This is something you can’t buy or plan for. You can only hope that it spreads. It may start gradual and move so slowly that you have no idea that anything is happening at all. You may catch a whisper every now and then, but that’s it.
I’m talking about word of mouth. Nicole referred to herself as my “book pimp friend.” Of her own volition, she has blogged about my books and offered giveaways at her expense. Sharon has nominated Dear Sir, I’m Yours for best erotic romance of 2009 on Beth Kery’s blog. Pearl, Marissa, and Susi regularly chat with me on Twitter (watch for an interview with Susi, coming up early April, too), often retweet my posts, and have all reviewed at least one book of mine. Nadia kindly tweeted that Dear Sir is available for pre-order. Soleil and Sherri and so many others have reviewed my books on their blogs or rated them on Goodreads and Amazon. Larissa Ione took the time to read Rose while on deadline and gave me a fabulous cover quote. *sobs and hugs her gratefully*
That kind of promo you can’t buy and it’s INVALUABLE. Word of mouth is the best kind of promo of all.
So how do you get that kind of momentum going? You write the best darned book you can. You write a book that people enjoy — and then want to talk about. You write a book that is unafraid to deal with politically incorrect elements or harsh realities. You write characters that people talk about like they’re real people.
As authors, we sometimes have little control over our books once contracted. We hope the editor likes it, but if she says change the hero’s name or delete this subplot, or how about this instead? Then you do it, or find a better way to address her concerns. You hope you get a great cover. You hope that your book gets loaded to Fictionwise (ridiculously slow and stubborn sometimes) and that it actually keeps its cover on Amazon. You hope that the big review sites will review it, good or bad, but obviously you’re praying that everyone will love it, even though you know that’s impossible.
In the end, the number one thing we can control, that has the most impact on word of mouth, is the book. Write a damned good book, and then hope that people start talking about it.
I’m so grateful to everyone, readers and other writers, who have helped me spread the word about my books! THANK YOU!