Lessons from My Book Tour
I learned some valuable life lessons promoting my book this year. I’d like to pass these on with the hope that someone out there might be able to relate or hear something new
I am a homebody. The longer I am away, the more exhausted I feel—wrung out like an old dish towel. As soon as I get home, my peace returns to me. I learned that home is truly where my heart lives. Wanderlust is a foreign concept to me. If I ever need to organize a book tour again, I have a better understanding of my limitations and preferences. Anything I can do from home will be prioritized. Virtual programming will be a vital resource for me, moving forward, and I like that it is accessible and affordable for everyone. Travel will be an “on occasion, special, case by case” situation because it KILLS ME. I won’t experience FOMO ever again because I am not missing out. If you do have to travel, did you know about SPOT SAVER or CLEAR saved us from missing a flight!
I prefer bookish events where readers are centered. Book signings and author conversations are fine, but I enjoy more of a round table discussion where readers can engage in the dialogue by asking questions or sharing their experiences. I had the most fun at libraries and panels where the Q&A time was a major part of the conversation. There was a long season of life where I had lost touch with my reading circle, and my bookish friends. I became more and more absorbed in the business side of books. Networking with authors, publishing books, marketing, and promoting—I neglected my true community: Readers. My entire book, 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered was written while being mindful of readers. Putting the right book in the right reader’s hand is why I do everything I do. My entire personality is the words HORROR READER in neon letters. And it took writing my book and introducing it to the world to bring me back to my passion place. I will never stray from it again.
Social media is no longer a mystery to me. The audience, the algorithms, what to post, what not to post. I get it. Simply put: Understand who you are talking to and treat them accordingly. I’m a reader, I want to talk to other readers. I ask myself a series of questions and then I answer them in the form of social media decisions:
Who am I talking to (audience/community on each platform)
Where is my audience (which platform has my audience/community)
What am I doing and why would anyone care/what do I have to offer
Would I enjoy this post/message/update if I were a member of this community
Is this honest, organic, and authentic, or am I just ‘making content’ to see what works, what’s “popular” or “viral”
Is my content driving me (fake shit) or am I driving the content (real shit)
Am I posting the same shit across every platform
How am I fostering a healthy community
Listen, I see people bitch about joining a new social media platform and saying something like, “Okay, I’m here on TikTok now and I hate it” or “I finally joined Threads so I hope this works” —There are actual, thriving and vital communities on there and posts like that sound like you showed up at a party reluctantly and you don’t really want to be there but you’re blessing the party with your presence in the hopes that the party will somehow, some way serve you and your needs so you can show up with the least amount of enthusiasm and effort for maximum payoff and rewards. Like, you came without a bottle of wine to share and no homemade appetizers but you double-dipped in the ranch dressing and you tracked in poop on the bottom of your shoes. PARTY FAIL
Guess what? That party is going to suck for you.
And people know you don’t want to be there. And you didn’t bring anything
So pick one or two platforms you really enjoy hanging out on and give it some fucking love or else why are you there? I promise you, nobody will care about your selfies, your announcements, or your updates if you’re just doing it to do it to be seen. And don’t post the same shit across seven platforms unless you believe you have a different audience for each platform. Chances are, you have the same community following you everywhere, and telling people seven times your book is out will get the buzz you want on exactly one, maybe two of those platforms, so you might as well focus on one platform. Unless you share the news in seven different ways. A selfie with the book on Insta, a book trailer for Twitter, a heartfelt blog post for Substack, a blurb graphic for Blue Sky, an unboxing of author copies for TikTok…seems like a lot of work. You’re right. It is, so narrow it down or put in the work…that’s kind of how I see it.
Quality over quantity. The object of the game is not more followers, views, or likes.
The game is about making connections. Social media.
relating to society or its organization.
needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities.
the main means of mass communication
Food for thought. You get from it what you give it. It’s true in life and it’s true on social media.
I’m very happy to be home for the holidays now. I did the thing and I checked off all the events and I am tired now. I’m ready to buckle down and nestle in.