Saturday, June 23, 2018

When You Least Expect It by Margo Hoornstra

You know how opportunity strikes when you least expect it? That happened to me recently. This is how it went.

It’s no secret I suck at promo. My website needs to be updated, but I just hadn't gotten to it yet. All I needed to do was send an email to my webmistress to get the ball rolling. Expense was one reason. Lack of motivation was the other. Who really, really goes to my website anyway?

Bad decision on my part. Some Free Read download short stories on my website through The Wild Rose Press now went nowhere when TWRP disconintued the program a few months ago. I hadn't bothered to have them taken down.
Unforgivable on my part, but there it is.

I also wanted to somehow up my general discoverability on the internet, but had no clue how to do that either, short of hiring a public relations agency which, for me, would be cost prohibitive.
What to do? What to do?

In order to supplement my author income (ahem) and because the job affords me lots and lots of down (in other words writing) time, I work as a substitute administrative assistant for a couple of local school districts. My boss in one is also second in command of the PR Department.

Imagine my surprise the other day when she told me she’d Googled (it’s now officially a verb) me and was very impressed with my website. Although she did mention she noticed a couple of glitches I needed to fix. One of which was some promised free downloads that went nowhere.
Wait! What?! Someone noticed?

When I cited the problems I had with promo, she and her assistant went on to explain the best and cheapest way to better promote myself on line. Turns out you can ‘claim’ yourself on Google and add relevant information that will pop up in a search. Who knew?
That conversation got me off the dime and I emailed my webmistress to get things rolling again. Voila, just like that the stories are fixed and we have a process going again.
But that's not all. Turns out my 'boss' also does the website for the district which is, I must say impressive. We talked a little about that, too. If things don't work out they way they are not...I have options.

Then, I can’t leave this out, BONUS, she asked which of my books was my favorite and which she should buy. After smiling shyly, I suggested the three stories in one, Saturday In Serendipity, to give her more bang for her buck.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled. Could it be promo and I aren’t so hopeless after all?
How about you? Any fortuitous events in your recent history?
Be on the the lookout.
They’re there.
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my (soon to be revamped!) website.


Alicia Dean said...

Wow, that was fortuitous!!! For me, no, I don't believe anything like that has happened recently, but I'm happy for you! I'll have to check out this Google claiming thing. Thanks for the tip!

Leah St. James said...

That's fabulous, Margo! It's so helpful to have someone to turn to with questions or advice in areas that aren't our expertise. And it's great that she asked about your books. I'll bet she'll be sure to tell others about them, too. That's exactly how word of mouth spreads. I'd never heard of claiming yourself (however that works) either! I'll have to check it of these days! :-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Lucky you, Margo! But you were open to (and thinking hard about) your unfulfilled goals, so you took advantage of an opportunity. I have a 'this is my lucky day' radar going all the time. Yesterday I was buying something in a store when I saw some WONDERFUL succulents...some I had never seen in a store before. Big ones...only $15 per pot. Bought six on the spot! Would you tell us more about 'claiming' on Google, please?

Vonnie Davis said...

GOOD FOR YOU! Promo is always a problem and a drag. It's nice to get some advice on things to do. How do we claim ourselves? Please share this with us.

Jannine Gallant said...

Actually, I did have a fortuitous event occur in regards to promo. When I was eating lunch all by my lonely self at RT, a woman approached and asked if she could share my table. It was busy, and I'd just happened to sit down when someone stood up to leave at this casual food stand where most people at the conference got food--and shared tables. Of course I said yes, and we started talking. She was a blogger with Prime Beauty, and they've been doing promo that combined beauty products with romance books. They charge for this service--I think it was $150. They've done spreads for authors like Kristan Higgins, and to enter to win the package, people have to like your FB page, sign up for your newsletter, etc. A couple thousand entries is standard. She offered to comp it for me! I sent her two ARCs of Lost Innocence for the photo shoot they do with the book and the makeup products. It'll come out in August. Hopefully I'll get enough signups for my newsletter to make sending one out worthwhile! So, yes, sometimes luck just happens when we don't expect it!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Wow wow. Great. Nothing for me to date. But I HAVE to know about the Google thing. How about sending your fellow Roses an email of explanation?

Andrea Downing said...

Great stuff, Margo, you lucky girl. At the moment, I only count myself lucky that I sold my house really quickly and have a new one to move to :-)

Margo Hoornstra said...

Sounds like a win win to me, Ally.

Margo Hoornstra said...

It was a nice surprise, Leah. I’ll let you know how the claiming goes.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Lucky you too, Rolynn with the plants. I will report back when I figure claiming out. Promise.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I’ll take all the help with promo I can get, Vonnie. Will let you know what I find out.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Fantastic, Jannine. Ya gotta be open to it. You don’t gain anything if you don’t try.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Can do, Brenda. Can do.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Luck is luck, Andi. And takes many forms.

Diane Burton said...

I'm so glad you are energized on the promo front. Good luck!

Casi McLean said...

My oldest son has incredible good luck...but he works hard for it. I think the two go hand and hand!