Friday, December 9, 2011

Wondering...

As an author, it's a challenge to market your work. The old days of "when I get published, Simon & Schuster will blast out the news of my book" died with rotary phones.  Writing a novel is the easy part. The rest is a hard slog.

I see cheerleaders for other authors and I wonder how I can get one. Google was not helpful; I do not want a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader (hell, I'm a Steelers gal born and raised) nor do I want the cheerleading outfit for the boudoir. If you saw me in real life you'd know how totally ludicrous that notion is...

No, the notion is to have a reader or groups of readers out there on the social media touting your work and singing your praises. I must admit, I'm a little shy about asking people to do that for me. It seems...crass. Might be my upbringing, but I think if someone really likes my work that much, they'll tell their friends without me begging them to do so. In real life, I know that isn't true. You have to ASK people for them to know what you'd like them to do. I don't mind asking for reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but this sort of cheerleading is even more than that. It's having your readers brag about your work on all the social sites they visit, telling everyone how much they loved your work, and how your book should be the Number One book on the Internet. It's asking them to post about it on all their groups on Yahoo, Google, and whatever else, maybe blog about you. Going beyond guest blogging on other author sites. Doing all the work of alerting the world about your book. It's awesome if you can get someone that excited. The question is, how can you do it without sounding like the biggest egotist this side of Charlie Sheen?


What do other authors think about asking readers to market for them?

7 comments:

Linda Rettstatt said...

Great thoughts, Jude. I struggle with this, too. I have what I call my PR Posse--friends and family who read my books and will post on FB and Twitter about them. I always thank them and remind them to be sure to share their thoughts with others. Once I sent an email announcement about a book release to my family and friends and asked them to forward the email to all of their friends and see how far we could spread the news. They got into it and loved doing it. I don't know how it impacted sales, but it got the word out.

I find that readers--family members and friends--want to be helpful but often don't know how they might help. The just need a little nudge and direction. Now severl of my FB friends share my posts with their friends. I'm gathering new friends and new readers that way.

I'm not really shy about asking my friends to spread the word.

Linda

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I've been hesitant to "beg" too. Same upbringing, same State of the Union.

One thing, you have to live long to prosper. Keep plugging away. Make as many friends as possible. Talk to people in lines and at offices. Pass out book marks or cards with your Web site on them.

A new advantage is that 40% of people reading in drs' offices are using readers. You can always ask them to look up your Web site. Then it will be in the "memory" for a while. And they met you in real life!

Linda Rettstatt said...

Julie has a great idea. I got some small wallet calendars printed up that have my info on one side and the calendar on the back. I'm handing those out like crazy. And they were dirt cheap through Vistaprint.

Linda

CC Kaufman said...

Good question Jude. I agree I feel a little like begging, which is not my nature. I want to believe that great quality work will be noticed and 'rise to the top' but can't help wonder if the 'best' author in these new times will really just be the best marketer/salesperson.Go Steelers!

Jude Johnson said...

Thanks, everyone. Some great ideas there, from asking friends and family to "pass it on" to nudging the reader search to calendar cards. I always have bookmarks in my purse that have my Twitter and Facebook Fan Page info on them. And while we live in the era of instant information, it still takes time to build a fan base. We just have to keep plugging away...

And Yeah, CC--Go Steelers! lol
~Jude
http://jude-johnson.com

Big Mike said...

About as far as I go is at signings when I suggest, "If you like the story tell your friends." Anymore and I'd feel pushy, but I am big wussy.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year, (2008 and 2009)

Jude Johnson said...

You are not a big wussy, Mike. You're a Teddy Bear. ;-)

Thanks,
Jude