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DownloadedFile I’ve never had a root canal and I pray I never have to, but when I’m faced with marketing my books, I sometimes think I’d rather face down the dentist’s drill.

This is not for the faint of heart, folks.

To be honest, I think I suck at it. For one thing, I’m kinda introverted. The idea of shouting about myself from the rooftops makes me shudder. I’m also not terribly organized, so it’s been hard to formulate a great marketing strategy that actually works. And there’s the kicker. What works and what doesn’t? What should I spend my time on that will really help promote my books? Who do I talk to? Who do I ask to help influence my writing? Who will get up on the rooftop with me, and tell the world they’re missing out if they haven’t read a Catherine West novel yet?

Well, seems I’ve exhausted my list of family and friends already… 🙂

I’m asking all these questions because I have no answers. I don’t know why some books just seem to take off and some don’t. Is it better marketing, better writing, a bigger network? There are so many avenues these days, an author must choose wisely where she hangs out.

I enjoy GoodReads and spend a bit of time trying to interact there. I like the fact that readers can post reviews, and I encourage this, as I do think the number of positive reviews of a book can influence a purchase.

Twitter is a phenomenon unto itself and I’m not sure I quite get it. I have over a thousand followers, but do they all really see my tweets? Do they care? Probably not. I’m not convinced you can sell anything through Twitter, but you can promote. Same goes for Facebook. I have a personal page and an Author Page (if you haven’t Liked it yet, please do!), but there again, I’m always asking myself how much is too much? Should I really be pushing my books over Facebook? Do people think I’m a pain in the rear if I do? Do they think I’m dumb if I don’t?

Social media, for me anyway, has always been fun. I love Facebook (hi, I’m Cathy and I’m a Facebookalohic…) I love the interactions with family and friends on both my pages, so I’m hesitant to take advantage of that. I’ve seen the barrage of updates and tweets from authors promoting their books daily, sometimes several times a day. Frankly it turns me off more than anything. It’s like those telemarketers that call the minute you sit down to dinner…nobody wants that kind of reputation. I sure don’t. I’d rather create a community where I can get to know my readers and they can get to know me, and let the marketing evolve naturally. But how do I create that community without letting people know about my books? It’s a conundrum I haven’t quite come to grips with.

So what’s the answer?

If you’re an author wading through marketing waters, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What works for you and what doesn’t? 

If you’re a reader, tell me what might work for you? What gets you to take another look at a book you hear about through social media? Why do you hit that ‘purchase’ button?

Why wouldn’t you? 

To discover Catherine’s novels, Hidden in the Heart and Yesterday’s Tomorrow, please visit her website. You can read the first chapter of both books HERE.