5 Ways to Build Your Author Platform – Guest Post by Christina C. Jones

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Happy Monday, All! Today I’m super excited because I’m handing my blog over to the uber talented Christina C. Jones! Today is release day for Christina’s latest novel, Catch Me If You Can, and I have to tell you folks: I cannot wait to read this novel! I recently read Finding Forever by Christina and it made me an instant fan. In fact, Christina is probably one of the most talented and prolific writers I have the pleasure of knowing, so if you haven’t read one of her books, do yourself a favor and get your copy of Catch Me If You Can. Yesterday.

Christina was kind enough to stop by and share a few tidbits with us about marketing. I hope you enjoy!

 

Hello!
Hi!
I’m Christina Jones.
I’m a self-published author with nine (pretty well-reviewed, might I add *dusts off shoulders*) books under my belt. I write contemporary romance/women’s fiction, with an intentional, specific focus on characters with various shades of brown skin. And african ancestry. So… I write about black people. 🙂

When the opportunity to write a post here on Quanie’s blog came about, I was very, very excited. And then I found out what she wanted me to write about (to be fair, I kinda begged her to come up with a topic for me, cause I’m terrible at that), and I got really, really scared. Cause I’m supposed to be writing about marketing.
Take a wild guess at what else, besides blog topics, I’m terrible at?
Yep.
You guessed it.
Marketing!
Well… maybe not terrible, but I’m certainly no marketing genius. What I can do is share the things that I feel have worked for me, and if you’re an indie author, they probably will for you too!

1. Make friends. This would probably be first on list for any topic. (even though I’m really not listing in particular order.) You need other author friends, and your pursuit of these friends should have nothing to do with marketing. You need people who understand the frustrations, understand the pressure, and understand you. Period. You need someone on your side to tell you to take down that subtweet about your negative review, someone to (jokingly)tell you when you make a grammar mistake on Facebook, etc. It matters, really.

2. See also: Be a friend. Genuine, sincere interaction with other authors is one of the best things you can do. It’s not about being, or phony, you have to really mean it. I share book releases, cover reveals, sales promotions, etc for other authors often, and it has nothing to do with waiting on reciprocity (although if someone does this for you, you should do it in return. Because manners.). I do this because I want to see other indies authors succeed. If you think another author in your genre is your competition, you’re thinking wrong. I’ve talked about this before with a friend, using vacuums as an example. When you buy a vacuum, you’ll have that thing for years. Won’t need another. There’s competition in vacuum sales. But with books? A person is gonna read it, and guess what… they’re gonna put it down and want to read another. You want that fire to keep burning, so absolutely put other other authors in their path, so they’ll still be in the mood to read when it comes back around to you.

3. Don’t be a jerk. This is self-explanatory, but don’t be mean to people. And if you’re naturally mean… do it somewhere else. Snark is cute until you’re trying to sell a product. There are a handful of authors I will never read (or read again) because of the way they treat/talk to to people. Everything you put forth publicly is a part of your brand as an author. Respect your brand, and more importantly, your readers, by at least trying not to be an asshole. (Can I say that Quanie? Is that okay?)

4. Social media posting. I’m definitely terrible in this area, but I know it’s important. You have to make your books visible to readers, and these days (especially for an indie) the way to reach those people is via social media. I post on my fan page, my personal page, my twitter account, my blog/website, and occasionally on instagram. These are the places your readers will go to connect with you, so you should make those available.
I do a lot of teasers, excerpts, etc in groups and on my personal page, because that’s what seems to get a good response. OH and a newsletter! I typically only email my subscribers when I have a new release, but that’s why they signed up! Take advantage of that by not forgetting to reach out when you have important news. Please don’t email your readers because you finally got that popcorn kernel that was stuck in your teeth.

5. Write more books. I know, I know, you’re sick of seeing this advice for indies, but SERIOUSLY. Write. More. Books. And I’ll even go one further and say: Publish more books. SERIOUSLY. Sitting around looking at your finished, formatted, edited book doesn’t do anything for you. (And neither does chasing down flaky, super-busy agents, waiting three months at a time for reject— wait a minute, this post isn’t about that.) Reading about publishing can only do so much. Reading about writing can only do so much. You need practice. You need critique. You need readers giving you their feedback. I firmly believe that in indie-publishing, experience is the best teacher.

So… there you have it! I sincerely hope that you were able to pull something good from my randomness. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve done pretty well in the year that I’ve been publishing, and I’ve got a good solid fanbase that seems to be growing pretty steadily.

Obviously, there’s things I haven’t mentioned, like purchasing ads, and getting into one of those mega-newsletters, etc, and that’s because I haven’t had any real experience with those. Someday, maybe I will, but for now, I’m pretty happy with what my laid-back approach to marketing has done for me so far!

You can find me on my blog: Being Mrs. Jones
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeingMrsJones
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beingmrsjones
and if you feel so inclined, on Amazon:

Thank you so much to Quanie for having me, and thank YOU for reading! Have a great week!

 

cmcover

 

Diligence. Focus. Agility.

For Naomi Prescott, it’s not just a cute little saying. It’s a critical mantra, words to live by if she wants to retain her freedom, and more importantly, her life. Impeccable planning is the only way to ensure she sets off the small flutters that will trigger the big ripple she needs to pull off the score of a lifetime — no matter the stakes.

FBI Agent Marcus Calloway is a straight-shooter… if you overlook his sometimes unconventional, law-skirting, expensive ways of solving a case. A big arrest would do wonders to restore his reputation, and he has one woman in mind: Jolie Voleuse

Unforeseen circumstances force them into a closer proximity than either — especially Naomi — would like to be. Sparks fly, and as surely as fire ignites,eventually their undeniable chemistry combusts into a passion that neither expected as they join forces in the dangerous pursuit of a common bounty.

christinajonespicture

Author Bio:

Christina Jones is a budding author on a mission to show the beautiful — but not always pretty — journey of love in all stages, with a focus on people of color. When she’s not immersed in writing it, Christina is an avid reader of her favorite genre, African American romance.
Her first published work was released in November 2013, and since then, she has released nine titles:
Love and Other Things
Strictly Professional
Unfinished Business
The Trouble With Love
Finding Forever
Chasing Commitment
A Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Didn’t Mean To Love You
Catch Me If You Can


29 thoughts on “5 Ways to Build Your Author Platform – Guest Post by Christina C. Jones

  1. Pingback: Q&A with Christina C. Jones | Coffee Bookshelves

  2. Pingback: Why you Need Beta Readers – Guest Post by Christina C. Jones | Quanie Talks Writing

  3. Which author doesn’t need more marketing tips? I love the ones Christina has ~ effective without being intimidating. Making friends is important, so is keeping up on social media (I do RTs and postings for about 15 minutes everyday and then I’m off so it doesn’t overwhelm me), and most importantly, keeping on writing and publishing. Congratulations on the latest release, Christina, and on those wonderful reviews!
    Claudine @ CarryUsOff Books recently posted..The Boy on the PorchMy Profile

  4. Okay, Christina, what planet are you from because here on earth who publishes nine books in one year? I’m freakin’ blown away by this. The mere thought of having nine titles in one year makes my brain hurt. I can only write one book per year (two if I’m lucky and out of my right mind) and my brain always hurts after just one. I applaud your accomplishments. You go girl!

    Also, congratulations on your new release. I bid you much success.

  5. Another excellent post, Quanie! You sure know how to put a pot on to boil 🙂
    Christina, your achievements are astounding and your thoughtful remarks may just have put embracing wings on the shuddering shoulders of the hesitant writer. Write On, Lady! 🙂

  6. First off, since this is my first visit this blog, to the hostess: Hi Quanie!!
    Secondly, that was such a good tip about the popcorn kernel, Christina!! Lol Great tips !
    I’m not a writer (by any stretch of the imagination) more so, just a nosy fan who was curious and found this interest and helpful through a simplistic fun approach. I saw this “marketed” on Facebook by another author, whom I love, Te’ Russ and decided to check it out! See, that advice is already working!! 🙂 Thanks

    Great job!

  7. Pingback: Scurred | Being Mrs Jones

  8. Excellent post!!! I agree with everything, especially about developing relationships with other writers. It’s important to support each other, we’re all in this together. The thing about readers is that we/ they tend to read more than one author, so it makes absolute sense to promote other writers.
    Hold up, Catch Me If You Can is out? Whoo, chile…I can’t keep up 🙂 Prolific is the perfect word.
    Dahlia recently posted..#IWSG: Is This The End? Telling whether it’s a writer’s rut or if that story is really finished.My Profile

  9. Wow, Christina! Nine books? That is amazing! And to have your books so well received is quite the accomplishment. From what Quanie has said about your writing, I can tell you are very talented.
    I loved hearing your advice. Especially on making friends and connections within our writing community. We are all super supportive of each other and it feels nice to be able to have this type of foundation.
    Best of luck with your new release! Thanks for sharing, Quanie!
    gina stoneheart recently posted..Pushing Sales For Our BooksMy Profile

  10. Ok, first of all I have to ask the question that to me, is the elephant in the room: how in the entire world does anyone produce NINE titles in ONE year?! I mean really. Where they do that at? Apparently where ever Christina C. Jones is.

    Secondly, amen and amen again to the fact that writers need to understand that other writers in their genre are not their competition, but their cohorts. “I can’t buy more than one book in my preferred genre,” said No One Ever. Now ask me how many times I’ve clicked on a suggested read after buying a book? Too many times to count! And 9 times out of 10 the suggestion is from a different author in the same genre. We’re all family people. Let’s act like it and support each other.

    Speaking of support, let me go check out Christina’s books. Thanks for the tips!
    Faith Simone recently posted..Author Spotlight: M. Ann Ricks!!!!My Profile

  11. excellent advise, Christina!! I’m with you on all of it. Marketing is something I fear if/when my book ever gets sold. I’m also currently working on my next book (hard as it can be while worrying about the on-sub book!) and it’s therapeutic. I have met the most amazing people in this community so the making friends part is way easier than I ever dreamed!! 🙂

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