Boost Your Author Karma (and Your Sales!)
I know what you’re thinking: First, where do I find these backyard readers, and, secondly, can I justify taking the time to connect with one or two potential readers in the real world when I could be connecting with hundreds by devoting my time to virtual readers?
"Where do you find the readers?"
I will start with the first question: Where do you find the readers?
The simple answer: Look for opportunities to volunteer in your community. It doesn’t have to be every night; it might just be once or twice. However, consider what your book is about and the audience you’re targeting, and start looking around at the organizations that might welcome you and your novel.
Are you writing YA? Talk to your local teen center, high school, or Parent Teacher Association. Find out when they’re doing their next fundraiser and offer to do a reading. Donate a signed copy of your novel to one of their raffles. Offer to talk to the students about the writing process. I’ve worked with my local high school a few times now, going in for an afternoon to meet one-on-one with students who love to write. We talk about the stuff they’re working on, and then I answer their questions and provide whatever guidance I can as to the next best step in their writing journey. Though my novel isn’t YA, through these sessions I’ve been able to connect with teachers and library staff who are now devoted fans of mine. They’ve bought my book, and actively recommend it to others looking for a good read. Beyond the selfish motivation of finding readers, however, there is the amazing feeling that I’ve made some kind of impact, however small, on the lives of young people whose journey isn’t all that different from the one I embarked on nearly twenty years ago.
For people writing mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction, and even a little romance, consider spending an afternoon or two at your local retirement communities. These communities are filled with people who love books, and who are dying to talk to someone about the novels they’ve read, the experiences they’ve had, and the writing dreams they may still have. Do a reading, or – better yet – offer to come in and facilitate a writing night for residents. Bring your book along. Make a genuine connection that isn’t about selling books, and people will remember you for that. And, ironically, they’ll buy your book precisely for that reason.
"Think outside the box."
Think outside the box. If your book has a dog in it, offer to do a reading at the next fundraiser for the local Humane Society. Do some research into more rural regions in your area, and make the effort to make a connection there. I am doing a reading at the Northern Maine Community College at the end of April, about six hours north of my little coastal Maine town. Not a lot of writers make their way up that far, but there’s an amazing woman who does a great creative writing program up there, and there are some voracious readers I’m already starting to connect with.
Does this mean I’m giving up my blogging, tweeting, Facebook posts, or general social networking frivolity? Not in the least. I am not advocating that you donate all your time to local charities and volunteer organizations; just set aside an evening once a month to make the effort to step outside your virtual world. You will feel great, make amazing connections, and the people whose lives you touch will remember you for years to come.
- Jen Blood -
Find out more about Jen Blood in this Interview with Indie Author News which has been posted here >>> Link to the Interview
Please, leave some comments or questions for the Author at the Interview post or below this guest-post!
Links to the Author and the Book All the Blue Eyed Angels
Link to Jen Blood's Website
Connect with Jen Blood on Twitter: @jenblood
Link to the Paperback on Amazon