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New Author: Dropped in The Deep End

Hi, Jo Linsdell. Thank you for inviting me here, to share something about my journey as a new author. As I began thinking about what article I wanted to write I discovered I would end my first Virtual Book Tour in the same way as it began: with you, Jo!  Until I met you online and read the information you provided, I didn’t know anything about VBT’s. I have you to thank for this. I write my post here as evidence of my thanks and because it may benefit your readers as it did me.

 “You got dropped in the ‘deep end’,” my book coach told me. We were discussing social media marketing and my first published book, Twee’, released in April, 2013. I had emailed to tell her I was exhausted. It was the end of an intensive year of research to find a book coach, write, edit and work with an artist, just to publish my first picture book allegory for children and adults.

In the six months that followed publication of my first book, I also taught myself how to build and maintain a web site. I discovered how to use twitter and Face Book. I joined online writing groups and studied the world of social media marketing. Throughout that time, new concepts and trainings kept popping up:  virtual book tour, pod casts, webinars and many others Each source urged me to learn and to incorporate them into my marketing plan. Some even suggested that I hire their service to provide the ‘behind the scenes’ work for me. Finances did not allow for that and I believed I needed to work on it myself in order to better understand the process and to present what is truly ME.

In addition to all this, I continued my business as a private practice psychologist. My book biz needed to remain in the back seat by choice and could only be addressed in my free time. I really felt drained and even resisted clearing emails, writing blogs, tweeting, pinterest-ing, google+ing and all the other sites that daily called my name. By July, the third month after publication of Twee’, even with all my efforts, sales appeared dismal.

“Your second book helps to sell your first book,” my coach said. I had already planned on a series of three picture book allegories with the same little character, so her words felt encouraging. I just couldn’t imagine how I would carry on the marketing mayhem, when I felt fried. I wanted to become a well-loved, well-published author. Things just had to become more manageable. I decided upon a plan. The results are listed below:

1) I wrote the second book. The character is so cute, with a universal message, so I couldn’t help myself.

2) I decided to use only what I already understood about marketing to develop relationships and market my books: Twitter, FB, Blog and HootSuite to tie them all together. These are mostly free services. I just had to work on them more consistently.

3) I contacted local libraries and set dates for read and sign events. Each library allowed me to provide book sales as well. I planned an appearance once every two weeks during the summer.

4) I called a local newspaper in rural Vermont and emailed my press release, book cover and a picture of me. A reporter contacted me and suggested an interview. The press release and interview were published in August.

5) I attempted to catalog the multiple downloaded books, documents, courses and web links I’d saved. I scheduled myself to read/study each one for the year 2014. Except for one. As soon as I discovered Jo Linsdell’s  Virtual Book Tour book, I sat down and read. I am so happy that I did.

My second book I Am Twee’, released in late September, 2013. On the first of October I began my first ever VBT. The response has been amazing. Authors I have never met except online, responded kindly to my requests. Many read my books and posted reviews. All have been willing to interview me with questions they supplied and to post my interview on their blogs. Some author-hosts even invited me back to guest blog (like this). Everywhere I turned I met generous hosts and authors from all over the world.

As exciting as all this has been, opportunities also opened up as a result of my VBT. I’ve been invited to participate on author panels and one was recently taped for a local TV station. One of my online-author- friends invited me to submit a chapter for her new anthology. All these opportunities and more came because I engaged in a VBT.

Of course one of the exciting benefits I’d realized through my Virtual Book Tour has been the exposure and promotion of my books to a much wider audience than otherwise possible. With that my book sales also increased. What author wouldn’t want that result?

Thank you Jo Linsdell! I enjoyed writing this article and talking about how you and your book Virtual Book Tours have helped me, in my first year of publication! I hope you and your readers enjoyed this.

Susie E. Caron M.A., a psychologist, entrepreneur, speaker, and author of Twee' and I Am Twee’, from the 'Between You and Me' series, draws from her years of experience to #Translate Childhood to Adults Who Care. In her allegory picture books for children and adults, she illustrates how our thoughts and feelings change and impact our relationships. Susie enjoys speaking and sharing with children and adults. Her unique gifts include her authentic presence, an ability to connect at the deepest levels of need and want and wisdom to share. In every endeavor, Susie helps kids and adults to enjoy each other by connecting with less frustration and with more personal freedom and fun!

Find out more about Susie Caron and her books:

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