Out and About!
Writers can get themselves locked into a social media bubble and end up promoting their new releases to the same audience over and over again. This habit can leave potential new readers out in the cold as not everyone is on social media. Last year I gave a talk to the St.Wenn W.I. on “How To Write Romantic Fiction“. Buoyed up by their positive feedback, I made a promise to myself to try and reach more readers outside the boundaries set by my WiFi signal at home.
This choice required some planning ahead as many clubs and groups book their speakers well in advance, so last year I reached out to the Women’s Institutes (W.I.) in my area and offered to be a guest speaker for the following year, 2018. I was delighted when my requests were accepted.
In March my W.I. tour began in earnest, starting with the meeting at St.Breward. The W.I.s at Bodmin, Newquay (Beaches & Cream), Egloshayle & Trevanson, Liskeard and St.Kew soon followed. All the members gave me a warm welcome, tea and delicious (usually homemade) cake to round off an enjoyable visit. I met some lovely ladies, many of which are avid readers, and I’m very grateful that they allowed me the opportunity to introduce my novels to them.
Between these visits I also attended the Wadebridge Wheels event in July, Helly’s International Guitar Festival in August and St.Wenn Community Lunch Project in September where I was able to meet new readers, undertake book signings and make some new friends.
In October I visited Tregolls Lodge Book Club, in Truro, to share my journey to publication and the inspiration for my novels.
I had at least one event planned for every month. Although my presentations have finally come to an end, I still have a possible radio guest slot and a couple of Christmas fairs booked in.
Have my travels helped me to reach a new audience? Yes, most definitely! Were the visits worth it? It takes time to prepare for, and travel to, the different venues. It can also be nerve-wracking. Will I find the venue? Will the projector work? Will my talk interest them? However, I’ve met some lovely people, made new friends and enjoyed every minute as the welcome is always warm.
So if you are a writer, get out and about. Your visit will be appreciated and there is nothing better than talking to like-minded people who love to read.