Q&A With Biographer Christine J. Gilbert

Looking to improve your marketing and publicity efforts? Check out our Book Publicity Tips series where we ask real authors to share their experiences, thoughts, and advice to assist both new and established authors. 

How important is social media to your marketing efforts?

Social media has been a great success for me to market my two books. I have a Goodreads author profile, a Linkedin profile, a Twitter account, a personal Facebook, a business Facebook, a website, and a business and personal gmail account. By networking on these sites, I have met authors, media, film directors, marketing professionals, and more. By reading articles and reviews about other professions it has helped me to increase my knowledge and education to better my networking abilities. I enjoy sharing their work, and in turn they become interested in what I do, and share my work as well.

In your opinion, what is the best way to react to a negative review?

When I had received a two star review on Amazon, I was very disappointed. After reading someone’s article on Twitter about how to perceive a negative review, I learned that it was actually a good thing. Readers that see different ratings for your books are aware that the author is selling to a variety of people that have differences of opinion. Some may relate to your story, and others may criticize it, but the great news is that readers are reading your book!

Everyone remembers their first professional review. How did you react?

I received a five star review from ForeWord Clarion for my first book, MANipulated Into Fear. By reading the review, I felt that the reviewer totally understood Marvela’s story, and I knew that by writing her story it was going to educate and help others. This was the best feeling, and I felt that I had accomplished my goal by writing her story. After I published the sequel, White Roses In A Dream, I received a five star review from ForeWord Clarion. Once again, I knew that by continuing to write Marvela’s story it was going to educate and help others. At the present time, I am writing the trilogy.

Being on television or the radio to talk about your work can be nerve-racking. Can you share one of these experiences with us? How did you overcome your fear?

After I published my first book, MANipulated Into Fear, I met an author on Linkedin who had read my book, and he posted a five star review on Amazon. He told me that it made him understand what his mother had gone through when she was in an abusive relationship. He saw that Marvela had been in the military, and he referred me to militarywriters.com. I went to the site, and emailed them the information about my book. A Lieutenant called me, and asked if I would like to do a radio interview with American Heroes Radio. It was going to be an hour long, and it would be my first interview. I was very nervous about doing the interview but I accepted his offer. He emailed me the instructions on how they would conduct the interview. I was able to write the questions that he was going to ask me along with the answers. Before the interview began, they had technical problems so on the recording, it takes a while for the interview to begin. During the interview, I had all my information in front of me, and the interview went very smoothly. Being prepared and knowing your subject will ease your fear, and your interview will be a success.

How active are you in researching your target audience? Can you identify characteristics such as your main demographic and their habits and interests? How do you use this information?

My two books are about domestic violence. I have reached out and shared my books with multiple not for profit organizations that help victims and their families if they have been in a domestic violence situation. I volunteer for a not for profit organization, I am a member of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and an Officer with the Eastern Star Organization. At the present time, I am planning book signing events at bookstores, and will give 10% of my book sales back to the not for profit organization. I hand out business cards everywhere I go. My future goal is to become a speaker and talk to others about Marvela’s story, and how they too can leave an abusive relationship and never go back.

Subject Bio

Marvela Dawnay grew up in a small town in Missouri. She was a corporate executive and then later became a successful entrepreneur. She has attended two universities and served in the US Army Reserves for six years. Due to the mental and physical abuse she endured by her ex-husband she wrote her two books, MANipulated Into Fear, and the sequel, White Roses In A Dream, with the intent to help others. At the present time, she is writing the trilogy.

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