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Posts Tagged ‘readers’

It’s a Saturday. Things are calm. I’m recovering well from surgery 3 weeks ago, and life has gotten back to our version of normal.

Going to let you all in on a secret today.

The best way to get people to buy your book is to get them interested in it enough to spend the money.

Yes, the story has to be well written. Yes, the cover and blurb have to spark interest. But they won’t even look at those unless they know about it.

And the BEST way to spread the word is to do it yourself.

I’m a big advocate for doing my own promoting. Why? Because I know me. I know what I want the readers to know about me. I control the information.

So, I’m personable online. I don’t get into politics or religion (both can alienate readers). I don’t bitch and moan about sales.

I project an image of success. I feed the illusion that readers want to have about authors.

I play nice with other authors.

This is a big thing for me. Too many authors see another one as competition. This could be through jealousy (writing skills or perceived success), or simply one wrong email blowing up to a major fight.

Sometimes, these fights get really out of hand. It makes those around you (or your readers) wonder if they’re back in middle school. Or who is telling the truth.

Now, what if you just took a step back. Took some deep breaths. And realized that all the sniping and undercutting and drama isn’t helping anyone.

And it could be hurting you and your books as much if not more so than you’re hurting the other author.

Readers don’t care. Your friends and family might, sure. If you’re lucky, a few will even speak up and tell you that you’re being a jerk and to calm back down. But all your readers will see is two people who can’t get along. Who can’t be adults and just walk away.

I don’t involve people in the drama around my personal life. Certainly not my readers.

Trust me, the last year and a half has been full of it. But readers won’t care if my parents died. They won’t care about how much money we put into our daughter’s first car. They aren’t interested in medical issues.

They want the next story. They want the next event or contest.

There have been times, yes, when I’ve looked at my sales and wondered what I’m doing. That I should just give it up and walk away.

But I won’t.

Being an author is so much more than writing a book. This is one of the few industries where morals, work ethic, the manners matter. The person who can be an adult, let things go, and be pleasant to everyone is the one readers want to interact with.

Books are an interesting world. The plots can all be boiled down to basic structures, and we find new and different ways to tell them. Sure, there’s lots of books out there that have dragons or magic. It’s how I use them that makes mine unique, the words I use to create the world. That’s what differentiates my stories from other authors.

No one’s going to read those stories, though, if I’m bitching about politics. No one’s going to buy my book because (yes, I’ve seen this) I scream at readers online for not leaving a review. Or curse at them for not buying more copies. Seen that, too.

We are NOT in competition with other authors. We really aren’t. Someone can read my books and then read one by J. K. Rowling and that’s okay. I have no monopoly on readers.

I concentrate on what I can control. My behavior. My image. And that’s going to make the difference.

BB

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Hello! It’s a Sunday afternoon. House is quiet, though not writing quite yet. Need to transport the youngest to hang out with a friend soon.

As a writer, an author, I give a lot to my readers. I give a small piece of myself in every book I write. Each and every word, character mannerism, name, is a gift of my soul to my readers. And I hope they appreciate it.

Readers give back to us by buying our books, leaving reviews (good or bad), standing in lines to meet us at events. They tell their friends and co-workers about our books, bid on them at auctions, and help authors grow.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

There are some readers who say one thing and do another. They promise reviews and never come through. Or they clamor for a sequel then don’t buy it.

Not to be outdone, authors don’t always keep their end of the bargain. They let their ego take over, ignoring criticism, and demand things for signings. Specific brands of water, luxury suites, first class airfare to cons. And then they do interviews and talk about all the work they did to get to that point, ignoring all the readers who DID leave a review. Buy their book, and the sequel.

Like any partnership, that between author and reader needs to have some give and take. Appreciation on both sides for what the other does, work to bolster the other up and make them feel like the time they invested (hours writing and editing, or standing in line) was worth it.

When you’re starting out as an author, you need to shrink your ego to the size of a flea. Why? Because you’re about to spend the next 5-10 years wanting to pull out your hair. You’ll have days where you doubt what you’re doing is worth it. Times where reviews simply won’t happen, no matter how many are promised. Months where you won’t get a single sale. You’ll spend money you really can’t spare on promotions that may or may not work. On contests that give you little beyond bragging rights.

There’s no magic formula for us to find our readers. No more than there is one that readers use to find that ‘new’ author that they have to get every single book ever written by them.

All we can do, as author or reader, is hold up our end of the bargain. And hope the other side does, as well.

BB

Author.to/katemariecollins

 

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Good morning!

Vacation happened. It was fun, relaxing, and we didn’t overspend. And my freezer is well stocked with coffee again. LOL.

There’s something odd about being an author. Some of us actively pursue it, while others shy away from it. It’s the idea of authors being celebrities of a sort. Simply telling new acquaintances that you’re a published author shifts their attitude of you. Granted, some will get snarky and say things like they don’t read your genre or you must not be a ‘real’ author since they haven’t heard of you. Others will want to hitch on to your coattails.

The best ones, the ones who bother to get to know you and help you succeed, those are the ones you should cherish. Why? Because they’re not jealous, envious, or wanting something from you. They like you for you. That you have a cool job is sorta like a barista making a super picture in your morning latte. A great way to start the day, but what matters is the drink itself.

It’s easy to get sucked into the myth of being a published author. The idea that we should be able to demand much, be treated like a superstar, get things for free because we wrote a book. That’s when you need the friends who knew you before. The ones who will remind you that you’re a decent person who wrote a book, not some jerk. The ones who want you to be successful because of who you were BEFORE you wrote the book, not BECAUSE you wrote one.

They’re the ones you need with you at a con, remind you to eat or keep you on schedule. And tell you to stop being a diva and remember the readers don’t care how sore your hand is. Their feet hurt much worse after hours in line. And they’re there to see you.

To them, you are a celebrity. Even if you don’t feel like one yourself. Enjoy the ride, by all means! But don’t get so caught up on the highs that you forget how easy it is for your reader base to collapse if you’re a jerk.

Give them a reason to love you, read your work. Make yourself accessible to a point. But don’t start making demands.

BB

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Someone once told me they were my “#1 fan”. And I talked with them at length about that. Why? Because I want readers, not fans.

A fan is the groupie at the rock concert, the screaming person on the rail as the stars walk the red carpet. A fan shoves a pencil and piece of paper in your hand. A fan borders on obsession with you, your work, your characters.

A reader is that…they read your books. They email you and ask in depth questions about the character’s motivations. They follow your blog, twitter, FB, and snatch up the newest book on release day. They’re polite, inquisitive, and intelligent.

They engage you in conversation on FB. Answer questions you’ve asked about topics ranging from box sets to new releases to possible sequels. They laugh with you, celebrate with you, and always remember you are more than just an author.

I’m trying to expand my promotional base in an attempt to attract  more readers. I’ve started separate pages on FB for my books. I’d be honored if you’d find a way to stop by and like one or two that are connected to your favorite books of mine.

My main author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

For The Raven Chronicles: https://www.facebook.com/theravenchroniclessolsticepublishing

For Mark of the Successor: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-of-the-Successor/597094723670141

For Kick the Can: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kick-the-Can/245633632256478

What’s new on some of these pages? Well, links to the books themselves. I’m trying to get a discussion going on the ‘MotS’ page about a sequel. There’s a teaser for book 3 on the Raven Chronicles page. And news about some upcoming books on my author page. Take a look…you’re going to get more information there, and faster, than you would be here!

Authors can never have enough readers. That’s what keeps us writing, knowing we’ve got people out there wanting to read what comes next. And I’m honored to count each and every one of you among them.

BB

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