Saturday, May 13, 2017

Being a Good Hostess (#promotion #guests #networking)

Tea Party
This past week at Beyond Romance was a bit unusual. I hosted outside guests five days in a row. Normally, I like to alternate my personal content with guest content. However, I’m not rigid about scheduling the blog, and last week, a lot of my fellow authors asked for promo help.

Actually I enjoy playing hostess. I get to meet new colleagues, who often become friends. Not infrequently I have the chance to learn about books I might want to read. Hopefully, people who follow my blog feel the same way. Many of my guests run contests or giveaways—my guidelines explicitly encourage guests to do this — so readers may get a concrete reward for visiting.

Of course, having a guest relieves me of the work of penning an original post, too... sometimes, when my schedule gets really tight, that’s a blessing. However, setting up a guest post can actually take more time than putting together one of my own. Although I have pretty clear instructions, not every guest follows them. That means more work for me, in terms of reformatting and editing. Then there’s the not-uncommon “last minute” phenomenon. Authors with new releases frequently don’t have their buy links until the eleventh hour. That means I have to set up the post, schedule it, then go back to edit it just before, or even after, the post goes live.

I’ve even had guest who didn’t get their cover images until the day before their release! (Glad I don’t work with their publishers!)

The most important reason for hosting guests, though, is what I call “Writer’s Karma”. In other words, what goes around comes around. If I can help another author (especially someone who’s just getting started in the game), I’m adding a bit to the positive energy in the world of publishing. And ultimately, I’ll get benefits, further down the road, when some other colleague does me a good turn.

I know how hard it can be to write these days. You scream at the top of your lungs, trying to get noticed. You suffer from one-star reviews and trolls. It can be a lonely, frustrating business.

Having friends, a network of people you can reach out to when you need promo help, beta reads, advice or just a virtual shoulder to cry on, really helps. Every time I host a fellow author, I’m strengthening the bonds in that network.

So I’ll continue to host guests, even though it cuts down on the amount of exposure I give my own work here at the blog. (Anyway, I’m sure readers would get bored with nothing but “Buy my books!”)

Furthermore, if you’re an author, and you’d like to come by and visit, just contact me by email at lisabet [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com.

My readers and I are both looking forward to meeting you!

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