Working in TV, I have learned that ratings are people. What do people want? How do you reach the people who are not part of the masses? I put the same thought process into my book. I wanted to reach the LGBT reading community. I wanted to especially reach those countries where anti-LGBT laws make it almost impossible for people to have access.
I decided to use our national common ground: social media. I searched for groups on Facebook. I made friends with the group moderators living in China, Australia, Africa, Japan, and England. I told them that I wanted to learn more about the LGBT culture where they were living, and hopefully provide outlets as well as make new friends. I sent each moderator a copy of the book for free. I also had postcards made, and am going to send those out soon so they can leave them around LGBT safe spaces where people tend to socialize.
The friendships led me to get permission to join other exclusive LGBT book clubs on Facebook. I did not want to come on strong right away and I wanted to invest in the people within the group. So, at first, I did not promote my own book. I had a picture of my book as my profile picture and my Facebook banner is an advertisement for my book. Therefore, if they click on my profile, they could find more information.
I went into the groups discussing what people felt they liked about LGBT novels and what they felt was missing. I asked them about their lives in their countries. I told them about my experience and our lives here. I asked if anyone wrote. That opened the door to discuss my book. I introduced them to the idea of me as a person, let them know about my life, my advocacy, and then how important it was for me to reach other LGBT people. Joining the book club and spending time in discussion led to the women ordering my book for their June Book of the Month.
I feel that, with social media today, you can invest in a person and hopefully that turns into people. You invest in the people who care about books that belong to the book clubs. That opens a relationship and everyone wants to buy a book from someone they know.
Dandelions: The journey about figuring out the parts of life that school and parents do not explain: being poor, falling in love, deciding a future, hiding family secrets, and being gay. Can Josephine, aka Yonder, survive long enough to understand the past and find a new future?
JENNIFER BUCK is an independent author, poet, and activist living in Dallas, Texas. Her coming out story, and the people she has known through the years in the LGBTQ community, have inspired three novels. Dandelions is the first of the three. She wants to continue to highlight life in the LGBTQ community and support LGBTQ youth as she did in her years with Youth First Texas.