It’s never too late to put your best foot forward.
Welcome to one of the January 28th stops on the blog tour for The Shoe Diaries by Darby Baham with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts & interviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
Top Marketing Tips
As a first-time author, I’m still absolutely learning all the tricks of the trade and am grateful to my publicist (shout out The Literary Lobbyist!) for holding my hand as I jump out there quite often. However, I’ve also been a Communications professional for nearly two decades, and I’m a classic Xennial, so I have at least some understanding of ways you can use certain marketing strategies to get yourself and your book out to a larger audience.
Here are few tips I’ve learned so far:
• Be authentic. There are tons of ideas about audience engagement on Al Gore’s Internet, but ultimately, if people feel like you’re being fake or that what you’re churning out could easily be from a robot, they won’t connect to it.
• But also, be willing to push past your comfort zone. I’m a writer, so honestly, that doesn’t always lend itself to wanting to be in the spotlight. But a book that comes out and no one knows about might as well not even have, so there are definitely times when my instinct might be to lurk on Twitter and instead, I do the opposite.
• Use social media to your advantage. Most writers have dreamed about getting a book excerpt in whatever coveted magazine they’ve had in their internal mood board. I know I did/do! But there are so many opportunities to promote yourself and your book in the very same places that you scroll through every day. Some of this is easy, too. You know what piques your interest when you’re on Instagram, so take inspiration from that and do something like it that feels right to you. For example, I’ve seen a lot of my favorite authors doing various teasers of content leading up to their release date. So, I knew I wanted to do the same, but make it me. For The Shoe Diaries, I began posting shoe quotes and Meet “XYZ character” in addition to short excerpts as teasers.
• Use your network. Your friends are your biggest supporters and can help to amplify your profile and your book. Don’t be afraid to ask them to retweet, share, or repost your content.
• Find a good balance between planned and spontaneous content. I am a planner, so I have a detailed journal that lists out specific content that I want to push out, whether it’s social tiles I’ve created on Canva, videos, appearances, or other. But I have also learned that you have to leave room for the unplanned because social media in particular thrives off that.
• If you can, hire a publicist. Everyone can’t afford to, I get that. But it’s incredibly helpful, especially if you don’t already have industry contacts, because they can connect you with people and resources you wouldn’t normally have access to. Even if you can’t afford to fully hire a publicist, see if they have a consultant fee and pay that $100-300 to at least get some thoughts and advice from one.
About the Book
The Shoe Diaries
The Friendship Chronicles Book One
by Darby Baham
Published 25 January 2022
Harlequin Special Edition
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 288
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
From the outside, Reagan “Rae” Doucet has it all: a coveted career in Washington, DC, a tight circle of friends and a shoe closet to die for. When one of her crew falls ill, however, Rae is done playing it safe. The talented but unfulfilled writer makes a “risk list” to revamp her life. But forgiving her ex, Jake Saunders, might be one risk too many…
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
“Reminiscent of Sex and the City and the Shopaholic series in the best possible way. Her stories are a lot of fun and yet she still tugs at your heartstrings.”–Gail Chasan, Special Edition Editor
Subscribe to the Harlequin Reader Service to receive FREE Harlequin Special Edition titles! The Shoe Diaries is included in the January 2022 offering.
Bright and early on a Saturday morning, I found myself in a swanky gym locker room, less than a fifteen-minute walk from my apartment. Robin, Jenn and I had spent the past week sitting beside Christine’s bed more than anywhere else, but in desperate need of a distraction, I’d agreed to join Rebecca at a morning spin class at our local gym. And while I’d jumped at the chance to do something, anything really, other than think about Christine’s drip-drop slow recovery, it dawned on me not too soon after I met up with her that there was one small problem with me agreeing to the class: I hated spin.
Like, literally hated everything about it. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it could help; I knew a lot of people who swore by its health benefits, and certainly knew I’d be guaranteed to have an hour off from worrying. But over the years, spinning had become almost cult like with its many variations, such as Soul Cycle, Trap Cycle and how could I forget the one that claimed it felt more like working out in a nightclub? Beyond even that, the thing I disliked most about spin was the way my butt felt during the class. Everyone always said that eventually your butt gets used to the feeling of the bike, but when I’d tried it before…nah.
Regardless, there I was, putting on my spin sneakers on the wood-grain floors, marveling at the rotation of women coming in and out of the doors, looking like the exact models you might expect to see in spin class ads: blond hair tied in either a loose high ponytail or twirled in an up-do that took thirty minutes to do, but seemed effortless; Lululemon workout gear, S’well water bottles and enough sweat that they glistened, but not so much where they were actually drenched. I glanced up to see if Rebecca looked as nervous as I felt.
“Are you sure we’re ready for this?” I asked, trying to give us one last shot at running away.
“Ha, yes, I’m sure.” She paused. “I mean, kind of sure.”
I could sense her hesitation. Maybe she, too, was worried that we weren’t really the duo that fit in with the rest of the spin-bots before us? Even if we did have some things in common with them.
“You know our butts are going to be on fire afterward, right?” I asked, anxiously making sure the pink Velcro on my turquoise-and-white sneakers was fully snapped closed so that the shoes didn’t become a death trap for me on the bike pedals.
“Yeah, I know.” Rebecca’s once assured voice had been replaced with a nervous chuckle, and I remembered exactly why we were friends. Neither of us felt entirely comfortable where we were, but we were going to try it together. “But we’ve tried other things before, and it worked out. I’m sure this will be fine. Remember when we did Zumba this summer for a couple months? That was fun!”
“Zumba was fun—wait, why did we stop going there again?”
“Umm, great question,” she said, walking over to the water fountain to fill her own S’well water bottle. “Honestly, I think it’s because we just didn’t make the time for it. Who wants to go to Zumba when there’s happy hours, right?”
About the Author
Darby Baham (she/her) is a debut author with Harlequin Special Edition and a New Yorker of five years who sometimes desperately misses the sprawling shoe closet she had while living in Maryland. She’s had personal blog posts appear in The Washington Post’s relationship vertical and has worked in the communications industry for more than two decades. The New Orleans, LA native is also a lover of big laughs and books that swallow you into their world. Her first book, The Shoe Diaries, debuts in 2022.
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