Twitter’s Long Reach


This past Sunday, October 14, I was featured on Carolyn Arnold’s “Celebrating Authors” blog. I was grateful for the mention, and the link to my book.  What happened in the next few days was totally unexpected.

Carolyn’s blog went up on Twitter. I retweeted it to my 1,800 or so followers. Since October 14, this blog post about my book was retweeted by 58 people (there may have been more, but I counted 58 – so far). Those 58 people retweeted it, with a link to the post, to their followers. I did a quick check to see how many followers of those 58 people received the retweet, and I’ve got 452,833 people – so far.

Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that nearly half a million people read the post, or the interview. But let’s say just 5% of all those people read the post. That’s 22,641 people who saw the mini-interview and caught the Amazon link to CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST. And of all those people, let’s say only 1% were interested enough to buy the book. That’s still over two hundred books sold. Of course, I’m an optimist, so I dream of many more sales!

But the point here is Twitter works. At the very least, I was the lucky recipient of an extraordinary ripple effect, and no matter how it translates to book sales, I am appreciative for the visibility to others.

Pre-Launch of My First Novel


For nearly a year now, I’ve been working on my first novel, and it’s almost ready for publication.  I finished it!  It just needs to be formatted for e-readers.

I’ve decided to self-publish, and to have a digital version only.  Why?  Well, a lot of people now have a Kindle, or Nook, or iPad.  And if they don’t, they still can read a digital version of my book on a computer.  I’m self-publishing, meaning I format the manuscript, create the book cover, write the bio, and do all the marketing.  I chose this after a year of reading posts by authors and publishers, understanding that the publishing world today is so different than it was thirty years ago (when I was dreaming about a career as a writer), and, if I am to be honest, not wanting to spend months or years sending electronic queries to publishing houses, waiting for replies (rejections), when I can get my work out there.  I don’t believe that traditional publishing is validation.

Look, I don’t know who will read “Chocolate for Breakfast.”  I know some of my friends will.  But I didn’t write it to make a lot of money.  I wrote it because I love to write.  Whether it’s these weekly blog posts (or daily last April during the “A to Z Blog Challenge”) or writing and rewriting my first novel, I’m doing what I love.  I hired an editor to, well, to edit, to polish the manuscript, and I believe it’s the best it can be.  I’ve built my platform through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and, thanks to the fabulous Tonya Kappes (http://tonyakappes.blogspot.com/), I’ve learned how to market.

One thing Tonya suggested was to create a Pinterest board for my book.  Are you familiar with Pinterest?  I joined months ago, put up some recipes, some of the places I’ve traveled to, but never really got into it.  To me, it seemed better suited for a bride-to-be or a home decorator.  But I had a lot of fun creating a board for “Chocolate for Breakfast.”  I found pictures of places relevant in the book.  Then I thought about who should be cast in the movie version (hey, a girl can dream!), so I posted photos of some of the people I imagined in the roles of Timmy, Karl, Hanna.  Now, you can look at the board http://pinterest.com/marthari/chocolate-for-breakfast/ and have an idea about the book, even before it’s out.

Hoping for a July 3rd launch date, but a lot of it depends on the formatting and getting it all ready for Amazon.  I’ll be back here to shout when it’s ready!