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Sunday, December 28, 2008

One for the Authors: How do you reach your readers?

I was sitting here this morning trying to figure out when I had done my last newsletter when it dawned on me that I'm not sure I need both the newsletter and the blog with all of the other stuff I've got out there. I've been working on my websites alot over the past couple of years and seem to be stuck in a pattern that I'm not sure is working as well as it can be to promote the books I write. Between the blog, the social networking, the websites and the newsletters, I still don't know what is really working for me.

I subscribe to a number of marketing newsletters and I visit alot of different types of blogs. There's John Kremer's Book Marketing Blog and Newsletter. I don't regularly visit the website, but have been known to hang around there after reading something intriguing on his newsletter. The newsletter is always very helpful, but doesn't always compel me to visit the site. This is probably because when I find a good website, I tend to read it very carefully the first time I find it and only go back to it when I'm tipped off that there is something I need posted there.

Basically, Kremer's newsletter works in tandem with his website to promote content that is especially useful to new and established authors. He keeps the main content on the site for longer periods of time and then updates little bits here and there; promoting the changes in his newsletter(which I believe is how most people do it). As for blogs, I wasn't even sure where the blog for John Kremer was until I did some digging today so that I could do this post. He's just got so much good stuff over there that I may never get to all of it. This is why I believe his newsletter is probably his most effective tool for reaching me. It may be different for other readers.

The same can be said for one of my other favorite blog/newsletter combos, Penny Sansevieri's A Marketing Expert. I visit Penny's site frequently, however; her blog is located right on her website and is much easier to follow. She does more with social networking sites than anyone I've seen. I always enjoy watching her posts on Twitter and Facebook because I know that I can use just about everything she posts. Nothing is wasted. If you aren't following her on Twitter, you're missing out.

One other marketing expert that I love following is Nikki Leigh with Promo 101. She does a number of things to help promote authors and she has blogs, websites and all manner of outreach. Again, she has so much information on her sites that it can be difficult to get to all of it. But, it is always there waiting for when I have the time to look at it. She has all kinds of different things authors can participate in to help promote themselves and their books. For example, my books are part of the Bad Guys and Villains blog, the Judge a Book by its Cover blog and I believe, the Share your Heroine blog. These can all be found on her website under Free Promotional Blogs and are well worth the time it takes to send her your info. Her newsletter is also very good, but they focus more on promoting current book tours and things like that. I tend to get more from just browsing her websites and blogs to see if I've missed anything.

I do follow some of my favorite fiction authors' blogs. Sometimes I visit to see what new projects they are working on but mainly I visit to get ideas about how I could better design and promote my own work. One that I visit regularly is author J.A. Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Konrath has, without a doubt, the best blog about how to survive the publishing game that I've read. I've gotten lots of good information here and always go back to see what else is new. I don't believe there is a newsletter attached to this blog; at least if there is, I haven't seen it. I'm not sure it needs one, though. It's one of those you simply must put on your feed list.

For me, I've gone back and forth with my websites. For a while, I had the Rona Shively site featured as the main block of information about my writing. I changed it a little over the last couple of years and then decided that I needed to promote my other writing as well by setting up Rebecca Benston Writes. After that, I created my blog. All the while, I had the Life and Times of Rona Shively newsletter going but I've never been quite sure about its reach. The newsletter only focuses on Rona Shively stuff. My blog seems to reach a lot more people, but I tend to promote the hell out of it by using Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to let people know when I have posted something new. The Rona Shively newsletter is in need of a facelift, but I'm not quite sure what direction to take with it. My books are evolving and so the way I promote them needs to evolve as well. I don't know if a Benston Writes newsletter is the way to go. It doesn't really seem to make sense yet.

Marketing and promotion are always on my mind and thankfully, there are talented people like John Kremer, Penny Sansevieri, and Nikki Leigh out there giving great advice on a regular basis. I'm still looking for more great author blogs to read and link to and am hoping that in 2009, I'll find just the right formula for getting the word out about The Rona Shively Stories and my speaking series', Tea & Mystery and Write Yourself Right. If you know of any good blogs or websites that I haven't mentioned here or that I haven't already linked to, please let me know. I'm always on the lookout for good information.

Until next time...

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Nikki Leigh said...

Thank you for your kind words :) Promotion can be overwhelming and I try to share information that will be helpful. There seem to be a million and one (at least) ways to tackle our promotion - so there is plenty of information to share :)


Penny said...

Thank you so much for the mention! Great blog by the way!

Keep up the good work,

Author Marketing Experts, Inc

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the comments ladies! Glad you could stop by!

A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

Reviews for Rebecca Benston

“You'll find yourself looking forward to more stories from the files of Rona Shively.”

Michelle Shealy, Reviewer for


“Rebecca Benston has written a detective with plenty of suspense…I hope there will be a sequel…”

Annick, Reviewer for Euro-Reviews


“The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book.”

Lucille P. Robinson, An Alternative Read


“Rebecca Benston’s twists, turns, and descriptions are utterly engaging.”

Tracy, Fallen Angel Reviews


“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

Janet Davies, Once Upon a Romance Reviews


“Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.”

Connie Harris,


“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

Anne K. Edwards,