MBM: 10 Marketing Tips (what not to do) with JoLynne Lyon

MARCH BOOK MADNESS is something where people share their thoughts on writing and books and we’ve had two awesome posts already (see the links below).      


    Lynn Wiese Sneyd: Thurs, March 8, Querying 
          Tobi Summers: Tues, March 13, Plotting vs. Plodding
          JoLynne Lyon: Thurs, March 15, Marketing
          Cassie Mae: Tues, March 20, Editing
          Jessica Khoury: Thurs, March 22, Editing
          Tricia Pease: Tues, March 27th, Reading
          Sharon Belknap: Thurs, March 29Reading
          (if it’s blue, you can click on it to go to that post) 

Fun stuff. Great people. I’m totally lovin’ this! 

Today JoLynne Lyon is talking about marketing and social media for authors. I must say, I really appreciate JoLynne’s sense of humor. Her post made me laugh which is always a good thing. So here it is:

JoLynne: Using social media to build a bestseller in 10 easy steps

Step 1: Start before you are published. Set up a blog with a name that reflects your self-confidence like, Destined for Greatness or Seeds of Glory. Use your corner of the Internet to vent. Writing is hard. The publishing world doesn’t get you. Everyone should know.
Step 2: Leave comments on other blogs inviting readers to visit yours. Don’t waste time reading their posts. “You are invited to visit my blog” and a link is enough.
Step 3: Stop working on your manuscript and build your platform. Bestsellers owe their success to marketing, not plot and character development.
Step 4: When you are published or self-published, it’s time to move to Twitter. Use the word “ninja” or “guru” in your profile. Follow absolutely everyone. Direct message them about your book as soon as they follow you back. Tweet hourly, and only about your book.
Step 5: Ask fellow bloggers and Goodreads friends for a review. If they didn’t give you at least four stars, blast them in the comment section and ostracize them from your personal and professional life.


Step 6: Shock people as you interact in social media. Drop the F-bomb. Everyone loves an edgy writer.
Step 7: Don’t neglect your Facebook friends as potential customers. Stop posting about anything but your book. Your writing is your life now.
Step 8: Be on every social network that exists. Don’t wait to get a feel for a new platform before you start commenting.
Step 9: If your book is in a contest, go to the website or blog that’s hosting and diss your competition.
Step 10: Now that you’re networked, spend all your time blogging, tweeting, pinning, chatting and updating. There will be time for going to kids’ events/cooking dinner/exercising/persuading your family not to disown you after you’re famous. Which should be any minute now.
Follow these tips to fame and wealth because social media is the new multilevel marketing. 

Bio: JoLynne Lyon is the public relations specialist in a unit in a college in a university on a hill in a mountain town. (Utah State University wants you to know that her opinions don’t represent her employer.) She’s never sold a book, but she’s observed all the strategies presented here. You can find her at www.mountainlyon.blogspot.com and on Twitter, @jensenborger6.

Rebecca: The first time I read JoLynne’s post I laughed. It’s awesome! I think we’ve all been there, seen that. The annoying self-promoter. They’re everywhere with an in-your-face kind of approach. But I have to say the second time I read it, I thought, “Oh shoot! Have I done those things?” If so, I’m very, very sorry to all of you. It’s hard to remember that other people aren’t as excited about my book as I am. (By the way it’s called Sadie, and it’s about this girl who . . . just kidding.) 

Like everything else in life, I think it all comes back to balance. You want to get your name and product out there because you believe in it. Otherwise you wouldn’t have created it. And the reality is that in today’s publishing world, most of marketing falls to the author. So how do you do it without bugging the snot out of people? I love the suggestions JoLynne gave of what not to do. If I had to add one thing to do, I would say: Be nice. That’s it. Everything you ever needed to know you learned in kindergarten, or something like that. Just be nice. 

I’ve become a people watcher of late, especially an author watcher. My favorite ones, the ones I look up to, are genuinely nice, classy people. (Classy. That’s a word I’d love to be some day.) These authors mention their product, sure, but they also mention others they love and believe in. They’re always grateful for their readers and supporters. When praised, they’re humble and acknowledge that they didn’t get to where they are solely because of themselves. I love that! When they talk to people they’re appreciative. They’re real. They’re nice. That goes a long way in my book. In fact, I’ve met some authors who impressed me so much I’ll buy anything they write for the rest of their lives. How’s that for reader loyalty?

So that’s my marketing tip. Be nice. And please don’t do the things JoLynne mentioned. It really bugs people. :)

What do you think? What marketing strategies have you seen that you like? That you hate? What authors do you respect and why? What are you having for dessert? (Sorry that last one crept in there. Craving chocolate right now.)


Win an Autographed Copy of Sadie (or two)

Hey, I wanted to let you know about two copies of SADIE I’m giving away starting this week. This giveaway includes an inscription and my lovely (not) signature The first book is for my blog followers here, just comment below if you want to be considered. The other copy is on goodreads, details here if you’re interested. Yes, that’s two free copies of SADIE, one here for my followers and one over at goodreads. Both giveaways are open until March 15th

If you don’t know anything about my book, here’s the book trailer and a quick synopsis:

Sadie Dawson thinks she has the perfect life until accusations and misunderstandings throw her life into turmoil. Fleeing her boyfriend’s wrath in a blinding Montana snowstorm, she is rescued by four friends on their annual ski vacation. While she knows there is more to a perfect life than diamonds and dinner parties, she must discover who has her best interests at heart and who she can trust . . . before it’s too late. Click here for more info.  

I could tell you how much I like my own book, but that would be really weird and, quite frankly, a little desperate, so here are some reviews from some very nice people: 

Deseret News
Tristi Pinkston
Deseret Book
(If you’ve read SADIE and want to share your thoughts, post a review or send me a note at rebeccabelliston at gmail dot com. I love hearing from readers!!!)

That’s it for now. I hope you win. Well, one of you reading this will, but I hope that it’s you. Yes, you! The last person who won a copy was the fabulous Cassie, who has since become my friend–at least, I claim her as my friend. I’m not sure she claims me. :)  Don’t worry, my friendship is optional with all entries, so don’t let that deter you. (Wow. Can you tell I haven’t been getting enough sleep? I’m in a strange mood. Sorry. I should quit typing.)

Enjoy the sunshine! If you don’t have any where you are, come to Michigan. We have blue skies in February for once. Yahoo!!!

A week of Polls: Social Networking and Writing


an explanation written for my level of understanding

As a new author, I’ve been doing a lot of research–A LOT–on what works for authors, what doesn’t, where readers go for information, and how to get information out there. I think sometime last week I got lost in the Social Media Black Hole. There are so many opinions and everyone seems to have the one ‘right way’.   

Since I’m on serious information overload, and since I happen to know that many of you have spent more time on this, I thought I’d do some polling this week. No, not on the GOP contest. I’m not in the mood for political infighting–at least, not today. ;) These polls are more writing/marketing based. I’ll call it my own little independent survey. I hope you like taking surveys because the more people who answer, the more accurate the results will be, which would be fantabulous. You ready? It will only take a second (maybe five) to answer. 

Here they are:




Tomorrow I’ll have a few more questions. Thanks for playing along!!!

(I think I fixed the links–I hope)

Want your eCopy of SADIE autographed?


The ebook version of SADIE has been sitting at #2 on Deseret Book’s fiction list for a couple weeks, which I think is just so stinking cool. Even on amazon.com, SADIE has been as high as the top 1.8% of all ebooks. So, so, so exciting for a dorky, first-time author like me. Seriously, I’m like a kid with a credit card in a candy store. I just had to say a big thanks! to everyone today. I’ve received some very nice letters and reviews from some very nice people, so again, THANKS!!! And keep sending the notes (you can reach me by email, rebeccabelliston @ gmail . com, or on my facebook page.) I love hearing from people! 

Along those lines, I’ve seen this new thing around that I finally got around to investigating today. It’s called KINDLEGRAPH and it allows authors to sign ebooks. Weird maybe, but also very cool. Especially since I live in Michigan and a lot of my readers don’t. 


If you have an ebook version of SADIE, and would like it Kindlegraphed, the link is here. Just drop me a note of who you want it inscribed to and I’d be more than happy to ‘sign’ it for you. There are directions on how to make it work, but I’ll have to say that it took me a little bit to figure it out. Then again, I’m not the greatest at technology. If I’m understanding it right, you need to have a Kindle (or the free Kindle app for your device) plus a Twitter account to sign in. If you get stuck, let me know and I’ll try to help. As this is a fairly new concept, I’m hoping the technology will become more user-friendly with time. 

Cool, cool, cool.

Side note: if you’d like me to sign your actual paperback book, just shoot me an email and we can try to arrange something. Oh, and if you haven’t bought SADIE and would like to, the links are on my website here. ;)

Gotta love technology!

New Goals for a New Year: KISS


Happy New Year everyone!

So I’m going against my personality this year. I’m setting some goals. I know. Shocking, right? I figure that if I write them down here then I can’t deny them later in the year (or next week). 

So…in no particular order…
1) Blog every weekday. I’m a little concerned about this one because I’m still new to the whole blogging thing, but I’ve had a few friends inspire me and since I don’t journal, this will have to do. Why only weekdays you ask? More accurately, it will be every school day and that’s due to goal #2 (see below). As part of goal #1 though, I’ve decided to break my blogs into sub-topics: writing, reading, composing, mothering, laughing, learning, designing, philosophizing, etc. I also hope to have 1,000 followers by the end of the year. A lofty goal, right? Thankfully this includes facebook and twitter. Maybe even Christmas cards. If you want to be really kind, you can start my 2012 off right and either follow this blog (see links on left), or like my facebook page, or follow me on twitter. Or do all three. :) Does that sound too desperate? Maybe. I should probably stick with lofty. That sounds better. I’ll keep you updated on this goal here.

(What’s a -ing verb for goals? I’m kinda into this -ing verb thing and ‘goaling’ just doesn’t sound quite right.)

Be forewarned, though. There will be no blogs posted here on cleaning, cooking, or laundering. This isn’t one of those blogs and I’m not one of those people. This blog is here to cheer me up (and possibly you) and those three things will just bring us all down. Right? Right.
Okay. On to number two.  
2) Try to be a nicer person. Now I picture my wonderful hubby saying, “How do you quantify that?” He’s an engineer and engineers need to quantify everything. Well hon…um…I don’t. I just want to try to be more kind, patient, forgiving and thoughtful. This includes mothering, neighboring, wiving, driving and all other areas where I tend to fall short. It also means that I must put people before hobbies. Yes, this will be a stretch goal. 
3) I have a few Book of Mormon goals here that I’ll lump together: read every day, read the whole thing, and spread the wealth.
4) Get another book published. As easy as it may sound considering I’ve already had one done, it’s not. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. 
And beyond that, there’s a whole boatload of stuff I know I should be working on, but I’ll just keep it simple for now. Keep It Simple. I guess that is goal #5.

5) K.I.S.S. My hubby’s thinking, “YES!”, but I mean the acronym more than the action. It’s time to simplify. Slow down. Enjoy life. Stop to smell the roses and dance in the rain and all that good stuff. Hopefully you will too. And maybe this *KISS goal could include kissing my hubby from time to time. Of course, that circles back to goal #2, which means I’m doing great!

Here’s to *KISSing in 2012. :)  

Anyone else out there new to this whole goal setting thing? What are some of yours? Will you KISS this New Year? :)
*KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. I didn’t come up with the acronym, and in case you find it insulting (no, I do not think you’re stupid) you can change it to Keep It Simple Smartie. But that would be stupid. :) 

Experiences from a New Author:

1) Writing a book is easy (comparatively). Editing/cutting a book is not.
2) Editing/cutting a book is easy (comparatively). Getting a book published is not.
3) Getting a book published is DEFINITELY worth the effort!
Lovin’ life in the University Village Deseret Book, Orem
This year I learned how to make a website, create a facebook fan page, blog, tweet, help make a book trailer, create covers for self-published music, edit HTMLs, create a goodreads page, a playlist, and sign books. I’ve learned how to self-promote (my least favorite thing) and relearned how to sign my full name since I’ve been cheating on checks and visa receipts for awhile now. In my defense, I went from Becky Lund growing up (9 letters) to Rebecca Belliston as an adult (16 letters–almost double). It’s been a stretch. Now I have a few hundred people who know exactly why I got a C+ in third grade for my handwriting. 
I also learned this year that having a book published has allowed me to connect with so many people I haven’t seen for years. High school friends, cousins, Michiganders that defected to Utah. It allowed me to work with my dad closely on something we both love. It has also allowed me to meet many new people who have been so kind and inspired me as an author. I think these have been the greatest benefits.

Book signing with my sister, Cynthia Dobson
and my dad, Gerald N Lund in the SLC Deseret Book

As 2011 winds down, I just had to drop a quick note to say thanks to everyone that has encouraged me along the way, to those at Deseret Book for making this possible, and to everyone else who has given me feedback on SADIE. It is very fulfilling to think that my story might have entertained you for a few hours. Hopefully there are many more stories to come.

One last thing…
If you happened to like SADIE, I would love it if you would take a few minutes to nominate it for a Whitney Award. The Whitneys are an academy set up to honor LDS novelists in all genres and across all markets. You can nominate more than one book/author in any given year, but there are only two more days to nominate a book for 2011. The website is here
Thanks again for helping to make 2011 a great year!!!

FYI Sadie

A couple of things…

The eBook version of Sadie is now available at Deseretbook.com as well as Amazon.com.  I’m very excited for this since my Kindle Fire should be arriving any day. This is my first ever official technological toy. Now if only I can figure out how to use it…Thank goodness I have two teenagers. (Did I really just say that?)

Also, Chapter 1 was just posted on Deseret Book’s site as well. So if you’d like a sneak peek, check it out here and click EXCERPT down below the photo. It’s only Chapter 1, not the Prologue or any of the other chapters, so I suppose they are hoping you’ll still buy the book so you can read the rest. ;)

And lastly, don’t forget that if you’d like to win a FREE, signed, personalized copy of Sadie, just comment below or over at Sarah’s blog. (For more details, click here).

Thanks to everyone who has had such nice things to say about Sadie thus far. It’s so exciting to have the world meet these characters that have been living inside my head for three years. Have a great one!!

This picture is proof (to myself) that Sadie is actually really truly on bookshelves somewhere.
I still can’t believe it. Thanks Jennifer for the pic.