Monday, January 27, 2020

Creating Community with Writers & Readers

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

A few years ago, I took a marketing course at a writers conference. Presented by three multi-published Southern authors, Janice ThompsonKathleen Y'Barbo, and Anita Higman, the class taught me a lot about marketing. But the one idea that really struck a chord within me was creating a tribe. The people in a writer's tribe are those who love their stories and help promote their work. 

Okay, but the conference took place less than two weeks after the release of my debut novel, Chapel Springs Revival, so while I came home with terrific ideas, I wasn't ready to put any in place. I mean, doesn't one actually need fans to have a tribe?  

When reviews began to come in, I was thrilled. People responded to my whacked sense of humor and my characters. They loved them! I gained a few fans. Amazing. One sent me a photo he made that I've framed. Yes, I basked in its light for a moment. 

I decided to go ahead and put into place what I'd learned from the conference. I formed a private Facebook group, naming it after the bakery in my Chapel Springs series, Dee's 'n' Doughs, where everyone gathers in Chapel Springs. I invited those who followed my blog tour and loved the characters. They helped promote my books. For that, they get sneak peeks at the next book in the series, special offers, the chance to help name people, and other special things just for them. 

I uploaded a file with the names and roles of the characters in the series. Those who joined Dee's 'n' Doughs took on the persona of one of the characters and they interact as such. They were having a crazy lot of fun. In some of the dialogue between these "characters," I picked up new ideas for another book in the series. 

When someone mentioned a new item for the bakery, I got the idea to have everyone submit recipes as their character and put together the Chapel Springs Cookbook and Some added fun side notes to the recipes that came straight from Chapel Springs Revival. My publisher loved it and published it.

Now it’s time for a new marketing idea. I have a new series beginning and the first book releases in August. Here’s my cover. Isn’t it pretty? 

So, who has a great idea to share with me for this marketing campaign kickoff?


Ane Mulligan has been a voracious reader ever since her mom instilled within her a love of reading at age three, escaping into worlds otherwise unknown. But when Ane saw Mary Martin in PETER PAN, she was struck with a fever from which she never recovered—stage fever. She submerged herself in drama through high school and college. Years later, her two loves collided, and a bestselling, award-winning novelist emerged. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler. Find Ane on her websiteAmazon Author pageFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and The Write Conversation.  

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful ideas Ms. Ane. Please tell me "In High Cotton" takes place in NE Texas and there's a dog named "Seamus" in it. :-) Thank you so much for sharing your "secrets for success" ma'am.