Sunday, April 08, 2012

How to Boost Your Author Karma (and Your Sales!)

Great advice and tips from Indie Author Jen Blood: How to promote yourself as Author and your Book(s) to increase the popularity of yourself as an Author and your Book Sales.

Boost Your Author Karma (and Your Sales!) Volunteering.

Indie Author News - Boost your Author Karma and your Sales
Whether you’re indie or traditionally published, most writers these days find themselves chained to the desk (or whatever you happen to have your laptop resting on at the time) more often than not in the elusive quest for readers. There’s no question that the new world order – between Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and the thousands of other social networks out there – has provided writers with a rare opportunity to connect directly with readers from all over the world. The drawback to that, however, is that sometimes we forget that there are readers in our own backyards just dying for an opportunity to meet a real, live author. These in-the-flesh readers will gladly put money down to buy your book (often the print version), talk it up to their neighbors, and gladly pen a review upon request.

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 - 

Indie Author News - Jen Blood
Jen Blood is a freelance writer and editor, and author of the 5-star rated mystery All the Blue-Eyed Angels, which critics have called “Riveting,” “A must-read,” and “Absolutely unforgettable.”

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


DV Berkom said...

Great post, Jen! Volunteering gives you a great feeling anyway- add connecting with an eager reading group and it's a fantastic opportunity to reach local folks. Thanks!

Sherry said...

I enjoyed your insight. Great article! -Sherry

Vitra said...

This is a great post. I just self-published my first book last week and volunteered at n event last night. They asked me to write blog abt event and said hey would put a link to my book in the piece! And while I was there talked to girl who fit my demo perfectly, but I gave her a free copy cause I thought it was really relevant to her!

Jen Blood said...

Thanks, DV! I agree -- there are so many benefits to volunteering that it really is a win-win for authors. It's so easy to forget the folks in our own backyard when there are so many things to occupy our time online. It's always rewarding to take a break and venture out into the "real" world every so often!

Jen Blood said...

Thanks so much, Sherry -- Glad you enjoyed it!!

Jen Blood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen Blood said...

Thanks, Vitra -- I'm glad you got something out of the post. Love your story about the event you volunteered for; it's the perfect example of how one evening's work can lead to some great opportunities! And love that you gave out the free copy of your book -- those are precisely the kinds of things that readers remember, and invariably tell all their friends about as time goes on. Well done!!

Hemmie said...

Very interesting post, it really made me think.
Thank you.

Eric said...

Making real connections is what it's all about. Thank you, Jen.

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