Sunday, December 15, 2013

Authors: Finding Your Readers On-line: A group of Award-winning Authors speak up. – A Study




One of the major problems facing authors today is finding their reading audience. With the marketing burden being placed more and more on the writer’s shoulders, building an on-line presence and interacting with readers is becoming the popular way to go.

If you’re a gifted author who is fortunate enough to sell out your first printing quickly, you probably don’t need to read this study. ‘Be sure to tune in later as things are achangin’.

But if you are like the most of the authors in today’s market place, finding readers and building relationships is the key to your sales success. Authors are setting goals and trying to use social media to accomplish them. They are joining groups of all kinds and using on-line tools to find their readers. Authors have to overcome  a lot of problems. They find out quickly they must take action and work hard to succeed.

It is study time again and I am fortunate to have a group of outstanding, Award-winning authors whose opinions I value highly. Over 30 authors helped me with this study.

Starting Point

You must know your audience before you to start looking for your readers. Several authors in our group discussed where to start.

Dianne Harman

Author Dianne Harman @DianneDHarman is Award Winning Bestseller Romance author. Dianne explains the problem.

Finding a reading audience is one of the most difficult things an author has to deal with, particularly if you write contemporary fiction which crosses several genres…I'm a believer that no one is going to look for your works if they're under a rock, so I think multi-exposure is critical. If you write in a very specific genre, I think it's much easier to target your audiences.

Luke Romyn 

International Best-Selling Author Luke Romyn @LukeRomyn writes Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy novels. Luke echoes the problem.

In today’s writing market, indie authors are faced with the most daunting of tasks: promoting themselves. For myself I rely heavily on social media, with around 320,000 followers on Twitter and over 12K on Facebook and Goodreads, it’s a decent chunk to market to. Hopefully they, in turn, repeat what I’m posting and it expands exponentially from there, in theory.

Start by defining your genre

R.S. Guthrie

5-Star Mystery Author R.S. Guthrie@rsguthrie writes Mystery & Thrillers, essays, and short stories. Rob says this.

[Seek] the specific reader groups for your genre on Goodreads, Facebook, or any other social site. When specifically looking for readers, you want to target forums, groups, etc. that closely match your writing. No sense spending a lot of time in Romance groups when you write Science Fiction. :)

Brent Hartinger

Brent Hartinger @brenthartinger is the author of The Russel Middlebrook series. The movie version of his novel: Geography Club will be released later in 2013. Brent’s advice on genre.

You just happen to write something that fits the cultural zeitgeist at a particular time, or is in a genre that is unexpectedly breaking (vampire, erotica, dystopian, etc.). Talent counts for something here, and I know others have found success buying reviews or manipulating the Amazon logarithms, but I think this kind of success is mostly just organic.

S.R. Grey 

Author S.R. Grey @AuthorSRGrey is the Author of the A Harbour Falls Mystery series. Susie talks about the start.

At the time, and as a new author, I knew I had to make the right contacts from the start. For me, those contacts included readers who were interested in Romance novels, Mystery novels, and/or Romantic Suspense books. One of the best ways to find and get to know those readers is by creating a strong and active presence in social media.

In the current publishing landscape, establishing a readership base is essential for an author to achieve any level of success with his or her novel(s). For me, embarking on this vital step began long before my first novel, Harbour Falls, was published.

Goal Setting

You need to set goals and develop a strategy to accomplish them. Building relationships and creating name recognition by engaging your followers to gain exposure is very important.

Strategy

John Huffman

Award winning Indie Author John W. Huffman @johnwhuffman writes Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers. John talks about a basic approach.

I work through all venues available to me, such as blogs, email, twitter, pinterest, facebook, multi-authors networks, online interviews, and support groups on a daily basis...and your network is an excellent example.

Mohana Rajakumar

Award-winning Author Mohana Rajakumar @moha_doha is an author based in Qatar. She has a PhD and has been involved in various foundations supporting young writers. Mohana adds this.

I use social media to 'give'; I share posts, comment on people's blogs, and in general am a reader so that when I need readers they can do that for me.

Ron Fritsch

Author Ron Fritsch @RonFritsch is a self-published Historical Fiction Writer. Ron shares his approach.

So how do I find readers? I write fiction appealing to readers who are willing to read something different -- as long as it makes sense and speaks more to the ages than the moment. I find those readers through honest book awards competitions and reviewing services. My first three novels have won a total of ten awards and a number of highly favorable reviews.

Find and build relationships

Cate Beauman

Author Cate Beauman is a Romance, Mystery & Thrillers Writer. Cate had this to say about relationships.

I think the most important part of finding and keeping readers IS the relationship we build with our audience. There's a fine line between promoting our work and being annoying. Yes, we want to keep our readers in the know with what we're working on and when our latest releases will hit the market, but if all we talk about is selling, selling, selling, we're not building lasting relationships.

Readers want to know who we are. If they take the time to e-mail us, it's vital to respond. If they make comments on our facebook fan pages, do them the courtesy of replying. If as authors we're constantly taking but not giving in return, we're turning people off. Each reader is a customer, but more, they are people looking to build a connection. 

Name recognition

R.S. Guthrie

5-Star Mystery Author R.S. Guthrie@rsguthrie writes Mystery & Thrillers, essays, and short stories. Rob discusses the importance of being recognized.

Early on it's about name recognition. You aren't going to sell a ton of books on Social Media anyway; it's really more about a positive presence. RETWEET a lot! Help other authors out (especially more established ones).

They'll notice the assists and most will respond in kind. Make sure you have an author page on each of the major sites (FB, Goodreads, Amazon, B&N).

Engage - Reach out

C. S. Lakin

Award-winning Author Susanne Lakin @CSLakin is the author of the seven-book fantasy series The Gates of Heaven. Also, Susanne is a freelance copyeditor and writing coach. Susanne comments on engaging readers.

I feel it’s more casting a wide net of your presence online and responding back to readers, engaging them where you can.

Exposure

Claude Bouchard

Best-Selling Author Claude Bouchard @ceebee308 writes Mystery & Thrillers novels in the Vigilante Series. Claude had this to say.

What it boils down to is exposure and looking to continuously expand it. The more people hear or read about an author and his/her work, the higher probability of finding new readers.

Price/Places

Joseph Lallo

Joseph Lallo @jrlallo is a bestselling author of the Science Fiction & Fantasy series: The Book of Deacon Trilogy. Joseph adds an important point:

For me, I find that finding readers is more about making your book available in the places and for the prices that people most look for them. I try to keep the prices of my books reasonable, and I price the entry book of a series lower than the rest to offer an incentive to new readers.

Using Social Media

Having a strategy is required if you are looking for results from social media. Using Twitter and Facebook is all about engaging and building relationships.

General

Melody Anne

NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author Melody Anne @authmelodyanne is the author of many Romance and Young Adult novels. Melody speaks about her approach.

I use these as communication and promotion tools. I love speaking with my fans and try to answer as many questions as possible, though it's getting harder and harder as I have a lot more messages coming in. I also do all my promotions through all of these sites, such as giveaways of iPads, Kindles and gift cards.

Claude Bouchard

Best-Selling Author Claude Bouchard @ceebee308 writes Mystery & Thrillers novels in the Vigilante Series. Claude added this.

I can't see how my presence on social media sites didn't help in finding readers. It's through these very sites that I receive interview requests, book feature offers and so on. It's on Twitter that I most chat with readers and potential readers and am often asked, "Which one should I read first?"

Strategy – Hashtags

Karin Cox

Australian Author Karin Cox @Authorandeditor is the prolific author of more than 28 titles, from travel guides, to natural history, to illustrated children's storybooks. Karin discusses her strategy.

I don't tend to find readers via social media as much as my readers find me, by which I mean they buy a book online and then like it so they go to my social media pages. I think readers come from many different sources—groups I interact with online (including some for other authors), and by that I mean interact with, not spam; friends, family and acquaintances I know or meet in real life; those I come into contact with on Facebook or Goodreads, and those who see me about thanks to promotional efforts (advertising on FB, twitter and Goodreads). 

Jan Romes

Author Jan Romes @JanRomes  writes Romance fiction novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Jan said this.

I think finding readers is a cocktail of tweeting, interaction on FB, book signings, word of mouth and serendipity. A high degree of the latter. Serendipity places a huge role in the other parts of our life; it only stands to reason that it plays a big role in our readership.

Jade Varden

Crime and Horror Author Jade Varden @JadeVarden is the creator of the Deck of Lies book series. Jade added this.

I look for users who like books and movies that are similar to my work, usually through hashtags or certain keywords. If I find their profiles to be interesting, I follow them and hope they’ll follow me also. I also look for followers of profiles that I follow. I focus most of my efforts on Twitter, because as a YA author this is where I will find a big potential audience, but I’m also active on Goodreads.

Twitter (followers- unfollow) - Facebook (circles)

Lizzy Stevens

Amazon Best Selling Author Lizzy Stevens @LizzyStevens123 writes Paranormal, Romance and Woman's fiction. Lizzy said this about twitter.

All authors have to find their own way, but for me I mostly use twitter. That's my favorite social media outlet. The key to finding an audience and a following is to be yourself. Get on twitter and chat with people. Start conversations. Don't go on there and say "Buy My Book" every time you tweet.

Jake Raymond Needham

Author Jake Needham @jakeneedham is a best-selling Mystery & Thrillers Author. Jake discusses using his Twitter audience.

I have about 55,000 Twitter followers so that’s my primary platform for keeping in touch with readers who want to keep in touch with me. I also find I get a few tweets almost every day from new readers who have discovered my books through Twitter.

Relationships and Engagements

Joseph Lallo

Joseph Lallo @jrlallo is a bestselling author of the Science Fiction & Fantasy series: The Book of Deacon Trilogy. Joseph added this.

Now, once I've earned the interest of a reader, I find social networks are a great way to keep in touch with them and learn what things they like and don't like. While social networks do lead to word of mouth advertising which is crucial to finding new readers, I still focus efforts with social networking on fostering an open and friendly relationship with readers.

Joanne Lessner

Author Joanne Sydney Lessner @joannelessner writes Mystery & Thrillers including the Isobel Spice Series. Also, she is a singer, actress, writer and mom. Joanne discusses her on-line presence.

I'm pretty active on Twitter and I have a Facebook author page. With Twitter, I try to adhere to the 80/20 rule of only promoting my work only 20 percent of the time. The only times I ignore that is during a promotion or blog tour. Then it necessarily gets upped, but every time I tweet something promotional, I follow it up immediately with a personal, non-book-related tweet.

Kathy Bennett

Bestselling suspense Author Kathy Bennett @kathywriteslapd is an author specializing in Mystery & Thrillers with Women Sleuths. Kathy talks about her routine.

Most of the social media interaction I do is on Facebook. I usually post once a day on my author page and check back several times during the day and respond to any comments. Not very many readers comment, but the few who do are very loyal. I'm building strong relationships with those readers.

Jen Blood

Jen Blood @jenblood is a Bestselling Mystery author of the Erin Solomon series. Jen had this to say.

To this point, I've found that my use of social media is more to strengthen my relationship with my reading audience than to actually find them in the first place. I've had moderate success attracting readers through Twitter, and started my own Facebook group specifically for fans of the mystery/suspense/thriller genre (BloodWrites), but by and large the results I've gotten from those efforts have been to connect with fellow authors.

Joining Groups

Joining groups and forums are a good way to find your readers. Also, author are finding out that Multi-author networks and guest posts are a good place to hang out with readers and other authors.

Multi-Author Networks

Ron Fritsch

Author Ron Fritsch @RonFritsch is a self-published Historical Fiction Writer. Ron talks about networking.

Currently the most important to me are the Association of Independent Authors and the Facebook group, Indie Writers Unite! While they provide loads of useful information (as does HBS Author’s Spotlight), they don't directly help authors find their readers, nor do they claim to.

Caroline Leavitt

Caroline Leavitt @Leavittnovelist - New York Times Bestselling Author Caroline Leavitt is a Literary Novelist. Caroline also is a writing teacher and book critic. Caroline adds these sources to the basic groups.

I am always on RedRoom.com and SheWrites.com, and that's it!

On-line Support Groups

Here is a list of some good on-line groups. There are many more popping up all the time that are very good resources. Some are genre specific. You need to do your own study.

World Literary Cafehttp://www.worldliterarycafe.com/
The World Literary Cafe is an online community that bridges the gap between readers and authors, with the mission of paying-it-forward in the literary field, promoting great literature, and bringing together the literary community.

Independent Author Networkhttp://www.independentauthornetwork.com/
The World Literary Cafe is an online community that bridges the gap between readers and authors, with the mission of paying-it-forward in the literary field, promoting great literature, and bringing together the literary community.

Independent Author Indexhttp://indaindex.com/
The Independent Author Index is designed to offer independent authors another avenue of exposure. It is also designed to be engaging and interactive.

Association of Independent Authorshttp://www.independent-authors.org/
A unique community of independent (self-published) authors who are professional in everything they do. They write and publish, not on a whim, but with dedication and commitment to their craft.

Using guest posts

Joanne Lessner

New York Times Bestselling Author Caroline Leavitt @Leavittnovelist is a Literary Novelist. Caroline also is a writing teacher and book critic. Caroline likes guest posts.

I've written a lot of guest blog posts, either by contacting bloggers directly or through a blog tour—I had an excellent experience with Goddess Fish Promotions.

Hangouts

Karin Cox

Australian Author Karin Cox @Authorandeditor is the prolific author of more than 28 titles, from travel guides, to natural history, to illustrated children's storybooks. Karin had this to say about hanging out her readers.

I visit a lot of blogs in my genres and leave comments if they've posted something interesting, and I interact occasionally on their Facebook pages or twitter. I'd love to spend more time just "hanging out" in forums and sites that suit my demographic, but I also know I need to stay productive, which sometimes means limiting how long I spend online. 

Using On-line Tools

Besides using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, the majority of authors have websites. Some are very simple. Some are very complex.

Another tool that is quite popular to help find and build a reader following is an author blog. Some author use KDP Select from Amazon to find readers.

Website - Email list – Newsletter

Kathy Bennett

Bestselling suspense Author Kathy Bennett @kathywriteslapd is an author specializing in Mystery & Thrillers with Women Sleuths. Kathy tells about her newsletter.

My newsletter is quarterly unless I have a new book coming out or something else of importance to let my readers know about. My email list is growing and I'll be running a contest soon to try to increase the subscriptions to my newsletter.

Terry Ambrose

Terry Ambrose @suspense_writer is the author of the McKenna Mystery series and a member of Murder, We Wrote. Terry uses his newsletter.

I use my monthly newsletter, The Snitch, as a means to communicate with readers I have met online or in person. The mistake I feel most authors make with newsletters is making them purely promotional. If I'm going to subscribe to a newsletter, it needs to provide me with something of value to me.

In keeping with that philosophy, my monthly newsletter includes a recipe, contest information, and a tip on how to avoid a current scam or con. I also provide a link to my most popular posts, whether they are an interview with a bestselling author, a scam tip, or a book review. The most recent copy of The Snitch is available at http://terryambrose.com/thesnitch/The_Snitch/

Jake Raymond Needham

Author Jake Needham @jakeneedham is a best-selling Mystery & Thrillers Author. Jake also uses a newsletter. Jake told us this about his newsletter.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been writing something called ‘Letters from Asia.’ Taken all together, my letters amount to something that I call ‘a sort of blog,’ but they’re really more like exactly what the title says they are: letters written to my readers from wherever I am in Asia.

Mostly, I’ve been writing about the real people, places, and things that appear in my novels in fictional form, but recently I’ve slipped over into a few other topics, too. Each letter is posted on my website http://jakeneedham.com/category/blog/,  but it also goes out by email to about 900 people who have signed up to be included on my mailing list (you can do that here: http://jakeneedham.com/join-list/.

R.S. Guthrie

5-Star Mystery Author R.S. Guthrie@rsguthrie writes Mystery & Thrillers, essays, and short stories. Rob uses his newsletter.

The best way I have found is to have a newsletter or email subscription where people signup. You really need to have a blog, make it relevant, and post to it at least once a week. Offer people an "easy email signup".

I've found these work the best because all a reader must do is submit their email address and, best of all, most applications that allow you to offer this are free and they will email all or most of your blog text to the reader's inbox so they can read it there. This is a great way to reach a readership and to get your brand out there.

Gary Ponzo

Award-Winning and Pushcart-Prize nominated author Gary Ponzo @AuthorPonzo is the author of the series of thrillers. Gary gives us his take.

I don’t find readers in any group online setting.  Most of my email contacts come from readers who contact me with positive thoughts about my work.  I always let them know I’ll add them to my reader contact list and send out a broadcast email whenever I release a new book.  But that’s the only time I contact them—no spamming my random thoughts in an email.

Blog with interesting stuff – including links

Jade Varden

Crime and Horror Author Jade Varden @JadeVarden is the creator of the Deck of Lies book series. Jade discusses her blog importance.

I maintain a regular blog where I write about self-publishing, being an indie author and books. I get a good amount of conversation on my blog and through Goodreads, which has a feed for my blog. Of course, you’ll find information about all of my books in both places. I also promote my books regularly through tweets, which I write daily.

Lizzy Stevens

Amazon Best Selling Author Lizzy Stevens @LizzyStevens123 writes Paranormal, Romance and Woman's fiction. Lizzy uses her blog also.

My second favorite thing is to blog. Host guest bloggers on your blog. You will pick up new readers when people come to read what your guest is doing. Cross promotion like that is a very helpful tool to pick up new readers.

KDP Select Helps

Dave Folsom 

Dave Folsom @davefolsombooks is a Mystery & Thrillers author based in the Northwest. Dave uses Amazon’s KDP program.

Mostly social networking, networking with other writers, and personal contacts with readers.  I've begun to like Amazon's KDP program since over time a large percentage of sales come from that source as compared to the other outlets.

Claude Bouchard

Best-Selling Author Claude Bouchard @ceebee308 writes Mystery & Thrillers novels in the Vigilante Series. Claude likes the KDP program.

Another aspect which can't be neglected was the KDP Select program (when it worked) combined with advertising with the big ones at promo times. Following a number of successful Select promotions, I saw sales across my entire series increase which told me, folks liked the first (free) book and were willing to buy the others.

Special sites

C. S. Lakin

Award-winning Author Susanne Lakin @CSLakin is the author of the seven-book fantasy series The Gates of Heaven. Also, Susanne is a freelance copyeditor and writing coach. Susanne comments on KDP.

I preschedule most of my tweets via socialoomph so that I don’t have to do each one manually...The most important thing, of course, is to write a terrific book and have it professionally edited so that it will hold up to scrutiny and eventually rise above the masses of books that do not meet high standards of excellence.

Dave Folsom 

Dave Folsom @davefolsombooks is a Mystery & Thrillers author based in the Northwest. Dave uses software to schedule is social media activity.

I use HootSuite to schedule Twitter, Facebook Google+, LinkedIn, etc. three times a day.  It's the only way I've found that didn't require spending the whole day at it.  It seems to have worked as part of a total marketing scheme. 

Karin Cox

Australian Author Karin Cox @Authorandeditor is the prolific author of more than 28 titles, from travel guides, to natural history, to illustrated children's storybooks. Karin had this to say about program she uses.

I also have a pinterest board for my books and I post inspirational images up there as I write and share the images of other "pinteresters". I think it is a good way to create more visual exposure.

Mohana Rajakumar

Award-winning Author Mohana Rajakumar @moha_doha is an author based in Qatar. She has a PhD and has been involved in various foundations supporting young writers. Mohana added this about another program.

Be the kind of person you want to know more about on social media. I'm having the most fun on Instagram right now because photos allow us a completely different access.

New Tools are Coming

John Huffman

Award winning Indie Author John W. Huffman @johnwhuffman writes Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers. John talks about a new tool.

A growing promotional venue is online author skypes with book clubs, which I will be doing more of with the new cable connection, since it is almost impossible to do so now with my satellite hookup.

Problems to Overcome

The road to finding your readers is not a straight, four-lane highway. There is a time problem and there are targeting problems. You have to maintain focus, for sure. The question you have to ask yourself is if continue to maintain your current schedule, do you have time to get involved with your readers, write your stuff (which is why we are all doing this) and have a life? There are easy questions.

As several authors replied, this is an area where I really need help! I use Twitter, FB, and Goodreads, but I don't feel like I'm really connecting with readers. I'll be looking forward to your post! Here are some of the problems that need addressing.

Time Suck

C. S. Lakin

Award-winning Author Susanne Lakin @CSLakin is the author of the seven-book fantasy series The Gates of Heaven. Also, Susanne is a freelance copyeditor and writing coach. Susanne comments on time needed.

Authors need to realize two key points: The good news is there are readers all over the world who will want to read their book! The not-so-good news is it takes time and effort (and patience) to find those readers.

Luke Romyn 

International Best-Selling Author Luke Romyn @LukeRomyn writes Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy novels. Luke adds this about time.

I think the most vital thing is to find what you can do in the time you have and stick to it. Grow your audience from there, rather than stretching yourself thin, hoping to catch dribs and drabs of readers from each source… They’re pretty standard, but exposure is exposure, and free exposure is the best any indie author can ask for.

Paul D. Marks

Awarding-winning Author Paul D. Marks @PaulDMarks is an Author of noir, mysteries, satire & mainstream fiction. Paul had this to say about the time problem.

There are so many avenues to try to reach readers these days it's hard to know which to choose. And I think an author can dilute their time too much by trying to use too many of the social media sites.  So I suggest focusing on one or two, maybe three at the most.  And hitting the ones where you think your type of readers are.

Tracy Meyer

Tracy Hewitt Meyer @tracyhmeyer writes gritty, edgy Young Adult/New Adult fiction and Adult Romance. Tracy said this about lists.
At this point, I use Twitter and Facebook as my social media outlets. I have tried other sites like Pintrest, Google+, etc., but I can’t keep everything organized when I’m spread too thin. It’s information overload and I can’t devote significant time to anything if I’m on too many sites. So, I narrow my focus.

Target Problems

Dianne Harman

Author Dianne Harman @DianneDHarman is Award Winning Bestseller Romance author. Dianne discusses a targeting problem.

Marketing Tea Party Teddy was a wake-up call for me. It's a political intrigue work of fiction, with a suspenseful love story which is set in California. I thought politicians, staffers and everyone involved with politics would jump on it. They didn't. I realized that this group (which I targeted) was much more interested in breaking rumors and scandals and their next "gig" than reading. It turned out my reading audience was once again, people who like a good read.

Staying Focused

Patricia Zick

P. C. Zick @PCZick (Patricia Zick) is an award-winning writer for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. Patricia discusses her focus.

I'm afraid I don't have any magic formula. I experiment. I write. I publish books. Perhaps my focus is too spread out as I write novels about Florida and the environment and I've published several nonfiction books on various topics. I'm feel most days I'm floundering as I search for the magic to gather readers to my books.

Action is the Key

Try to get a Lists of your readers, looking for  Feedback, gaining Exposure and doing Giveaways.

Develop a Target List

Kathy Logan

Award winning, best-selling author Katherine Logan @KathyLLogan is the author of the Celtic Brooch Time-Travel Series. Katherine said this.

I have a large Twitter following (148K). Every time someone tweets that they’ve read my book, I engage them in a conversation and encourage them to share their reading experience with other readers by posting a review. What I haven’t done and am going to start doing is to keep a list of all followers who have shown an interest in my books or have read them. This has been a missed opportunity in marketing the next book because I have no way of notifying them individually of its release.

Using Giveaways

Jen Blood

Jen Blood @jenblood is a Bestselling Mystery author of the Erin Solomon series. Jen added this.

… when I'm having free or discounted promotions, social media is an excellent way to get the word about that (either using hashtags on Twitter, or by targeting the innumerable Facebook groups focused on e-book readers).

That has resulted in attracting readers who have ultimately become diehard fans of the series. Additionally, I have used targeted searches on Twitter to find users with interests that line up with the novels I write -- fans of the mystery genre, fans of television shows that echo the themes/pace of my novels (Castle, The Mentalist, etc.) -- and have followed those individuals.

It is hard work

Brent Hartinger

Brent Hartinger @brenthartinger is the author of The Russel Middlebrook series. The movie version of his novel: Geography Club will be released later in 2013. Brent’s advice.

[It is] hard, time-consuming work. You have to make yourself available as much as possible to your fans and readers, using all the tools everyone talks about: a blog, Twitter, a newsletter, Facebook, and public events. And then you hope your fans will like you as much as they like your books, and then spread the word via social media and word-of-mouth. 

Susan Oleksiw

Veteran Author Susan Oleksiw is a bestselling author of the Mellingham series and the Anita Ray mysteries. Susan added this.

Finding readers is hard work, and reviews play a role to some extent, but some of the success is just building a readership over time, adding one or two or more readers every day.

James Moushon

I’m a self-published Mystery Author and the writer of the several book publishing blogs. I had to add this about how social media is being used today to put this post in prospective.

I spend almost all day reviewing authors and their books. Here are some of my experiences. Of the over 600 authors I have reviewed in the last 6 month, all on bestsellers lists somewhere, only 35% have over 100 followers on Twitter. (Some have no account, some just a token account.)

That didn’t sound possible to me. I needed to check this somewhere else. So I looked at the top 100 Mystery books and their authors for 2013. Actually, that amounted to 69 authors. (Some had more than one bestseller in the year.) Over 30% had no account and 10% of the ones who had a Twitter account had less than 1000 followers. Again, these are the top Mystery authors.

Now they may be all in with Facebook or some other on-line media but Twitter was not the popular choice.

Quick Summary of the Takeaways of our Study

1.      Write a good book
2.      Look for exposure – Do interviews
3.      Reply to comments – keep in touch
4.      Keep building Relationships
5.      Attend conventions, conferences and festivals
6.      Know your audience and market to them
7.      Be yourself, don’t oversell your books
8.      Comment on blogs, share posts and retweet
9.      Do guest blogging
10.  Use cross-promotion and links
11.  There is no Silver bullet. No magic formula. It takes hard work.

Some sources from the HBS Author’s Spotlight Crew

Matthew Iden - Telling Your Tale
M.R. Mathias - The First Ten Steps
Joanna Penn - How To Market A Book   

eBook Author’s Corners  Related Posts

Indie eBook Marketing: When You Get to the Fork in the Road, You Must Take It

To review the complete responses from the HBS Author's Spotlight crew, click here.

Follow me:

Or EMAIL at: jim@jamesmoushon.com
Or visit my blog: The eBook Author Corner
Take a look at my Author’s blog: HBS Author’s Spotlight
Or my Mystery blog: HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novel:

Coming Soon: Another Jonathon Stone Mystery: Game Of Fire

4 comments:

  1. Great, informative article, James. Thank you for including me in your study.

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  2. Another great study and article, James. I see a lot of good ideas here for everybody. Thanks for including me.

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    Online Communities






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  4. This was a fantastic post. Thank you to all the authors for contributing such invaluable info on how they go about getting through this. My biggest beef with all this is that social media, etc. basically takes over one's life, making everything feel too pressured with no time to write properly. I do hope I can get a handle on all of it soon. I'm only active the past few months and still haven't been able to launch my blog. It's driving me a bit nuts at this point, so any info like this is helpful, though I must say---it makes me want to cry. What I want is to WRITE, and not for it to be all in comment, chat, tweet, post of blog form *sigh*

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