Reading, Writing, and Promoting
Reading, writing, and promoting. If you asked me to make a pie chart about my writer’s life, I would split it into those three sections. Well, I would add a sliver for taking the time to pet the cat, have a nap and hang out with my husband, but most of my writer’s life is spent reading, writing and promoting.
I am one of the fastest readers I know – I can read a book in two evenings – a standard 600-page paperback. And I don’t miss a thing – my husband quizzes me to make sure! This is a hugely handy talent to have because reading is the foundation of any writer’s life.
I read anything and everything – here are some of my most recent reads (some of which are still works in progress, in a pile next to my bed): Jess Walter (The Financial Lives of Poets), Margaret Atwood (The Heart Goes Last), Garth Stein (A Sudden Light), David Adams Richards (Principles to Live By), Richard Flanagan, (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), Steve Burrows (A Cast of Falcons), Dietrich Kalteis (Triggerfish). Annie Proulx’ Barkskins is lined up, along with The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies and Magic by Migene Gonzalez-Whippler (research), The Odyssey by Homer (research), Paradise Lost by Milton (research)
When it comes to the second slice of the pie, writing, I have one rule and I have had it (and kept it) for many years. WRITE ONE THING A DAY. It doesn’t make a difference if that thing is a short sentence scribbled onto a Post-It note or ten thousand words – just WRITE ONE THING A DAY.
And then, slice number three is promoting. The toughest baby of them all. Reading is fun, writing is fun (well, sometimes!) but promoting is a wily slithery beast – kind of like hearding eels just for the fun of it. Except that it’s not fun. It’s very tough to know if you are hitting your targets or spamming people who may be (oh the horror), blocking you left, right and centre.
My main social media forums are Facebook (personal and authors page), Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Goodreads and my own website lisadenikolitswriter.com
Each few tiny hectares of scattered high-maintenance real estate on the social media map comes with its own demands. Facebook author pages want to be boosted, Facebook personal pages don’t like too much shameless self-promoting, Instgram’s really only in it for the pretty pictures, don’t bother me with stuff you actually want me to remember. Twitter is fickle and flooded with promises of ultimate book branding and promoting but, like one of those eels, slips away before delivering much by way of increased sales. LinkedIn is like an elusive aunt, sitting in the corner crocheting. She could help you but she can’t seem to generate the necessary level of interest. She’s the tie-in the whole big family but she’s not sure she wants to get involved.
I think I’m sounding a bit negative here so let me toss the coin to the other side. Facebook is a fantastic address book. I don’t like inviting people to events via FB events, I like to message them personally and invite them that way. I used to have a huge Rolodex with cards stapled on to it, stuck on and in and the thing was a magnificent world for information. Today Facebook is my Rolodex (although it’s not as pretty and tactile a thing!)
Twitter is fun. I do love Twitter when someone likes a story I wrote on Scriggler or loops me in on a nice review of one of my books and there’s a nice camaraderie there.
So what works the best? When it comes to books, I vote for Goodreads. I host my blog post off Goodreads because it’s super easy to navigate and also, it ties into your books – the ones you’ve written and the ones you love to read.
I find book giveaways on Goodreads are a wonderful way of promoting a book too.
I’ll end with a fun fact that I found – an infographic on Timing is Everything – the do’s and don’t of posting online:
- Twitter 8pm-8am
- Facebook 12-8am
- LinkedIn 9am-5pm
- Instagram 12-8am
- Pinterest 1-7am and 5-7pm
- Twitter 1-3pm
- Facebook 1-4pm
- LinkedIn 5-6pm
- Instagram 5-6pm
- Pinterest 8-11pm
Which tells you a lot about the demographic of each, doesn’t it?
One thing I have nearly forgotten to mention is my website: lisadenikolitswriter.com
I used Homestead.com as my base and it’s fairly easy to create and maintain a site. I have used it back since The Hungry Mirror and I post a lot of photographs from events, I post calendars of events to come and I also post reviews. I post social media mentions that people are kind enough to send me (we saw your book in the library and thought you’d like this picture, or that sort of thing). I update the site every time I learn of a new event or something new pops up. Homestead is helpful as it gives you a tracker of how many visits you get.
I am not good at the hard sell of my book and I guess I should be better but I don’t want to feel like I am forcing a book at a reader. My books are in stores in Canada and they are available online and yes, all the links are on my website and I hope that people will want to read the books without me having to say directly, here, buy my book! Although a lot of authors do do that and it works but it just isn’t my way!
I do hope you have enjoyed this blog post and I hope you have found it helpful in some way. Here’s to your reading writing promoting (and napping) pie and I hope it’s delicious and fulfilling!
Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain.
Lisa de Nikolits is the award-winning author of five novels. Her first novel, The Hungry Mirror won a 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women's Issues Fiction and was long-listed for a ReLit Award. West of Wawa won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and was a Chatelaine Editor's Pick. A Glittering Chaos tied to win the 2014 Silver IPPY for Popular Fiction. The Witchdoctor’s Bones launched in Spring 2014 to literary acclaim and wide readership. Between The Cracks She Fell launched in Fall 2015 and was well reviewed by the Quill & Quire and was on the recommended reading lists for Open Book Toronto and 49th Shelf. Between The Cracks She Fell was also reviewed by Canadian Living magazine and called ‘a must-read book of 2015’. Between The Cracks She Fell won a Bronze IPPY Award 2016 for Contemporary Fiction. All books have been published by Inanna Publications.