Social Media, Blogging, and Platforms…Oh My!

It has been an amazing year. Since Her Dear & Loving Husband was released on April 19, 2011, it has found a loyal audience of readers who have been generous in their praise. I know most authors would argue that their readers are the best, but I know my readers really are the best. For those of you who sent e-mails asking about Book Two in the James and Sarah Saga, thank you. Your enthusiasm means the world to me. Now, after a year in the works, Her Loving Husband’s Curse is getting ready for its Tuesday, April 24, 2012 release date. You can read the Prologue here.

I’ve learned a lot over the past year. I learned about social media, author platforms, blogging, e-book formatting and e-book pricing. I’ve become both a blog tour author and a blog tour host, and I’ve discovered a whole fun world of giveaways. I’ve met many wonderful readers and writers I never would have met otherwise. And through it all, I managed to write a 90,000 word novel. Whew! No wonder I’m so tired lately.

Today I read a wonderful interview on the Smashwords blog with Claire Farrell, an Irish indie author who talks about how she doesn’t worry about blogging, social media, or author platforms. She spends her time writing books, and those books have found her an international audience and she’s currently supporting her family as an indie author. I like what she has to say, and the longer I’m in this publishing game the more I agree with her. I’m not saying I’m giving up Twitter, blogging, or the giveaways. I enjoy them too much. But I also need to focus on writing because that’s why I’m here in the first place. I have stories to tell, and I’m not happy with myself when I’m not telling them.

It should be easier this time around. I have a basic understanding of the social media game now. I’m still learning and growing, but at least I have a base to work from this year where last year I was starting from scratch. I know which marketing strategies worked for me and which didn’t. I know what helped me to find new readers and what didn’t. That learning curve was important, but now I’m ready to turn my focus back onto writing. I can live with myself without ever going on Linkedin again, and I’m not anywhere close to attempting Pinterest, but I can’t live with myself without writing. Like everything else in life, being an author is about determining your priorities and acting accordingly.

I’ve been taking a serious look at my priorities as an author. It turns out my priority, like Claire Farrell’s, is to write books I want to read. And that’s where my focus will be as I continue into the next stage of this journey. Though Book Two of the Loving Husband Trilogy is done, I’m not even close to being finished. I still have one more book in the trilogy to write, and my goal is to get it out April 2013. I’m also planning on spending the summer revising and publishing a couple of novels I had previously written but were never released. Victory Garden, which will be published in July, is a historical novel set around the woman suffrage movement and World War I. There’s not a vampire in sight in Victory Garden, but I don’t think the story suffers because of it.

I’m excited about what the past year has brought with Her Dear & Loving Husband, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from this new adventure with Her Loving Husband’s Curse and Victory Garden. I have a feeling the best is yet to come.

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