Who inspired you to complete your novel and publish?
Carol Ann Ross, author of The Days of Hairawn Muhly, was offering a writing class/forum that I attended - hoping for a little creative me time. One of our assignments was a "What if?" scenario. I used a real life experience and added a twist here and there. As a child, I was afraid of my shadow. I really thought it was trying to get me. I'm sure you can see where this is going. What if my shadow had been trying.... Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not was born from that exercise. The women in the writing group offered a support system that differed from my family and friends. I think it was their encouragement that fanned the flame so to speak.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors regarding the publishing and marketing process?
Marketing is work, hard work. If you choose to self publish, you take on the responsibility of selling your book. I think it's important to think outside of the box. Don't limit yourself to having a book signing at your local library or bookstore. Think about your target audience. Your book signing might be better received at a restaurant, a sporting goods store, or in conjunction with a lingerie party. Social media is also a must. Enlist your family and friends to share posts from your facebook author page. When I promoted my first book signing - friends and family shared the posts. My page reach more than doubled.
At the present time, I am scheduling virtual book tours. There are a variety of tours to choose from and they are very affordable. I am also in the process of asking a Goodreads community to review my novel. Why? Because reviews are a must. Let me assure you, I have people tell me how wonderful my story is and while that's great to hear, it's not getting the word out to a potential reader in Any Town, USA. That's because these same people aren't posting reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. So - go where reviewers are - offer a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. (A mobi file isn't costing you a thing to give away)
What would you tell authors to "Start Now" concerning social media?
G+ communities and facebook communities are great! There are communities for different genres, for marketing, etc. It really is important to be a good neighbor. No one much interacts with the ME! people. If you take the time to read someone else's post, offer a comment, a +1 or a "like" - others will notice and respond when you post a link to your blog - hopefully by adding you to their circles or liking your author page. All this leads to strengthening your online presence.
We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson's Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.