Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meet Erica Vetsch--A Timid Marketer

Meet my friend, Erica Vetsch. I met Erica at the ACFW conference in Dallas, TX several years ago before she sold her first book, The Bartered Bride. Today I have the privilege of being a part of her blog tour. By frequenting her blogsite, I've watched Erica grow as a writer and a marketer, and because hers is one of my favorite blogs, it seemed only fitting that I invite Erica to share some of her marketing tips.


The Timid Marketer by Erica Vetsch

I am a timid marketer. And yet, authors are supposed to market their books, are encouraged, even in some cases required to market. I find it hard to talk about my books, especially in person, and when I do, it feels so unnatural for me. So, how does a timid marketer, someone who finds it difficult to talk about herself and her works, overcome this timidity, work with her marketing team, and let people know about her books?
I’ve found a few things that I’m comfortable with, and a few things I’m learning to be more comfortable with.

Blogging. I’m a big fan of blogging. I’ve had a blog at www.onthewritepath.blogspot.com/ for several years now, and I really enjoy it. There are a few things I do to blog effectively.

1. Consistent posts. I post Monday through Friday.
2. A mixture of industry news, new fiction, book reviews, and personal experience. I devote a day each week to something fun called The Friday Five. Five things about me on a specific topic. Examples: Five things you will never hear me say. Or Five things I always carry in my purse. Then I invite folks to share their own Friday Five on that topic.
3. Answering and acknowledging comments. I’m getting better at this one. I’ve found that if I want people to visit and feel welcome, I should respond to their comments.
4. Visiting other blogs and making meaningful comments. I have a list of blogs on my blog page that I visit each day. I have a great network of blog friends that support me faithfully, and I try to return the favor.
5. As a result of making friends via blogs, I’m in the midst of a blog tour hosted by these friends who are helping me spread the word about my new book.

Facebook. I have a Facebook page that I enjoy. It is a great way to connect with people I haven’t seen for a long time. I have my blog linked to post on my Facebook page. I enjoy the networking, the give-and-take with friends, and seeing everyone’s photographs.
• Twitter. This is a new one to me. I’m trying Twitter out at the moment. I’ve got it cross-posted so when I update Twitter, it automatically updates on my Facebook page. I’m following a lot of people, and am daily getting more followers. If you’d like to follow me on twitter, you can find me at twitter.com user name EricaVetsch
• The ACFW. Through their e-loop, their monthly new release posts, book reviews, and especially through www.fictionfinder.com I’m hoping to let people know about my books without seeming pushy.
• Book trailers. I’ve got some book trailers in the works as I write this. Hopefully by the time this blog is posted, they will be finished and up for view on YouTube and on my blog page.
• I’m also working on getting a website up and running.

You’ll notice that all of this marketing takes place via the internet. A good way for a timid marketer to get the word out.

As I become more accustomed to the idea of having published books out in the marketplace, I’m hoping I will become more adept at letting people know about them. I’ve got a line on a few book signings, and hopefully a radio interview in the near future. Those types of marketing scare me rigid, but the book signings would take place with some other authors, so I won’t have to sit at a table all by myself.

There are a couple of things that keep me back from marketing more aggressively:

1. Talking about my novels feels so much like tooting my own horn. I’m much better at promoting other people’s fiction. It feels awkward to even tell people that I’ve got a book coming out, much less what it is about and that I hope they will buy it and like it. In a workshop I took with the amazing Karen Ball and Allen Arnold, they tried to show us how marketing our work was less like making a stump speech and more like hosting a party. Now that was an idea I could get behind. I can host a party. I can hopefully provide an interesting and entertaining time to my guests that will have them talking and inviting their friends to visit.

2. The time. Marketing takes time. Even more than money, and there is a financial investment to aggressive marketing, there is a big time investment. I’m trying to find ways of marketing that will be effective while not sucking up too much of my time. My primary job is to write good stories. Marketing, while necessary, must be secondary to that.

Hopefully, marketing will become easier for me as I do more of it. I’m very thankful for friends like Jess, who have been so enthusiastic about joining in the blog tour, and helping me along the way. I’m so blessed to know her.


If you haven't been to Erica's blog, I can't encourage you enough to check it out. She's an organized blogger--the very best kind. You'll learn more about writing, and come away with some pretty tasty recipes too.

And with Erica's permission, I'm giving away a copy of her debut novel, The Bartered Bride. It's filled with love and laughter, excellent characterization and fine writing. Leave a comment here and your name will be included in the drawing. I know some of my readers can't leave comments so if you'll email me privately, I'll post your comment for you. And please, don't forget to tell us how to reach you in case you win!

8 comments:

CJ said...

I've had the pleasure of reading Erica's book, "A Bartered Bride." Readers won't be disappointed. If you want to see the book trailers for Erica's book visit http://www.youtube.com/ponyexpressgraphics

The Voice said...

I love reading Erica's blog and am happy for her success. I have even posted her on my blog at one time because she inspires me. I plan on incorporating some of her tips on marketing.

CJ said...

Oh, I forgot a marketing tip. At all times Carry your business cards. On your cards have your blog or website address, social network like Twitter. When someone asks what you do for a living, easy to smile, say your occupation and here's my card.

Jess said...

CJ thanks for posting about Erica's trailer. I love it. Good job! I've been so busy I'm still reading her book, but I find myself smiling as I read. Great dialogue!

Nancy, I'll bet you can use some of Erica's 3-ingredient recipes too. I wish you could come to our conference on the 14th but I realize it's just too far. Hope you're doing well.

CJ, I don't leave home w/o my cards. They speak for me 'cause I'm a timid marketer. LOL

Erica Vetsch said...

Thank you so much, Jess, for allowing me to guest blog here today!

Yay and thank you to CJ for the book trailers. :) I love them!

And excellent advice about the business cards...which reminds me, I need to fill my card carrier for my purse...

Nancy, thank you for stopping by my blog and reading. I'm so glad you find the blog and this guest post helpful!

Emma said...

The Bartered Bride sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Angie said...

Thanks for the blog tip, Jess.

Myra Johnson said...

Oh, Erica, I SOOOOO relate! I am just not an "out there" kind of person, and with the release of not one but two novels this fall, the whole marketing/PR thing has intimidated me something fierce. I am all for Internet PR and just pray it's as effective as I need it to be!!!