Sunday, 22 November 2015

Promotional tips for authors - why "buy my book" doesn't work

It's NaNoWriMo month and I'm taking this opportunity to get a manuscript finished, rather than start a new one. So I apologize for being away from the blog. I have a list of topics I'd like to bring to you, but today I want to talk about book promotion, specifically why the "buy my book" plugs on social media don't work.

Firstly, let me begin by saying that I have just spent a few minutes this morning unfollowing authors who do nothing but post links to their books and covers on Twitter. I don't need to see this every time I log on. It makes me groan. And if it makes me grown, it's making genuine readers groan. And sites dedicated to promoting books also make me groan. They advertise that they can push your book to 45,000 readers. It has the same effect as a billboard on a highway. It's there, but it's not connecting with you. You need to build a rapport with readers. Peddling the "buy my book" message doesn't do anything to connect with buyers.



Word of mouth does not work by the author pushing their book down people's throats. It works by genuine readers pushing a book down other people's throats. Posting a book cover on Facebook and a plea to buy the book will never inspire readers to buy the book. It will repel them. Have you ever bought anything from a store where the owner begged you to buy something. Or worse, practically abused you for walking past her store and not buying something. I've seen rants on social media doing just that.

Why doesn't the "buy my book" technique work?

We are humans. We like to connect. I went to a market stall yesterday. There were about twenty different stall holders. I personally knew one of them from a photo session about a year ago. I bought two photos that I didn't really need from her but if I had to buy a print to frame then this was my preferred supplier. Why?

Think about Christmas. Why is it so popular to buy a whole lot of junk we can't really afford to give to people who don't even need it? It's not because the TV tells us so. Humans genuinely like to give as much as they receive. It is how we connect with someone else.

If I have a choice between buying an item from a friend or acquaintance or buying from a complete stranger, I'm more likely to buy from the friend or acquaintance.

Now add in the personal touch, this friend or acquaintance invites me into their life by showing me pictures on social media of their gardening, their hobbies, their baking skills, their love of animals, whatever, they are closer to become a trusted source. People buy from trusted sources. Corporations spends millions of dollars becoming the trusted source. This takes time.


TRUSTED SOURCE
NOT TO BE TRUSTED SOURCE
The "buy my book" plugs on social media act as if the author has decided to skip the part where they need to become that trusted source with a reader.

Advertising doesn't work to sell books. If it worked, the big publishers would advertise. They very rarely do. They have come to accept that the author and the reader connection is a bond that can never be broken, and bonds that can never be broken are typically forged over time.

How can you avoid the agony that comes from the "buy my book" strategy, because I'm pretty sure you will not get results? Firstly, remember that nobody asked you to do this. It's the number one tip I give to writers at my workshops. Accept that NOBODY ASKED YOU TO DO THIS and move on. Send the time building rapport with the readers, and then write more books. Chances are the plugs for your book on social media are you preaching to the converted anyway.

My tip for promotion is to become that trusted source. Be the person that readers go to when they want a new book. If you don't have one for them to buy, maybe they'll ask you to recommend one. So review your favourite books instead. Share your life with your readers. Share the bits of you that make you the person behind the computer. By all means share your achievements, but promotion is more than slapping a cover on Facebook or Twitter and expecting results.

I hope this tip is helpful to your promotion campaign.

Good luck with your writing. I LOVE hearing your thoughts. Please do so in the comments.

Cheers
D L xoxo


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Winner of print giveaway The Bird With The Broken Wing

During a recent Read 4 Review campaign, administered through Goodreads group We Heart YA, I announced that at the end of the campaign I would do a giveaway of the print version of the book they reviewed The Bird With The Broken Wing.


The winner is Jenn. She has been awarded a print copy.


Here's how I got the winner. I wrote the names of everyone who reviewed the book on a slip of paper. I then tossed these names (blindly) at a bowl. Discarded any bits of paper than didn't hit the inside of the bowl. There were 4 names which I thin tossed (blindly) at the bowl and only one name made it inside. Ta da. The winner is Jenn.

 



Jenn's review:

The only reason it took me a while to read this book is because I moved from Davenport, IA to Tacoma, WA for a job.

Now that I've finally had some downtime to myself (I happened to get sick on my second weekend here) I've decided to finish it. Well holy schticks. I have no idea what all I actually read. There was this major twist that I should've seen coming but didn't because I thought it was going a different way.

I did end up liking this book after the halfway mark as its around then that it started to make sense to me. I would go into detail about it but that would kind of ruin the book if you know what I mean. It was only 161 pages (on the Kindle that is). More like a novella.

I might have to read it again...


Here is a link to the reviews on Goodreads and the group, if anyone likes reading and reviewing books you can join one of many Goodreads groups and participate.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25979737-the-bird-with-the-broken-wing


This is my second time as an author using a R4R campaign through Goodreads and it is a great way to meet new readers. For readers this is a great way to get advance copies of books or free ebools to read. You must commit to reading and reviewing but most of us, authors included, don't mind telling everyone about a book if we like it.


Congratulations to Jenn and thanks to everyone who participating and enjoyed reading The Bird With The Broken Wing.

Liked reading these reviews. Grab your ebook or print copy HERE


HOW TO KEEP IN CONTACT
 
Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to be kept up to date with all my latest blog posts and book news.
 
Facebook         http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Email               dlrichardsonbooks (at) bigpond (dot) com
 
 
ABOUT ME
 
I write speculative fiction. I've published young adult novels, a horror novellas, short stories in a range of genres but mostly science fiction, and I don't ever want to stop writingI'm passionate about sharing my experiences with other writer through workshops and conferences. My other loves are music and animals. I live in Australia on the NSW south coast with my husband and dog. When I'm not writing I can found in the garden, renovating the house, playing my musical instruments, or walking the dog.
 
 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Submitting to agents - Part V

You might recall a few of my earlier posts which were journals of my experience with submitting to agents. The previous posts if you'd like to read there are here.

http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/submitting-to-agents.html

http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/submitting-to-agents-part-ii.html

http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/submitting-to-agents-part-iii.html

http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/submitting-to-agents-part-iv.html

I have an update on my journey of submitting to agents. Yes, folks, it's not over yet. And the journey won't be over until every agent has been queried, until every publisher has been queried, until every avenue has been exhausted and this book is published, self published if I have to but I've a feeling it wont' come to that. While at a recent writers convention I made the acquaintance of some lovely small press publishers who are doing great things in Australia.

The tally so far looks like this:

Number of Queries sent: 46
Number of Partial manuscript requests: 1
Number of Full manuscript requests: 1
Number of Nil replies from an agent (which means a rejection): 20
Number of Rejections received from an agent: 23
Number of agencies I can resubmit to if initial agent doesn't reply: 2
Number of critiques I received from an agent: 1


The most important response from this process for me was the Number of critiques I received from an agent. It was only 1 but I was provided with feedback which I applied and I was also invited to resubmit. I have spent the past four months majorly reworking the novel and I can honestly say that I am very happy with the end result. I just hope the agent I resubmitted to is also happy with the changes.

In another post I wrote about how getting feedback from publishers and agents means you're very close to having your dream come true. The key thing I took out of this critique was that she didn't have to write it. But she saw something in the premise that she liked, something intrigued her enough to tell me that it was the start of a good manuscript but it needed work. And the head-shaking thing about all this is that I've been writing for 20 years, only the past 8 have been serious. It is true that only through writing and writing and writing do we hone our craft.

Think of this is as skiing. You need 3 things to ski 1) a set of skis, 2) a mountain to ski down 3) the skills to get down the mountain without injuring yourself. You can and should learn the techniques of skiing, but the only way you get better at it is to keep going up and down that mountain. Same with writing.

You can read my earlier post here on feedback from agents.
http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/submitting-to-agents-and-publishers-how.html




Next steps:
Wait for said agent to get back to me. Fingers crossed they like what I have done and will offer to represent me. If not, then its back to the agent query database and more querying. As they say, it only takes one agent to love your work and then the next phase of the journey begins - following the yellow brick road to the land of Oz.

I'm so hoping to be able to share great news. Hope you can stay with me on this journey

 
HOW TO KEEP IN CONTACT
 
Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to be kept up to date with all my latest blog posts and book news.
 
Facebook         http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Email               dlrichardsonbooks (at) bigpond (dot) com
 
 
ABOUT ME
 
I write speculative fiction. I've published young adult novels, a horror novellas, short stories in a range of genres but mostly science fiction, and I don't ever want to stop writingI'm passionate about sharing my experiences with other writer through workshops and conferences. My other loves are music and animals. I live in Australia on the NSW south coast with my husband and dog. When I'm not writing I can found in the garden, renovating the house, playing my musical instruments, or walking the dog.