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VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.
VIRTUALLY HERS OUT IN PRINT AUG 2010.

I've also made available at Amazon BIG BAD WOLF a COS Commando book, an earlier manuscript about Killian Nicholas Langley. You can sample the first five chapters right here. EBOOK now available for KINDLE, NOOK, and at SMASHWORDS for $4.99.

I appreciate all your emails. If you'd like to buy Virtually His NEW, please contact me. Thank you.



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To read excerpts of VIRTUALLY HERS, scroll down & click on the links on the right.



EMAIL ME AT JENN AT GENNITA-LOW DOT COM


VIRTUALLY HERS UPDATE

VIRTUALLY HERS OUT IN PRINT AUG 2010! Discounted at Amazon!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MySpace, My Place In The World

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

CATHY AND MONIQUE!

Congratulations! Please email me at Jenn @ my website with your snail mail address and the ARCs will be in your post boxes via our wonderful postal service.

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How many of you have a My Space page? Do you visit authors' My Space pages? I'm curious because many of my published writing friends have spent A LOT of time working on their pages and they promote their books through them. Of course, to be able to view members' blogs and pictures, I had to register, so now I'm the owner of a My Space page. I haven't done anything to it--no skin, no book covers, no pictures--other than a few lines of intro.

First, the time thing. Second, I don't know whether it's going to be worth it for me as a promotional tool. Do I need another website to distract me (and yeah, I can tell it will definitely be a fun place to "decorate")? I think my regular websites and my blogs do a lot already, don't you?

However, every one of us is being urged to promote, promote, promote. With Walmart cutting off a bunch of midlist authors' books, our numbers are down and the only way to reach out to a wider audience is through promotion. As I told you earlier this year, when I heard the news about Walmart, I was determined to get my name out more because...well, because that's what published authors have to do to survive these days.

Yes, I'm going to say it. A lot of old-timers and famous authors will disagree with me. It is NO LONGER enough to write a good book. If you're not in the business and don't subscribe to different forums (for recommendations) and reviews, you won't hear about many books beyond the ones that are in the top tier. I depend on my friends and the author's own savvy promotions to find gems such as Nalina Singh's, Lilith Saintcrow's, and Elizabeth Hoyt's first books. And of course, the competitive part of me tells me that if I want to be as popular as they are, I have to get my name out too.

I love their books and tell my friends and readers about them, who, in turn, spread the word through their favorite forums and their own blogs and My Space pages. So doesn't it make sense to use the huge world of My Space as a promotional tool to get my name out?

This is just me yak-yak-yakking of course, as I tend to do when I'm procrastinating. Writing is the most important thing. Staying creative and doing my best to write the books as I envision them. Being true to the characters. Getting Jed to cooperate. Making deadlines. Argghhhh...why did that have to come up, huh? Huh?

Bear with me while I learn. The first button likes the POST. The second button likes the BLOG site. Please help me by "liking" me. Thanks!

17 comments:

Elaine said...

Jenn, speaking as a customer, I agree that it's no longer enough to write a good book. Getting me to know it exists and making me want to buy is what counts.

Other readers stumbling on a comment about one of your books or characters would have to have somewhere to go so having a blog or website or MySpace page is indispensable. If I read this in a reviews site: 'for more details on XXX's new series about the X-COMMANDOS click here (mySpace link)' I would click on it. And if other authors have links to their new series and new books you have no choice but to have one, too.

Because these are free sites, it is far more economical for publishers to let the consumer/author power their book promotions than to spend hundreds of thousands promoting an author's next book - unless you're Dan Brown or J K Rowling.

What I tend NOT to do is visit author sites and blogs. Their websites are rarely up to date and even when they are, other sites managed by readers contain more information.

As for author blogs, yours is the only one I bother to follow because I was interested in the development of the COS commandos. I have no connection to any other author to want to follow their daily musings.

Review Blogs like DearAuthor are also not consumer-friendly as I cannot search by rating, date or author so I only go to them when I happen to come across a link to a review in that site.

The websites that influence my buying decision are READER review websites like Mrs Giggles, AAR, Romance Reader At Heart etc. I go to these regularly, almost daily.

If you DO decide to start a MySpace page, I'd visit it only if it were dedicated to information about the COS commandos and their de-classified files and IMO, there'd be no need for you to have a website.

My conclusion: It's more important for the author to get her URL posted as far and wide as possible. Better to have just one link that's posted on a hundred sites than a hundred sites that no one mentions. So if you start a MySpace page, make it information-specific and get as many reviewers to post the link as possible.

I also see these free personal sites like MySpace replacing websites. Why pay for maintaining a website when you can now have something better for free?

Hope my 2 cents helped.

Anonymous said...

wtg laides

Sarah said...

I have become a bit of a blog fan this year esp. I read yours of course! Leiha's, M Lui and PB writer. For my reccomends I still rely on RBL and few RBL's in particular who I specifically ask, as we have such a crap selection in stores here and I have read a few you've suggested.

To be honest I don't really read my space at all, have checked out KMM and a couple of others but I am more into blogs and what people think and have to say... do read some other review sites but think some of them are pretty meh. Would rather talk to other readers. Today I did a syrvey of my class to see what sort of access the kids in my class have to tech. I was amazed, they know more than me, the know about bebo, my space and something called face book????!!! Way more savy than I thought! It is truly amazing what is available!

I agree with what you said about writing a good book. I would never have picked up Elizabeth Vaughan had it not been for your reccomend. Word of mouth or should I say word via pc is the way!

Sarah said...

PS, online communities I should have mentioned also, I love the idea of this and making connections with like minded bods.

PPS Dagger-Star by Elizabeth Vaughan Berkley (April 1, 2008). Can I get a whoop whoop!

Leiha said...

My take on myspace is it can't hurt. You don't have to do too much to maintain it and it's a networking tool. It's all about cross promotion. If someone sees you there they may be curious enought to come here. I think myspace hits a broader audience, those who don't visit author sites and review sites may see your page through a friends and be curious. Myspace is huge and it could only benefit you.

That being said, I don't visit many author myspace pages but a lof of people do.

Leilani said...

I have a myspace page...put it up there to keep up with my kids who are in their mid-twenties. (It's suprising/scary the things you learn!) LOL

The funny thing is that most of my "friends" are favorite authors that I've subscribed to. As far as backgrounds, Sherrilyn Kenyon has a few different ones on her page that readers can use and I've adopted one. My oldest daughter liked it enough to ask me about it and the Dark Hunter books and now she's reading them...so it can't hurt as far as free promotion goes.

Casee said...

MySpace is a very addicting website. I rarely go on it because it's blocked at work, but when I do, geez. I am on for hours and hours. It's really rather pathetic.

I have no idea if it would be a good promotional tool. People would have to specifically search for you, no?

rhet said...

Ms. Low
You need to join the 'Tribe' of Erotica writers centred over at:
http://creativegoddessess.blogspot.com.
Mostly e-Book published.

I put myself through Med school roofing with my father in asphalt shingles in Toronto, Canada

Anonymous said...

one word. facebook

Gennita said...

Elaine,

Thanks for weighing in here. Your point about My Space being free is what is making me think of spending time to decorate my page there. However, most readers can google my name and find my website, which is more professional, I think, then a My Place page with its myriad of multimedia info.

Looking at some of the pages of My Space, I think it's more like an immediate blog meets daily gathering for quick messages sort of place. It's PERFECT for people hooking up as potential friends but I'm not, in honesty, looking for friends. I'm looking for readers. That's why I ask the question whether you as a reader go and "friend" an author's My Space.

As for J.R. Ward, well, needless to say, she will draw many fans to a My Space page, but I don't think she needs it because her personal forum is very, very popular already.

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Sarah,
See, I think the average romance reading fan is like you--have a community forum you enjoy for recs and friendship AND some blogs you visit. I don't think many romance readers "friend" an author in a My Space page. I notice the many authors' pages have their author friends "friending them" but does that mean this become a link to get cross-over readers from your author friends' sites? I have no idea, of course, just wondering.

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Leiha,

I agree it's cross-promotion, but you yourself said you don't visit many author My Space pages ;-). I know there are many readers who list their favorite authors in their My Space page, but do they go and "friend" authors who have their pages there too? Do you have many author "friends" on your My Space page?

************

Leilani, your answer is what I'm looking for--a reader who actually visits the author My Space page and is part of the promotional puzzle I'm trying to solve.

Thanks for letting me know. I'm going to use you as a Vote for Yes, I might need a My Space page ;-).

*********
Rhet,

Hi, there, roofer girl ;-). You must have put on a heck of a number of shingles to pay for med school! Wow. Blood, sweat, and surgical tears!

As for the sight you mentioned, I think it's just for erotica authors, which I am not considered to be. Erotica is an entirely different sub-genre in romance and yes, most of the authors who write them are e-pubbed (Ellora's Cave, Samhaim).

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Anonymous 4.59,

My Face is another type of social gathering place that's similar to My Space, right? Again, how many readers actually seek out their favorite authors there? I'm really curious about this.

Monique said...

OK - I must have typed out and sent a response in my sleep because I could have sworn I added my 2 cents. Ah well. Here's my take.

I don't have a My Space page and I don't like to go there. I have been once or twice to Christine Feehan's page but everything I can get there I can get on her official web page.

Personally, I use Facebook which I like because of the privacy settings. If I try out an author and am more curious, I look for an official web site, not a social networking page. I like the Yahoo group because it is a place to chat with others about a particular author and I only read one author blog - this one and well, FYEO.

I agree with Sarah about word of mouth for learning about new authors. You've introduced me to several. Some that I like, but none that I would buy yet.

The real issue with too many pages is that eventually, the information on them will be inconsistent.

Personally, I think a top notch professional official site, a blog, and a Yahoo group all connected are great. Just my opinion.

vanessa jaye said...

I know a lot of folks swear by MySpace regarding selling copies, or finding out about new books. But, frankly, I don't get it. I've been there a couple of times and all I see is comment threads asking to be friended or saying they've been friended or blantant self-promotion via flashy bookcover/graphic type signature lines. At least on the other blog type platforms there's more *real* interaction/discussion. Then there is the time suck issue....

Plus it *seems* to be a bit of a circle-jerk, with authors friending each other, for the most part. But, this could be a good thing--Alison Kent has mentioned that she's discovered a bunch of new authors over there. And HelenKay Dimon regularly features the books she's discover over there on her blog. So if you have the time and inclination, I guess it can't hurt.

Is that enough of my opinion, or do you want more? lol

Gennita said...

Monique,

I'm on the side of me, my blog, and my Yahoogroup is enough too. I'm just looking for more promotional opps. and this caught my attention as more and more authors have My Space page link on their website.

Vanessa,

No, no, talk away! I'd like to have more opinions.

Your "circle jerk" comment was the term I was looking for ;-). Yes, it's mostly authors and their author friends, but does that pull each others' readers to the author friends' pages?

Gennita said...

Oh, in addition, Vanessa, it's not that I'm not looking for new authors to read, but my main goal here is to reach new readers. But perhaps one new author-friend who likes my books enough to recommend me is the key here?

Monique said...

Sherrilyn Kenyon has 4 or 5 groups on Facebook. Maybe I should start a Jenn group? :)

Lauren Dane said...

I have this discussion all the time with authors who started with NY (instead of with ebooks where the onus is on authors to get out and be active online) but the truth is, it's not enough to write a book.

How will people find out about the book? Osmosis? Publishers aren't doing the same kind of publicity for authors they used to so what's going to make a reader choose between eighteen books coming out every Wednesday (or whatever)?

I hate myspace, I really do. I think one on one communication is very difficult there but I can't deny how effective a tool it's been for me to meet readers and other authors. I generally just cross post from my main blog, but I keep it up and comment around a few times a week. I don't spam anyone else's comment page (this happens a lot, I hate it, it's rude) and I don't have loud colors, music or graphics so big my profile takes ten minutes to load. I have my books, links to my website and other stuff up.

Anyway, this is long, but it's a topic near and dear to me.

Leiha said...

No, I don't visit a lot of uthor myspace pages but honestly, I'm not on myspace a lot. There are too many other places for me to play at but that being said I know people who spend the majority of their playtime on myspace. I think the benefit of it is if someone sees your name or face on someone else's friendslist and gets curious enough to check it out. That's where you bring in the new readers. I honestly don't know how much of an impact it has but I think it hits a diffent audience then the ones who sign up for newsletters and read boards. We get emails there from readers who don't particpate in other author features.

I think once you get it set up it's not really a lot to maintain and it can't hurt. I have some author friends, not a whole lot. I don't use my personal page as a networking page. It's changed due to my job but for years I only had 5 friends, LOL.

http://www.myspace.com/leihaha

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