Firsthand: Marketing lessons from two years as a published author by Suzanne Snow
Firsthand experiences of creative people marketing their work - because we learn more through sharing and collaboration
I’m opening up the Anna Caig Communications blog to writers and other creative people to share their experiences of DIY marketing. These are posts by the people who’ve been there, done that, rolled up their sleeves and cracked on with finding audiences and promoting their work.
This post is by Suzanne Snow, an author of romantic fiction who has published four books in two years, with another due in August 2022. Suzanne is a writer who approaches everything with great professionalism - whatever she does, she does it well and her marketing always looks beautiful. One of my favourite things about Suzanne's approach to promoting her work is her generosity in amplifying and supporting other romance authors, a win win for everyone involved! In this post, she reflects on how she's grown her following and successfully marketed five books in two years.
2020 Plus 2
I featured a different author each day, with links to their festive books, plus a favourite tradition, recipe, or event, and one of my own. We shared Twelve Days through our respective social channels and in doing so created a crossover marketing opportunity for more readers to find us.
Two years after signing my first publishing contract with Canelo feels like the right time to reflect on my marketing efforts and what I’ve learned since then. As a soon-to-be debut author back in the spring of 2020, connecting with Anna Caig via a Society of Authors webinar was a huge help. During our subsequent sessions she taught me how to identify my readers and where I might find them, and grew my confidence in communicating me and my writing in interviews and blogs.
Romance is a genre with many readers who read widely and love to discover new authors, whether that’s historical, paranormal, contemporary or something else. When submitting to industry professionals we’re often invited to consider which authors and books our own work might appeal to and its worth being clear on what those are to help discover your own readers.
As a writer of uplifting fiction, it’s important that my website and social media reflect my genre and author brand, which is inspired by landscape, rural communities, and romance. I followed advice to set up a regular email newsletter and my list has grown steadily, with sign up links across my social channels and a downloadable character blog interview for doing so. I run a reader giveaway each month and subscribers enter the draw by replying to my email.
Author collaboration through my newsletter is something I began last December with Twelve Days of Christmas Crackers. I featured a different author each day, with links to their festive books, plus a favourite tradition, recipe, or event, and one of my own. We shared Twelve Days through our respective social channels and in doing so created a crossover marketing opportunity for more readers to find us. I invited subscribers to share their traditions and we finished with a Selection Box of some of their own recommendations. Newsletter swaps is something I’m looking to do more of and I’m considering Story Origin as one way of achieving this.
For readers who like to go ‘behind the books’ and receive additional content, Snowed In is a private page on my website and also a recently launched Facebook group. Through Snowed In I offer epilogues after my books have ended, links to research and early views of work in progress. Snowed In with… is a series of live monthly Facebook interviews with other authors in my genre, and I share links to their books in the group as well as news on my own.
I’m finding the experience of working with authors both a success and a pleasure, and I hope to continue. I met Anna at exactly the right time for me and my writing, and I’m looking forward to our review session, assessing my efforts two years on from being a debut and learning how I might improve for the future. Suzanne Snow
Suzanne writes contemporary and uplifting fiction with a vibrant sense of setting and community connecting the lives of her characters. A horticulturist who lives with her family in Lancashire, her books are inspired by a love of landscape, romance and rural life.
The Cottage of New Beginnings, Suzanne’s first Thorndale novel, was a contender for the 2021 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and she is currently writing the Love in the Lakes series for Canelo. Suzanne is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.
About the Firsthand blog series
The Firsthand series is hosted by Anna Caig and open to any creative person who’d like to reflect on an element of marketing and promoting their own work - from the success stories to what we learn from those tumbleweed moments (don’t worry, they happen to the best of us!) You don't have to have worked with Anna and if you have, you don't have to refer to it in your post - this is about sharing and collaboration, not testimonials.
Contact Anna for a brief if you’ve got a Firsthand experience you'd like to to share.
These posts are based on subjective experience and are the view of the individual writer.