Rebecca Hamilton is an author you may have heard about, and if you haven’t… that could change fast. Her full-length novel, The Forever Girl, appeals to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampires, ghosts, paranormal mystery and horror. The book is doing very well, currently boasting a 4.7 star rating from an amazing 383 reviews in just four short months on Amazon. Believe me, getting reviews like this is a huge deal, and it only happens to great books written by talented authors.
Rebecca, The Forever Girl, is doing surprisingly well out of the gates. How have you combined elements of varied interests into one book?
I like a lot of genres and I think reading widely has resulted in me having a lot of influences, from literary fiction to fantasy to horror and even a little mystery!
The Forever Girl has accumulated 383 reviews in just four months since publishing on Amazon Kindle. Obviously it’s a great book, but what else have you done to receive so many reviews?
2) Ran a month-long blog tour (you get pretty much 1 review per stop, and I asked them all to cross post to Amazon, and they did)
3) Ask! when someone says they finished your book and loved it, ask them to leave a review. I always try to be light about it–something like “I’d love an amazon review, too, if you don’t mind, but either way, thank you for sharing your thoughts!”
4) Give away free copies! The more copies being read, the more reviews that can be left. I’ve given away over 1000 copies. And not in an Amazon freebie (which can result in a lot of downloads but not necessarily a lot of reads). What I did instead was give the copies away to people directly. Not bloggers. Just regular people who have time to read without putting your book in a “queue”. Many of them don’t usually review books but will if they get to know you through social media and you ask and they get a free book out of it 😉
5) Appreciate your reviewers. I often offer my reviewers a free copy of my next book, if they are kind enough to message me to let me know they’ve reviewed!
I gave away copies through goodreads, library thing, facebook, and twitter. Even now I will randomly post on twitter, “Tweet me if you have time to read my book this weekend and I’ll send you a free copy.” I’d say when I do that, 90% of the people who offer to read do indeed leave a review. Of course, I have a lot of followers to send these requests to. I guess it would have been harder for me to do this a year or two ago.
You’re approaching 50,000 followers on Twitter. How long have you been on it and what tips do you have for amassing followers and making the most of Twitter?
I’ve been on twitter for a few years. I find the best way to use twitter is to 1) always reply to your @ messages, 2) follow people with similar interests, 3) retweet things from other people that you enjoy, 4) tweet things you think your followers will enjoy.
How often do you tweet and what kinds of things do you post?
I tweet every 20-30 minute sometimes. I tweet blog posts, book reviews, and general chat more than anything else.
Besides Twitter, what other social media sites do you like and how do you use them to promote your books?
Facebook, but I suck at facebook. In fact, my “Forever Girl” page was made by a fan. She made me an admin on it, and I try to use it, but I really suck at facebook. Have I mentioned I suck at facebook? I’m trying to get better at it with giveaways and stuff.
Your agent, Rossano Trentin of TZLA, is out of Italy. How did you make that connection?
He found me! And he’s awesome. He’s been working hard for me and so far things are looking good. Nothing set in stone just yet, but we’ve gotten some positive reactions.
How does Rossano help you the most?
Ross is helping me internationally. Right now we are working to woo publishers in Italy, Spain, Germany, and France with the super proposal he’s put together for me. The initial responses have been positive, but now . . . we wait!
When did you create Immortal Ink publishing and how did that come about?
I’ll try to condense this story as much as possible. My partner and I had talked about a lot of similar ventures: a small literary magazine, a platform for showcasing authors. We also wanted to self publish our own work, and I also ran a successful editing service (by successful, I mean I had a high number of clients move on to publishing deals or agent requests that they weren’t previously receiving). So, we sort of put it all together and created Immortal Ink.
I am the co-founder of Immortal Ink, so it’s a relationship with myself and my best friend. My best friend is awesome but I have a love/hate relationship with myself. I also have more confidence in the other books we are publishing right now more than I do in my own.
So Immortal Ink publishes other authors?
Absolutely! Not only does Immortal Ink publish our own titles (once our editors say they are ready) but we have since published Christi Goddard, have a novella coming out soon by Steven Katriel, and have several submissions on our desk right now that we are getting ready to send an offer to. We are open for submissions for the month of May. Everything a writer needs to know can be found here: http://www.immortalinkpublishing.com/writers.php
Your book has several editors listed. Are they a part of Immortal Ink?
Some of them are!
How did publishing your own book make you feel?
I’m glad I self-published. If I hadn’t, I might not have been found by my agent!
I like your YouTube video trailer (it’s pretty spooky). Who made it?
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder and how has it influenced your writing?
What is Autism? That’s a huge question. It might be easier to visit Autism Speaks and learn more there, but in short it’s a pervasive developmental disorder that begins in childhood. It affections social, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive functioning. My son’s autism has influenced my writing by inspiring me to write characters that aren’t as readily understood as those with more mainstream ways of thinking.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to be successful?
One word: Persevere.
Great advice, all of it. Thanks so much for your time, Rebecca. You’re the best. Follow her on Twitter.
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