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#WritingCommunity, How Do You Work on Book Promotion? #IWSG

By 01/04/2020April 13th, 2020book advertising, guest post
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Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my pleasure today to welcome D. B. Carter, author of “The Cherries.” He responds to questions on book promotion, and his latest novel, The Wild Roses.

1. What is a typical writing day like for you?

I normally start early. Straight after breakfast, I spend some time checking social media and answering messages. Then I read through my writing from the previous day, cringing at all my mistakes and the multitude of typos. Then it’s down to writing for a couple of hours. Typically, I go for a walk in the late morning (often to the supermarket) and then I’ll write some more until lunchtime. That’s when the USA starts waking up, so I generally spend time chatting and answering messages, before I resume writing.

If my family are home and available, we will spend the evening together, but if not, I’m back on my keyboard. Writing is when I am happiest, and it’s not unusual for me to start at 8am and continue until well past midnight.

2. What is/are the book/s by your bedside at the moment?

Immediately by my bed is a Times Cryptic Crosswords collection – I’m an addict – and The Oxford Book of English Verse, because I love poetry.

I’m presently reading “Finding Magdalena” by Shannon Condon, and “Mistletoe and Mayhem” by Veronica Cline Barton, but I sometimes find it hard to read books when I’m working on one of my own, so my To Be Read pile is getting huge.

3. Do you plot your novels or are you a pantser?

A little of both. I always start with a firm plan of what I’m going to do, but I’m happy to change things as the story and characters develop.

4. Which aspect of writing do you find the most difficult? What is the easiest? Why?

I find writing violence and cruelty very difficult, because I come to know my characters and they mean a great deal to me – sometimes I’ve been deeply affected by a passage I write and have to take a break.

I don’t know about easy, but I enjoy writing dialogue. I like listening to people talk and I think I have an ear for writing it. Even as a child, I’d spend ages listening to adults chatting to each other. People’s life stories always interest me.

5. When editing your novels, what are the points you keep in mind?

When writing, I sometimes over-explain and can be long-winded, so the main point during editing is keeping the flow and style of the words, while removing unnecessary passages.

However, sometimes extra details add something to the reading experience, so it’s a delicate balancing act.

6. How do you work on promoting your books?

I think many writers would agree that promotion is one of the hardest parts of being an author. I’m a very private person, so I’d much rather be writing. Social media is very important for writers, but it’s extremely time consuming.

  • I’m on Facebook and I’ve recently started Instagram, but I mainly use Twitter, and I recommend people start there. Seek out #WritingCommunity – it’s full of supportive people who are on a similar journey. Join in and interact with others – of course you should tweet about your books regularly, but the interaction will help you grow your presence, plus you get to meet nice people and often have a fun time. If you do join, tweet me and say hi.
  • Facebook is also an excellent platform, and its posts less ephemeral than Tweets. They also have a comprehensive marketing and advertising platform, which allows you to run campaigns on Facebook and Instagram at the same time, with a single post or ad. However, it’s easy to get carried away and overspend. Marketing is an iterative process of creating a campaign, running it, analysing the results and tweaking your criteria accordingly. It’s not a silver bullet, and it’s easy to throw good money after bad.
  • With all social media, having good graphics to use with your posts is essential. You can pay a professional designer, but I’d also recommend getting to understand sites like BookBrush or Canva which allow you to design good looking images yourself.
  • I also recommend a professionally managed book blog tour. It’s a great way to get blog features of your work, and to raise your social media profile. There are some wonderful bloggers on twitter – just interacting with people may get you an invitation, but most bloggers have twitter home pages that say if they’re open for reviews and how to go about contacting them.

The wild roses book promotion7. Where and when did The Wild Roses begin?

My first novel, “The Cherries”, dealt with some serious topics while retaining an idyllic and romantic feel. That was published in early 2019 and I started work on a second novel at about the same time. This time, I wanted to write something a little darker and gritty (for want of a better term), but which still retained a lining of hope. The 80s was my era, and I wanted to reflect some of the social changes we’ve seen (bad and good) since then, so I set the book in that decade. I had an overall plot in mind, but it was when I created the characters that everything fell into place.

To answer the question as literally as possible, The Wild Roses began at my desk in my home about a year ago, or maybe it was in 1984.

8. In The Wild Roses, which character did you find the most difficult to write, and why?

With three complex main characters, and several significant secondary ones, I have to say I found them all quite demanding to write. However, much as Pip is my favourite, Sharon was the one hardest to develop – to give her a character which made her decisions believable, while maintaining (I hope) a degree of sympathy for her, was difficult. I’d also like to give a special mention to Oscar the dachshund, who I struggled to write but adored every second.

9. Why should a reader pick up the The Wild Roses? Could you name a writer or two whose fans might enjoy this book?

If you like stories that take you on a journey, through events and places you might not expect from the first page, while maintaining realistic characters, then I hope you might enjoy The Wild Roses. It covers some difficult topics, but I hope in a respectful and ultimately positive manner. Some of my favourite books are Jane Eyre, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Little Dorrit, and I believe they influenced my style. I know people who like Catherine Cookson and Rosamunde Pilcher have enjoyed my books, but I think it has very broad appeal.

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Bio: D. B. Carter lives with his family in rural Devon, England. The son of two artists, he grew up in a world of creativity, studying painting techniques under his parents’ tutelage. In his 20s, he took a degree in Computer Science, and followed up with research in AI and Machine Learning. He went on to run his own business for twenty years. A lifelong bibliophile, he is firmly of the opinion that there is no such thing as too many books, only insufficient shelf space.

If you’re an author, how do you work on book promotion? As a reader, what kind of book promotion influences you to buy a book?

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Book Promotion D B CarterThis post was written for IWSG: Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing and hosting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) every month!

Go to the site to see the other participants. In this group we writers share tips, self-doubt, insecurities, and of course, discuss the act of writing. If you’re a writer and a blogger, go join rightaway!

The co-hosts today are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson. Please go and give their posts some love.

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Are you part of nay online or offline book groups? Founded any? What is the experience like? Do you think online book groups are similar to those offline?My debut literary crime novel,”You Beneath Your Skin,” published by the fab team at Simon and Schuster IN is making its way into the world.

It is available in India here.

Worldwide, here.

Reviews are appreciated–please get in touch if you’d like a review copy.


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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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21 Comments

  • Yvonne V says:

    Thanks for sharing marketing info! I also like PicMonkey to make graphics.

    • DB Carter says:

      Thanks Yvonne – I’ve not heard of PicMonkey, but shall look into it. Hope the marketing info was useful

  • Rebecca Douglass says:

    Good stuff in that interview. I’ll have to follow some of the links and see what else I can learn. I hate marketing 😀

    • DB Carter says:

      Hi Rebecca – I’m not a fan of marketing either. It’s very time consuming and it can be frustrating when you want to be writing. I’ve found it to be a slow process. It also varies according to genre – please let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try to help.

  • Juneta says:

    Enjoyed the interview. Congrats on new release DB. Great Post. Belated IWSG!

    • DB Carter says:

      Thanks so much, Juneta. I’m so pleased you found it interesting.

  • Sulekha says:

    Hey Damyanti, long time… It was nice reading another author’s post about his process of writing his novel. I am not at all disciplined like D.B and am stuck with two half finished stories. I conviniently blame the muse but it is all me 🙂 I am catching up on my reading nowadays and the latest book I read is The Silent Patient. Your book is on my TBR list 🙂 Thanks for sharing this guest post.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – what a helpful guestpost from DB … he’s certainly encouraging and is aware of what needs to be done. Good luck to you both – writing and publishing are a labour of love … with a lot of persistence and resilience … all the best, particularly in this time – Hilary

    • DB Carter says:

      Thank you, Hilary. Writing certainly is a labour of love but it’s nice to escape the real world for a little while and disappear into one’s own, particularly during these difficult times. Best wishes, DB.

  • ahtdoucette says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Good luck with Wild Roses to your guest and with all your writing endeavors.

  • patgarcia says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for sharing some of your writing process. I am in the process of getting my first manuscript ready for a publisher and I will have to promote my own book. I am in twitter but have really neglected it. so, I need to get back into it.
    Wishing you all the best with The Wild Roses.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

    • DB Carter says:

      Thank you so much, Pat. Congratulations on your book – I look forward to hearing all about it. If you do come back to Twitter, do please make contact with me @dbcarterauthor

  • annecater says:

    Thanks so much for supporting the Blog Tour, so sorry that I’m not able to share on Twitter xx

  • ladycee says:

    Thanks for sharing this guest post Damyanti, which I found interesting and informative as a newly published author who has not yet fully got on board with the promotion circuit.
    Best wishes to you D B Carter! Thanks for the social media tips.

    • DB Carter says:

      Thank you, ladycee. If you do join Twitter, please seek me out @dbcarterauthor. I’d be happy to introduce you to some of the many helpful people in the writing community.

  • Jacqui Murray says:

    I loved reading about your day, DB. I can tell you love writing, that it’s not just a hobby or time-filler.

    • DB Carter says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Jacqui. You’re right – for me, writing has become a vocation and my wife tells me I’m happiest when crafting a new story. The only drawback is my poor multi-tasking when it comes to writing – I focus deeply on what I’m doing and find it hard to switch to other things, including my other great love, which is reading. I do so admire people who can easy switch between the two.

  • I enjoy dialogue as well.
    There certainly have been some big changes since the 80’s.
    Congratulations on your new release, DB!

    • D B Carter says:

      Thank you Alex – it’s always a nervous time when we launch a new book, but I’ve been very happy with the response so far.

      It’s funny – sometimes it seems like no time at all since the 80s.

  • Hi Damyanti. It’s always interesting to read about the writing processes followed by different authors. It’s always a highly individualized approach, since no two people are the same.
    Stay safe!

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