Friday, August 14, 2015

Attracting Readers Part 1

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
We are bombarded with well planned and orchestrated marketing campaigns daily.  Everything from the ads that we see to a store's floor plan is designed to entice us to buy more products.  If large corporations had their way, we would receive marketing messages twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  To be honest, they are coming pretty darn close to that goal. 
What is an author to do?  
Work the system....

This week, we want you to go back to your favorite bookstore.

If you are pre-published:
·                     Examine how the books are shelved.  Maybe you'll decide to pick the pen name "A. Aardvark" to ensure that your books are alphabetically first on the shelf.
·                     Talk with the store manager to find out when the new books arrive.
o                  How do they decide which books are 'faced out' and which ones are placed on end caps?  (If it's a small bookstore, there's a good chance that the store displays (merchandising) are determined by the local staff.  If it is a national chain, they may receive specific display set up instructions or kits.)

If you are published:
·                     Chat with the store manager and try to find out the following:
o                  How do they set up / schedule in store book signings?
o                  How far ahead of time do they design their seasonal displays? (Maybe you have a book that takes place during Christmas or would work well for Halloween or Easter.)
o                  For a regionally based or local store, find out who the buyer is for the types of books you write.
·                     If your books are already for sale in the store, ask the manager if you can sign their stock copies.  (Autographed books can't be returned to the publisher....)
o                  If you do sign the books, be sure to have stickers for the front cover that say "Autographed Copy" - you'd be surprised by how many people prefer to buy signed copies!
o                  While you've got the book open, shove in a book mark, trading card, or other promotional piece to drive traffic to your website.

Learn the rules of the game, then WORK THEM to your advantage!

Field Trip #6: CyberSafari

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

As with any profession, a quick way to gain new skills is to study successful practitioners.

In this week's field trip assignment, we would like you to take a "Cyber Safari" and examine the websites of a few successful authors.  Specifically, we would like for you to examine the three sites listed below:

·                     Charlaine Harris
·                     J.K. Rowling
·                     Kady Cross

·                     What do these sites have in common?
·                     What are some ways each author is connecting with their readers?
·                     What types of things are included in each site's content?
·                     How are they allowing the reader to further experience the world created in their books?
In this week's Finer Points Friday post, we will include some answers to the questions above and point out some highlights on each website.

Please note: By no means are we suggesting that any website is absolutely perfect or that you have to spend tons of money to have a great web presence.  What we are merely trying to illustrate is that there are a wide variety of things you can include in your web content.  Remember, your ultimate goal is to keep your readers coming back for more SELL MORE BOOKS!

Therese Says: I'll also add links to this "Cyber Safari" because all these authors, linked above and below, and their books are very different from each other in the type of stories, the target audience, and the author experience they present online.  

·                     Jane Porter
·                     Elizabeth Boyle
·                     Trish and Rob MacGregor
Feel free to examine other author sites and ....happy hunting!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Like most avid readers, I'm sure you've lost count of how many books you purchased and never finished reading.  Often the author's writing style or subject matter just didn't click with your reading preference. It doesn't mean that the book wasn't well written, it just means that book wasn't your cup of tea.

From the author's perspective, a book was sold.  BUT, if the reader doesn't connect with your work, you won't have a repeat customer or a raving fan.  The reality is that it is impossible to connect with every reader on the planet, however by better defining your target audience you will increase your chances of finding your readership (customers).  One tool to help find your readership is a Free Read Booklet.

Free Read Booklets are a great way to:
·                     widely promote your book before it is published (to build buzz and interest)
·                     allow your readers to 'try before they buy'

·                     provide a signed and personalized memento for readers

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
So far, we've covered business cards, bookmarks, and free read booklet designs and best practices.  Here is an example of another way you can promote your work:
Eye Catching Brochures and Pamphlets

Christine McKay's promotional booklet takes the term "bodice ripper" to a whole new level!  For this brochure, Ms. McKay combined a dark coral colored, cardstock paper with a corset graphic.  She then used a hole punch and black ribbon to tie the brochure closed.

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