Friday, May 2, 2014

Gaining Readers

What’s the best all time way to sell books?

                                Word of mouth

Getting word of mouth working for you comes from getting more people to read what you write. Each of us have only so many friends that will purchase our book, so we need people we’ve never me, never will, and won’t look us up until they’ve read something we wrote that they like.

What’s the best way to accomplish that?

                                     Online -  Blogging and other social media

                                     Physically - Periodicals and newsletters

Establish a blog site.

         It doesn’t have to be fancy  That's good news for the tech-challenged like me. If resources are few, use a free site like blogger or wordpress. Hire an expert if money isn’t an issue. Don’t stop with just a blog, make sure you have a page about yourself and one for your books.
Do these blogs tell you something about the author?

       Spread the word. On your blog, institute a RSS link at least to Amazon’s author central page, Facebook or Twitter or whatever other site you can master.

     Make it easy. Get a domain name based on your name. If you have time and energy to set up two blogs, put one in the name of your book. I found most people that hear about you on a loop or from an article will try to find you by name. It’s simple and lives on after you publish other books.

    Continuity and frequency are imperative,, so whatever you do, don’t set up a blog and forget it. If you can’t post 2-3 times a week, post once a week. Don’t forget. Don’t skip a week. Don’t take a break. Blogging should be like taking medicine. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember and then continue on schedule.

     Make them look. Each post should have at least one semi-meaningful or eye-catching graphic. Visuals make posts distinct and fresh. Links to other blogs interest more people. Posts should be “your work.” How else will a reader become acquainted with you and your writing? Author interviews or other authors visiting your blog is a super idea, but even then, add your own personal touch. Open ended questions solicit comments.

Did I make you look?

     Check results.  Keep up on the stats from your blog. What posts are read the most? That makes it easy to see what you should write next time. Of course, if you write, non-fiction, readers expect you to “stay on topic.” For fiction writers, choose items included in your book, such as setting, or identifying with teens, or recipes. Decide who you’re targeting, readers, writers, or both.

How about Facebook?     
      Facebook  brings people together in conversation. Used by many, both young and old, it’s a good place to start getting out your name. Take a course or get a helper to set up an author page. Use it for your writing, and your timeline for personal. Decide where you want your RSS feed to go.

Anyone for other social media?
      Decide what works for you. A sweet friend, Mary Beth Lee, taught me about Twitter. I accidentally lapsed into Google plus. Karen Cioffi-Ventrice suggested Stumble Upon.  Someone sent me a link to Linked In. Anything you add to your list can be helpful. The main thing to remember is that’s better not to add one, than to add it and forget it.

                  Remember that continuity and frequency thing.

Another online suggestion is post on other people's blogs.
                Guest blogs
                Blog tours
                Regular spots on group blogs

What can you do to get your writing out other than things online?

     Write short stories, articles, devotions.

     Submit to periodicals or magazine even if they don’t pay.

     Work for hire counts.

     Newspaper articles introduce readers to you and your work. 

     Anything you write may cause someone to pick up your book.


How do you gain readers? I would love to get other ideas. We authors are always looking from something new, aren’t we? 


  1. Janet, great post. I love graphics with posts, but it is necessary to be careful to use only images that are in the public domain. I use zemata, an add-on that will search for appropriate images to go with a post if I can't find one of my own to use.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Margaret. I never know where to go if I don't have 1 of my own. I've been more aware of taking pics that might help me.

  3. Great information, Janet. Thanks for mentioning The Children's and Teens' Book Connection.

    I've started posting some of the Sunday school lessons I've created over the years. When I am pressed for time, I am looking for free lessons offered by others. I also share resources I use for Sunday school. Giving readers a reason to check back is important.

  4. Thanks for your suggestions, Cheryl. Creativity can sure come from other things we've done. I teach a weight loss class at church on Tuesday nights & use many of my thoughts for those lessons on my blog.