Monday, July 23, 2018

Living in a Virtual World by Mary Manners

Living in a Virtual World

by Mary Manners

Writers tend to be solitary creatures and I can certainly attest to that. Nearly a decade ago, when I first got 'the call' to enter the publishing world, all I knew about writing was exactly that--to write. Facebook was barely and entity, Twitter stood virtually non-existent, and other social media outlets that are so popular today were merely a vision. I actually wrote my books with pen and paper, then reluctantly transferred the words to my laptop. I had never (gasp) heard of blogs or book trailers (I thought they only applied to movies), Bookbub or Goodreads. Newsletters were something I sent home weekly to communicate with parents of the students in my classroom.
I've come a long way, baby! And coming this far has taught me one important thing--I still have a long way to go. Miles. An ultra marathon worth of miles.
Writers have to wear many hats, and besides actually writing the story, one of the most important is marketing. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Intagram, newsletters, Website, street team, reviews, reviews, reviews...just to name a few. I don't know about you, but for me it's so easy to get swallowed up in marketing and, in the process, lose focus of what made me dream of becoming a writer in the first place--the joy of writing. The pleasure of sharing stories of my heart. Honestly, I'd rather put my energy into crafting the next story than planning Facebook parties, booking blog tours, or studying Amazon's logarithms. Yet, the hard truth is this: It's great to have a story, but unless you get the word out, you'll merely have a nice dust collector for your bookshelf.
So I did a little research (yes, I did) and found a knowledgeable virtual assistant that's a great fit for my needs. She's more valuable than gold and great at all of the things I am not. We work together like apples and cinnamon to spread the sweet word about my books. I am not ashamed to say she's taught me so much, and is patient with knowing I have so much more to learn. Hiring her is the best decision, writing wise, that I ever made. With a skilled virtual assistant to carry the bulk of the marketing load, my joy of writing has been restored.
Whew...when it comes to the ins and out of the writing world I'll never stop learning and growing. The industry is simply too vast to ever learn everything out there. But it's nice to know I'm not alone in the journey.
Now, I'm off to write!


Claire Mulvaney’s benevolent spirit has her biting off more than she can chew when she spearheads a charity fishing event to raise funds for Winding Ridge’s overcrowded animal shelter and is forced to call on fishing expert Sean Maguire.
Hollywood agent Cass Townsend makes a more-than-satisfactory living helping talented “wannabe” actors become stars.
Receiving a Dear Rand email while serving his country didn’t douse the fire in Rand Tenneson’s heart for his high school sweetheart.
Still reeling from the loss of her husband, young widow Roni Marsden resolves to be strong for her precocious daughter.
Two years after her husband’s tragic death, middle-aged widow Rylie Thornton struggles to raise her three sons while keeping the family business in the black.
Mary Manners is a country girl at heart who has spent a lifetime sharing her joy of writing. She lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and their rescue dog Axel, mischievous cats Colby and Rascal, 8 rambunctious chickens, and 13 fish.
Mary writes stories full of faith and hope. Her books have earned multiple accolades including two Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold, the Heart of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
If you’d like to receive information on new releases, please follow Mary here: Author Page
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Want to join Mary's street team and help spread the word about her books? Find information here: Mary Manners Page Turners


  1. What a great solution, Mary! At first, I thought you meant you found an app, but then she was a she, so I understood you meant you found an online (virtual) assistant. I know so many authors who would rather write than promote. Thanks for sharing your strategy!

    1. You are so welcome, Annette. It is always my pleasure to share helpful information with fellow writers.

  2. Thanks for sharing this post, Mary. I'm hearing about more and more author friends who are using virtual assistants, so it's good to know they're available.

    I've just pre-ordered FALL IN LOVE and cannot wait to read these stories! Since Fall is my very favorite season, I'm sure I'll enjoy these.
    Blessings on your writing, Patti Jo

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Patti Jo. I appreciate you!

  3. Glad you are able to get help. Hmmm.... That could mean lot more books to read. Love your books!!!

    1. Thanks, Diana. Yes, I have much more time to write now. Stay tuned...

  4. I'm over my head right now with learning and implementing marketing strategies, all while a writing deadline looms! What's the best way to find a credible VA? Word of mouth?

    1. Yes, word of mouth is the best way, in my opinion. Ask your writer friends. They will give you the best information. Good luck!

  5. Mary, thanks for sharing about your virtual assistant. I'm not at the place I need one yet, but I enjoy learning.

    1. Thanks, Terri. I am always happy to share information.


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