep working. As you point out, writers are not our enemies. Writers read. I know I read voraciously. If I run out of reading material, I read the cereal box! I love helping other authors. I look for authors who write about women in a positive light. That's the way my protagonists are: women who rock their worlds. The books I read range from non-fiction to all genres of fiction except erotica and religious books. Writers have been my "best friends" since early childhood.

http://ayawalksfar.com

September 16, 2014 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Terry--I'm not aware of Roundteam on Twitter, but that's probably because I avoid all automated stuff for social media. And you are so right that marketing is "drip, drip, drip" not rocket-launching. And you do it by making friends. So much book marketing is more like panhandling strangers.

And I think the most egregious examples of rivalry among authors comes in the traditionally published sector, not self-publishers. All the nastiest sock puppet scandals seem to come from the trad-pubs. They may have been egged on by marketing departments who approach social media as a battleground, not a social gathering.

September 16, 2014 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Aya--Thanks for jumping through the hoops. Writers do need to stick together. Since you have a gmail account, Google *should* accept a Google ID to comment here. But if you have a Wordpress ID and tried to sign in with that url, they may have refused to acknowlege you.

This is one of the nasty ways big tech tyrannizes us, but nobody talks about. Google blocks people with Wordpress IDs, since it sees Wordpress as a "rival". It also blocks all communications from Amazon to my gmail account, because it seems Amazon as a "rival" too. All of this is so infantile and yet we are controlled by it.

This makes me furious. I'll be blogging about it next month.

Meanwhile, emailing a comment helps to fight the abuse, so many thanks!

Collaboration, not rivalry is the way to survive in the e-age. Evolve, not devolve. Now if only the tech companies would get the message. :-)

September 16, 2014 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Debby Gies said...

I love this blog and the great info that is always packed into each week! Great food for thought!

September 16, 2014 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Debby--Thanks much for stopping by!

September 16, 2014 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Julie Musil said...

I'm so naive. I honestly can't imagine authors hurting one another on purpose. *sigh*

I'm soooo uncomfortable promoting my own books, and I know that hurts me. But I'd much rather help other authors. Not only by sharing word about their books, but hosting them on my blog and helping them gain exposure by sharing valuable information.

I've been hearing a lot about boxed sets with other authors. That's a cool concept that seems to be a win/win.

Thanks, Anne!

September 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Julie--Social media gave me a crash course in the nastiness of some writers. I'd only been published three months when I started getting death threats from the psycho clique on GR because somebody didn't like my blog. I do not understand these people. All I can say is I sincerely hope they find another line of work that makes them happier. Obviously they're miserable in the publishing business.

Kind, polite people feel shy about tooting our own horns, which puts us at a disadvantage, but tooting horns for others feels right. And in the end, it may be the best marketing you can do for yourself, too.

The boxed set is fabulous. I hit #150 in mystery authors on Amazon last night--all thanks to the boxed set. I don't know what it means, but it felt like success--at least for a night!

September 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

Yes! I actually came to figure out if it should be 'secrets TO success,' of 'secrets OF success.' Obviously I have a long way to go.

That aside, I found this an interesting read, especially the 'how to promote an anthology' section.

Best of luck.

January 31, 2015 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Maddy--My mother was a grammarian perfectionist and she didn't like the phrase "secret to". She preferred "secret of", but I think "secret of" works better when it is a secret belonging to a person or place. Like "The Secret of Nimh". I think "to" works if you use "secret' in the sense of the secret being a key or a map. Lots of writers do use it this way, even in the New York Times, which used to drive my mom bonkers. :-)

January 31, 2015 at 10:23 AM  

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