Interview: Melissa Foster, by Sarah, Workaday Reads
I do all sorts of promotions. In this technology-driven world that we live in, social media is a must, so you’ll find me on Twitter, Facebook, and The Women’s Nest, on a daily basis. I also work with authors and bloggers to cross-promote. My favorite promotional activity is organic—word of mouth. I love to discuss books with readers, book clubs, reviewers, and yes, you’ll find me discussing books and magazines in the line in the grocery store.
Most of my promotional activities are online, however, I also attend book festivals and events. In September I’m launching the Women’s Literary Café, which will be an online, free venue for cross-promoting authors, readers, reviewers, and bloggers, and which I hope will bridge the gap between readers and authors. Although that will be an online venue, we’ll be hosting reader/author in-person events.
Readers and reviewers are very different. Readers generally come via referral—they’ve heard of me or my books, or perhaps they’ve met me. Readers also find me via Twitter and Facebook, and of course, The Women’s Nest. The Women’s Nest is a social and support site for women. I’m chatting daily with and getting to know, our lovely members. They’re a very supportive group.
Reviewers typically come via referral, social media, or blog-stalking. There are so many reviewers out there, and I find that one must research reviewers just as they research literary agents.
As much as I wish I didn’t, I do—every single review that I can get my hands on. If ever there is something negative in a review, I weigh the validity of it—did the person dislike my writing style, characters, or perhaps it was the wrong genre for them. I can always learn something from a less-than perfect review, although I prefer the perfect ones, lol. I always suggest that reviewers take their time before writing reviews. Reputations can be marred with a few slamming reviews, so when you’re having a bad day, it’s not a great time to leave a review. Being fair, above all else, is always appreciated.
Being a writer can be a lonely business, and every time an author puts a book out to the public, we’re really putting our hearts out there to be trampled on. It can take a year or longer to write a book, and maybe a day to read it. Positive reviews validate our writing skills, our ability to entertain or enlighten, and above all else, confirm our desire to move forward and write another book.
That’s easy, and it’s two-fold. Meeting and talking to readers and meeting and helping aspiring authors are my favorite part of promoting.
The time it takes away from my family. Many times we’re all sitting in one room, each with an open laptop. It’s not at all what I consider strong family time, but it’s what our world has come to. We’re making efforts to put away the computers earlier and have technology-free evenings. That, however, is far easier said than done. I get about 300 emails everyday, and I don’t let them go unanswered, because I’m not that type of person. Finding the balance takes a well-planned equation.