Saturday, January 20, 2024

Our First Round Robin of 2024

 The idea for the first Round Robin of 2024 caught me short-footed during a deep freeze. I am taking care of two houses while the owner is on vacation, and in the one where I live, the water froze, so my mind was not exactly on any writing project.

When asked to share some ideas on giveaways as a marketing tool, my initial thought was that the only giveaway I had ever initiated via Goodreads a long time ago wasn’t too successful. However, with much patience and slightly improved temperatures, the water and my thoughts began to flow.

I tend to write books in series of three, as in The Berkeley Square Series, Books 1 – 3, and Those Regency Belles, Books 1 - 3. The Buxton Chronicles come in one volume of three novellas, and I have just completed Book 3 in my Western Collection of contemporary Western romances.

Several years ago, I ran a giveaway on my author’s FaceBook page, asking a question to which anyone who had read Book 1 of The Berkeley Square Series would know the answer, and offered Book 2 to the first reader to get it right. I had lots of likes for that post, but no responses, correct or otherwise. At the time, I had already moved on to writing Book 3 in that series, so I didn’t pursue that idea. It might be time to try again.

I have never offered ‘swag’ at conferences and workshops as I have seen too many bookmarks and other advertising materials unceremoniously dumped before the day or weekend was over. Yes, spending money to make money is possible, but I don’t believe in throwing good money around. Most authors have a budget for advertising, and I admit that mine is minimal for various reasons.

Another idea I had was to invite my followers to name a character or become a character, bearing in mind the genre of the book. The winner of that particular venture appeared as the housekeeper in Those Regency Belles, Book 3. That was quite good fun, and I think I might try that again with my next book.

The most I spend on advertising is for my business cards, which I leave wherever possible. I also use them as bookmarks by punching a hole in one corner and attaching a beaded ribbon or lengths of fancy string. Dollar and thrift stores are an excellent resource for these types of materials. My other go-to is postcards. I can get three books and their blurb on a postcard, and when I make up bundles, I will place a postcard advertising The Berkeley Square Series with Those Regency Belles, and vice versa.

I see the most positive results when I give a book away. I usually make a note for myself of which book I gave and when I gave it, and then when I get my sales report from my publisher, I check to see what, if any, result came from it. It’s been noticeable that after a book giveaway, I often notice an uptick in sales of my other books, so that method seems to work best for me.

Like many authors, I prefer the writing process to the necessary one of self-promotion and advertising. My virtual assistant monitors my FaceBook page and posts when sales are on various platforms, or a new book is released. I’d struggle without her, so I appreciate all she does for me.

So now I will visit these authors and see what tricks and tips they offer.

Dr. Bob Rich

Connie Vines

Skye Taylor


  1. Oh well, Victoria, pecking at a keyboard probably warmed your frozen fingers a little. I am intrigued by one thing: your virtual assistant on Facebook. Didn't know you were an AI master!
    Maybe we as a group should hire a publicity expert to advance all our fortunes?

    1. My virtual assistant is brilliant! I pay her roughly $200 per annum and she collates all my material and posts several times a week. Book launches, sales, she has all that at her fingertips, plus sharing it to other groups. Its work I can do, but it takes me forever as it's not my area of expertise.

  2. I need to learn to follow up on sales numbers after a give-away of a book I know about. I agree with you that this sort of thing does drive people who enjoyed the free story to go looking for more.

    1. I think this is probably easier for self-published authors to follow through on. I don't like bothering my publisher for that information which is why I check my sales reports when I get them.