Instagram, Networking & Friends!
As a new author faced with a literary world saturated with novels it is pretty difficult to know where to begin in terms of social networking. As writers, we work alone so putting ourselves out there on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can feel rather intimidating but we know it has to be done.
I’ve been writing quietly for years but I’ve always shied away from applying to publishers. Why? Because writing those emails, trying to come up with your hook, and checking off every criteria in the submission process made my belly squirm uncomfortably. Sitting in my office with my laptop and a cup of coffee, I’m content to disappear into the world of my characters. But by hitting send on an application I placed both my heart and my soul out into the world to either fly joyously or crash-land and be trampled underfoot… and with that leap of faith came the necessity of embracing social media.
I signed the first of three contracts in the spring and The Guardians’ Trust: Ana, book 1 in my paranormal romance series, came out 8th September 2020.
To find out about The Guardians’ Trust series click here and visit my books page where you can find the blurb for the first three books.
Once I’d signed, and I’d spent a few days grinning idiotically and dancing round the kitchen as the kettle boiled, I realized that getting published wasn’t enough. No matter how great your novel is (and mine is great, clearly😉), no one will buy your book if they don’t know it exists.
And so my crash course of media home school began!
From being the butt of family jokes about my reluctance to engage with social media I now find myself equipped with skills I never thought I’d possess: I have built this website, I constructed a Facebook business page and I am active on Instagram. I have a (somewhat shaky) grasp of SEO and backlinks… and, although I can’t quite warm to Twitter, I think I’m doing ok so far!
The journey into the world of Instagram has been, without doubt, my favourite aspect of my e-journey. Not only is it a great place to get heard, but it is also an opportunity to connect with other likeminded authors… and connect I have!
A few of the authors I now correspond with are similar to me, they are ambitious, work hard and want to succeed in this industry. Some live literally half a world away but we all share a love of writing and, on Instagram, I’ve realized that there’s a lot to be said for authors supporting authors…
Instagram presented me with an avenue to let potential readers know my writing is out there but it also presented me with a writing community.
My fear of putting myself out there to get published may have been replaced with a fear that no one will buy my book but if I flop I know for sure I’ve given it 110%!
Some favourite authors in my writing community who share my love of romance are:
Katie Carys is a Fantasy Romance Author – like me! – and she previously wrote under the name of Katie Epstein. An accidental ‘bumping into’ on IG shows just how small the world is. She loves Wales and Carys, one of the names translating to love in Welsh. Her website and the magical worlds she creates are stunning and strike a chord with my own interests – take a look at katiecarys.com
Marilyn Barr is also a Paranormal Romance Author and again IG brought likeminded authors together. Her writing, like some of mine, features shapeshifters. If you like the sound of an alpha bear have a look at her Strawberry Shifters series on her website: www.marilynbarr.com
Lia Violet describes herself as an ‘author of steamy paranormal and contemporary reads’. She also likes shapeshifters and writes stories with humour and heat. Definitely one to check out: www.liaviolet.com
D. H. Gibbs writes Fantasy, Romance and more. Her latest book is called Fireflies & Strippers – let’s face it, it’s worth checking out the book for the title alone! Have a look at her website to find a book you might enjoy - dhgibbs.com
Nikki A Lamers is an author of new adult and contemporary romance and like me she falls head over heels in love with her characters as she writes them. Her Unforgettable series looks wonderful.
Connecting with writers who are different:
As well as connecting with like-minded romance authors, I’ve also ‘met’ writers who are completely different to me:
Samantha Adair is just starting out and writes short stories and crime/detective fiction.
Michaela Satterfield has a website called theadventuresofmic. This website is a great resource for any would be writers, so if you are seeking inspiration then have a read. Her site contains great images if you are visual like me, and there are lots of tips on how to find ideas in everyday situations.
If you are a new or aspiring author it can be hard to know where to begin. My advice? Reach out. Social networking is called that for a reason. There are lots of friendly people out there to network with who are either in the same boat, or remember what is was like when they first started rowing.
Please feel free to message me either through the contact information on this website or through the links below. I'll always respond!