Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

more on book promo

I've done a couple posts on effective book promotion. This is another.

I recently finished reading The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. It's been on my To Be Read shelf for a while but somehow I just got around to reading it last week.

And yes, it's terrific, and I can't wait to see the next book from this author.



I always read the author's acknowledgements page to identify the editor and agent. In this case, I already knew the editor cause I've sold him a book or two.

This is the fifth paragraph of the acknowledgements:

I hope that you enjoyed reading The Life We bury. There is no greater honor for a writer than to know that his or her work is enjoyed by the reader. And if you enjoyed The Life We Bury, please tell others and like it on Facebook, for there is no greater support you can give a debut author than your word-of-mouth-recommendation.

This is really astute marketing. When I was in fundraising, we knew the best source for more donations was asking the people who had just given.

This marketing tactic is akin to that. Ask for help exactly at the moment they're most prepared to give it: the book is done, but still in the reader's hand.

VERY savvy marketing.

Except...there's no Facebook page for the book that I could find.
There's an author page, but that means "friending" not "liking"

AHA!! A savvy reader found it here.


So...savvier marketing is to make sure that when you say "like me on Facebook" there's actually a way to do that. tells you specifically where to go. My mistake was looking for the author's name not the book title.

Takeaway: test drive any directions you publish. In this case, ask someone who hasn't helped you set up your Facebook page to find it. That way you find out first what might seem obvious to you isn't that to other dodos like me  people.

I should have listened to this advice myself: I was surprised last week when my oft-given directions "just google 'how to query' and 'the agent's name' and you'll find submission guidelines" were completely and totally wrong.

And more than once, I've found "see paragraph 6iii" in a contract, only to check and find there is no such paragraph (things get re-numbered a lot, what with deletions, and people forget to proof read the third time.)


And if any of you clever blog readers can find the Facebook page for this, let me know. I want to like it, and link to it! 

See, you guyz ARE my brains!

64 comments:

Sam Hawke said...

Hi Janet,

This might be the page you can like? Here.

Hope my html worked.

Lucie Witt said...

I couldn't find a FB page for the book alone, but the author does have a page (you probably saw this):

https://www.facebook.com/Allen-Eskens-author-162795953749215/

That is such clever, genuine promotion. When I finish a book I enjoyed I am usually dying to share it with someone, and that would be just the reminder I need.

I always read the acknowledgements. I love them.

nightsmusic said...

I read the acknowledgements as well. Some of them have been hysterical and that really makes me remember the author. Especially if the book was good but not a standout.

I went to Sam's link. The page is listed as "unofficial" whatever that means...

AJ Blythe said...

Okay, so not where I thought you were heading with this.

I've read a lot of requests in the acknowledgments at the end of books which are similar, along the lines of:

I would totally love it if you thought it was wonderful and posted me a glowing review on Amazon or Goodreads. (note, this is a quote from one such book).

This sort of request makes me cringe and is guaranteed to have the complete opposite affect on me. I don't review/rate.

I realise the acknowledgement in JRs example is different but for me it's close enough to put me off - mostly because of the request to like/friend. Asking for word-of-mouth I'm okay with.

This probably says more about me than anything else, but do others also find the 'begging' for reviews now spoils what JR describes as 'savvy marketing'?

Actually, how many people read the acknowledgements and see these requests? I do for the exact same reason as JR - to see if there's mention of an editor and/or agent. But if you aren't looking for that information are readers even seeing the marketing?

Must stop worrying about what happens 632 steps ahead of where I am now *little woodland creature scurries back into her burrow to keep writing*

Jason Magnason said...

Hmmm. What else goes in the Acknowledgements? My wife jokes that I'll be the only author whose wife is not mentioned in the acknowledgments because she still hasn't read my MS.

Maybe when I get published I can say : "Hey Honey, I made it. Will you read my book now?" In the acknowledgements.

Something to think about. I mean would you fancy telling someone about that line in the acknowledgements if you read it in a book that was good?

Susan said...

This is one of the things that self-publishers do really well because they know that most (if not all) of their sales are going to be reliant on word of mouth marketing. One of my clients added an insert to his first print run telling readers how they could review the book once they finished reading. I helped a friend (not a client) come up with a marketing initiative to send out postcards to people who donated to her Kickstarter with a reminder of the pub date and a percentage off coupon for their friends and family to use. In the back of my own book, I included a list of places across social media where my main character's story continued for readers to enjoy--a beyond the book sort of thing that fills in the spaces around the story and lets readers stay in the world a little while longer (while utilizing social media as a tool itself).

There is a lot that authors can do with their marketing campaigns and promotion, and the example here is proof of that--who doesn't want Janet liking their FB page! For authors at this stage, also take a look at what self-publishers are doing. They have to be innovative by necessity and often come up with creative ways to bring in readers.

Sam Hawke said...

Yeah not sure if my link is the right one - it does indeed say unofficial. And there isn't much on it. Who makes an unofficial page for a book they didn't write though? Bizarre.

I tend to read acknowledgements if the book was good and they're at the end. I'd have to like it a lot (or be looking for something specific, like an agent) to go back to the start and check them.

Colin Smith said...

I agree with those who don't respond well to authors begging for reviews. The only time this works for me is after I have told the author how much I enjoyed the book, and then it's more of a reminder to let others know on Amazon how much I liked it. And that's fair. I often forget to use Amazon, Goodreads, and social media--though I will certainly review books I enjoy on my blog.

Speaking of blogs and word of mouth promotion, are y'all checking out the A-to-Z posts of your fellow Reiders? John Frain is doing 6-line flash fiction, Dena Pauling's theme is "Military Definitions", and Julie Weathers is sharing historical tidbits along with snippets from her work. Who else is there? Oh yes, Kae Ridwyn, E M Goldsmith, and Kate Larkindale are also participating. I know I'm forgetting others...

Oh, and I've got some 100 word flash fiction stuff going on... :)

Tell your friends! :D

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I was going to make the same point as A.J. Blythe. I do think an Amazon or Goodreads review would be more useful than a "like" on Facebook. I don't have or want a Facebook page for reasons I won't go into here. However, I pick up a lot of my new reads from Goodreads and Amazon followed by word of mouth from friends and places like this blog. Is there a less crass way to suggest review on Amazon or Goodreads rec? Something a bit more subtle? Self-promotion will be a tough one for me. Getting past the whole author photo makes me anxious enough.

Colin Smith said...

Ooops! Sorry Dena Pawling for misspelling your name. :(

And I'd like to add that I also read a book cover-to-cover. Literally. I read the blurbs, the flaps, the title page, the dedication, the acknowledgments, the actual story, and any stuff at the end (e.g., Gary Corby's historical notes). I don't mind a small author picture, but that's not a necessity. I certainly don't like the big full-page author pics. The only reason I might want to know what the author looks like is in the event I run into them at a conference, or in Target. I certainly don't need to see them all made up like a Hollywood celebrity. One of the advantages of writing is you don't have to look good to be successful. I'm counting on that, actually... :)

OK... I think I'm done... we'll see. :D

Mary said...

I think it's a fine line. I have an author page on Facebook and a website, but I think you have to be careful to not hammer people over the head to like, spread the word, buy, etc. I know a fellow author who added all of us to his/her group email and told us that to help out we needed to all buy two copies each. Also every review, every publication was endlessly promoted. There can be a point where readers just say, enough!

Donnaeve said...

The last few books I've purchased have been b/c of "word of mouth" via social media. Here on this blog for one, (i.e. I'm about to skip off to buy THE LIFE WE BURY - that cover alone would have had me if I'd seen it without QOTKU's comment). I just bought BEST BOY, LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE, BETTYVILLE, and FALLEN LAND (***attention Julie Weathers, FALLEN LAND is one you might be particularly interested in)all b/c of recommendations via various sources.

It's possible (likely?) the "average" reader might not care/want to go out to a FB page and "Like" the author. They might (as others said) give the book some sort of rating on Goodreads or Amazon. They might not. (Average reader = someone who doesn't write or work in publishing, and truly only reads for entertainment purposes only).

Here's what I know from personal experience. I have a personal FB page and an Author page. I invited everyone on my personal FB page to come "Like" my Author page. Only 30% did. (I had approx. 320 "Friends and I now have 115 or so Likes on the Author page. And these are my FRIENDS. Ya know???) I don't want to keep going out to my personal page and "reminding" people to come "Like" my Author page. For me, that's an ICK moment.

However, up my sneaky little sleeve, I do have this planned. I'm going to conduct a contest on my Author page (soon). Prize - ARCs. I'm going to inform folks on my Personal page that I'm having this contest, and if they'd like to win an ARC, they will need to come visit my Author Page to see how to win. I will do this periodically for other promo as it gets closer to having the "real" book out, but eventually, if they don't come, they just don't come.

Yes, those trite sayings hold because they're true/accurate, and in this case, I feel I'm right back to, "you can lead a horse to water, but..."

BJ Muntain said...

The reason authors 'beg for reviews' isn't just for word-of-mouth recommendations - Amazon requires a certain number of reviews before it will show a book in its recommendations to readers. A friend told me that the number is currently 20. If you don't get those 20 reviews, you may as well be invisible. And now Amazon is being more fussy about reviews and taking down those it thinks are the reviews of friends or family, so reviews from happy readers are even more important.

AJ: "But if you aren't looking for that information are readers even seeing the marketing?" Marketing isn't about making everyone see every one of your requests. It's about putting requests where people are likely to see them and act on them. It doesn't cost anything extra to put a line like that on one's acknowledgement page, yet a good number of people who like your book will see it. Will every reader see it? Probably not. But many will.

Jason: You can acknowledge your wife, even if she hasn't read your MS. After all, she's put up with you throughout the process of writing and publishing, so she definitely deserves an acknowledgement. :)

Donnaeve said...

Oh, and what Mary said, too.

BJ Muntain said...

Donna (and anyone considering a Facebook promotion): Be sure to read Facebook's terms about 'administering and communicating' promotions: Facebook Pages Terms. Sometimes Facebook can get pissy (yes, that's the technical term), so it's best to follow their rules.

The biggest problem I have with Facebook pages is that Facebook only shows your posts to a small percentage of the people who like your page. If a person doesn't specifically tell Facebook they want to see *all* the notifications from that page, Facebook will make the decision as to what posts will be shown to what people. They say it's because they know what people want to see (it's all in their 'algorithms'), but it's probably because they want you to promote your page and give them money.

Do I sound jaded? Maybe I need more coffee...

Dena Pawling said...


I read the acknowledgments page in a book. I sit thru the credits after a movie ends, which means I'm always the last person to leave the theater and most of the time the cleaning crew shows up before I leave. These are just additional reasons I'm an oddball.

If I leave a review on Amazon, it's always very short, because I would hate to spend the time on a long review and have Amazon delete it because they think I'm a friend of the author. I do write reviews on my blog. I have a Goodreads list of books read, which includes a star rating but no written review.

I don't write any reviews unless I can give at least three stars.

I never thought to “like” a Facebook page tho. I would think the only people who search for the book on Facebook are people who have already read the book, and that doesn't sound like promotion to me. If I'm looking for more information about a book BEFORE I read it, I wouldn't go to Facebook. I might go to Pinterest to see if the author has a pin-page about the book. I might google the book and/or author. I might visit blogs [this blog has added to my TBR pile more than once.] But otherwise I'd only go to social media AFTER I read the book. I guess this is another reason I'm an oddball.

Susan said...

Donna: Check out the contests at GoodReads, too. I'm not sure if your book has to be already pubbed or if ARCs are allowed (like BJ advises, be sure to read their terms), but you can set the number of copies you want to give away and they pull the winners for you, so all you need to worry about is shipping. It's another great way to get your book in front of people who don't know you yet, and who don't know about your book (yet!). I found that a lot of people add books to their TBRs on GoodReads after these contests, so it's a way to generate more buzz and get some title recognition, especially prior to or around your release date.

CynthiaMc said...

I'm doing it too - thanks to everyone who told me about it! I don't have an official theme - so far it's been azalea, blue jay, cardinal, and dogs.

Escape from Chaos: Because stress is fattening and life is just too short

I'm on Word Press in the blog list (thank you, Colin!)

Brigid said...

Hey QOTKU, the FB page you linked to says it's an "unofficial fan page." As good a thing to like as any, but that's interesting. There's another FB page that doesn't say unofficial, but also only has 8 likes and no substantial info other than an Amazon link. The author page actually has info on how the book is doing, events, etc. So my money is on that being the thing Eskens wants you to like.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I think the blurb is very gracious, and it wouldn't annoy me unless I was in a really bad mood. If I just finished reading a good book, I probably wouldn't be in a really bad mood, so it works out.

I'm all for self-publishing, and I will absolutely read a self-published book if it's recommended to me by a friend or acquaintance. My favorite (so far) is a reincarnation historical fantasy. :)

But I'm skeptical about books (self-published or otherwise) that have three or four five-star ratings with gushing reviews (this author is the best novelist since Shakespeare! Never mind that it's pretty easy to be a better novelist than Shakespeare.) and absolutely nothing else. It makes me think a few friends reviewed the story. If a book only has a few reviews on Amazon/Goodreads, I'm probably not going to read it UNLESS it's recommended by word of mouth. So... go recommend books! Every day!

Jenny C said...

I like the acknowledgements so much that I often read them first!

Jason Magnason said...

Thanks Colin, I am doing the A-Z as well and I am in the Bloggers list.

BJ: Okay, of course your right. She deserves a very profound acknowledgement as she has put up with a guy who just decided never to grow up, so like I say a lot to her, your right.

Lucie Witt said...

Jenny C, I do too! The good ones make me laugh and tear up.

Colin Smith said...

I intend to mention you all by name in my first novel's Acknowledgments, so y'all had better buy a copy! ;) Does that work as a promotion strategy? :D

Jason Magnason said...

Colin: It would for me! I officially put your book on pre-Order as of now!

Donnaeve said...

Thanks BJ, I'll be sure to look at the FB terms...do not want pissy from FB. They already irk me enough with there crapola.

And yes, Susan, my publicist just mentioned doing a Goodreads giveaway in about a month. (Yay!)

Yeah, I saw that FB page for THE LIFE WE BURY and noticed nothing had been update since July 2015 - and it said "unofficial."

Things that make you go hmmmm.

Coincidentally Colin...I did a post called DISSECTING A BOOK several weeks ago...and it sounds like we do the same things as far as reading everything - I even study ISBN numbers and the spine logos for various publishers :)

Sherry Howard said...

Okay, Colin, I finally spurted diet cola! Yes, I'll buy your book even if you don't mention me by name!

Donnaeve said...

Sigh. That would be "their crapola."

Sherry Howard said...

Oh, and with all of this Facebook talk today I forgot to mention that my sidebar suggested I start a GROUP for people who like Janet Reid, Agent. They even gave me pics of friends to invite in. I think that means JR is world famous! I even snapped a screen shot of it. And then I thought that making a Facebook group for THIS group might not be a bad idea.

Claire said...

I had the same reaction as AJ to this particular piece of self-promotion - cringe. Directly asking for Facebook likes in the acknowledgements of your book just says to me "This is not a professional writer". I'm not sure why exactly that is - I know it says more about my own biases than anything else - but I definitely find it off-putting. (I do always read the acknowledgements, though.)

LynnRodz said...

I love reading the acknowledgements, but I'm in the camp of those who don't like when someone tells/asks me to do something. If I like a book well enough, I'll do it on my own. I'll tell people, "You've got to read this book!" I'll post a review on my blog and I'll go to Amazon and write a review, but don't tell me to do it, because I more than likely will not.

That said, the above does exclude Reiders, my Twitter writer friends, and my private Facebook writer friends. If/when any of them make it and they ask for help in promoting their books, I'll be more than happy to click/post/like/review their work if they ask. I think that goes without saying, but I'm saying it anyway.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I frequently look for an author on Twitter after discovering their work. I really only use Facebook for people I personally know, with some Internet friends added on. With the anthology acceptance, I joined their Facebook group, which they've used quite well for giving the anthology writers pertinent information and passing on common interest things.

Colin, that absolutely work as a promotion strategy! We authors need to stick together, right?


And wow, lots of you are doing the A-Z! I'll try to remember to follow along through the month. The last (only?) challenge like that I did was "30 Days of D&D", which was a lot of fun, and when I discovered that blogger would only let me schedule....well, less than 30 posts because I don't remember where it cut me off.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I will definitely promote the heck out of books from The Reef. Already ordered Donna's book which sounds sublime. And of course, I will buy Colin's. I even have a bookshelf for the Reef.

Colin Smith said...

Awww--this is all very encouraging. Thanks, guys! I guess I need to get on with writing the thing. :) BTW, Janet will know when my book's ready to query because she will be getting a query. Even if it ends up being a YA Zombie vs. Vampire Star Wars tie-in Coloring Book. :)

Janet Reid said...

*quickly adds @ColinSmith to list of extremely suspect email senders*

Colin Smith said...

Janet: I thought I was already on that list... :D

Joseph Snoe said...

I've been on the verge of buying "The Life We Bury" (and will probably buy it my next trip to the bookstore. What got my attention - its marketing ploy - was the cover and title. Both say "Read me."

Speaking of word of mouth, back in December commenters here suggested books to read. In the thread I confessed I had never read any book by Michael Connelly. I've rectified that oversight. I finished "The Burning Room" this weekend. I really enjoyed it.

Peggy Larkin said...

I definitely read more based on word of mouth than anything else, although I did recently start a goodreads account. My most recent recommendation to my book club was The Killing Floor--which I read on Janet's recommendation! I was outvoted, though, and instead I'm reading (and liking) What Alice Forgot, which another club member picked...

At any rate, I'll be rooting for the Reef's repertoire any time we select books.

RachelErin said...

I think it's nice to remind readers about the importance of word-of-mouth, as long as it focuses on supporting the author and empowering the reader.

I don't think most readers realize how much power they have in deciding what books get ordered. Whether they're requesting books at libraries, sending a quick message to a book store, sharing the book with a friend, or leaving an intelligent review, these things can have a huge impact.

It's nice to know I'm personally responsible for ten people enjoying a book by one of my favorite authors. =)

Jason Magnason said...

Hey Janet what if I write a book about a Dragon writing a literary fiction novel. Does that count as Literary Fiction?

Lennon Faris said...

There definitely seems to be a line here. I thought the example Janet gave was humble enough, and it didn't irritate me - if I liked the book I'd try to do just that. AJ Blythe's example had definitely crossed that line. I think whenever you 'supply' your reader with adjectives that's a bad sign. (Feel free to post a 'glowing' review).

Looking forward to lurking around everyone's blogs. I haven't yet but will as soon as work craziness here subsides!

Steve Stubbs said...

It just took a couple of seconds to find the facebook page. There is not much to see, but here is the URL:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Life-We-Bury/644432218957503

The author would do well to use tinyurl.com to shorten this.

It seems tome if the author expects this to be the spearhead of a wowie marketing campaign, he needs to put something on the page,

Craig said...

I think this has more to say about how almost deliberately obtuse Facebook's navigation is. Perhaps it is just too big to navigate but it could be a lot easier. To expect to be found easily on Facebook is a dream too many have tried.

There are better marketing plans that make it easier for a reader to connect. Some of those have been mentioned already. If you have a Facebook hangup make sure you cover more ground than that.

Celia Reaves said...

I'm doing A to Z as well - there are a lot of us, aren't there? I'm following a whole bunch of new blogs because of this challenge! Mine is a series of puzzle haiku, where the answer is a word starting with the letter of the day. You can find it at my WordWacker blog .

Jason Magnason said...

Colin, is there a list of all the Rieder's that have started A-Z?

John Frain said...

This has been fascinating to read the original post and read through all the comments. Such a fine line between good marketing and annoying. And worse, that line likely moves for each individual reader.

Humility is your friend when asking readers for a favor. Always good to remember, whether in an acknowledgments page or in person.

So many lessons.

While I don't believe Colin's final thought here, it sure is funny:
"One of the advantages of writing is you don't have to look good to be successful. I'm counting on that, actually."

Amy Schaefer said...

I'm going to do a terrible thing and skip most of the comments. We're putting out boat back in the water in 90 minutes, and so this is my one break for the day - sucking back scalding coffee, picking at cereal, and reading Janet's blog.

I'm with those who weren't totally comfortable with this. Maybe it is just a phrasing thing. I'm all for thanking the reader and telling them where to find me (with a specific address), but asking for likes or reviews or votes or anything else... Mmmm. Something to think on.

Final note: I love the acknowledgement page. And I'm always irrationally annoyed when people who worked on the book aren't thanked, or are mentioned in a way that keeps them anonymous (first name only, for example). How hard is it to show a little gratitude to the people who helping bring your book into the world?

Okay, that is boat stress showing through. Wish me luck! No leaks! Fully functioning parts! No one falls in the Brisbane river and gets eaten by a bull shark!

Colin Smith said...

Amy: "No one falls in the Brisbane river and gets eaten by a bull shark!" At least, not until the next Writing Contest... ;) Happy sailing!

Julie Weathers said...

Someone started a conversation about prologues on Books and writers. That has evolved into a discussion about people reading acknowledgments, and every single other word between the covers. Apparently more people want to know all these details, than a person would have thought.

I've just started The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson because of a recommendation. It's going to be the fantasy book club discussion in May, but I had already picked it up. Word of mouth is very important. The last four novels I read were based on recommendations.

Donna, I'll tuck that recommendation away for later. I'm avoiding reading Civil War while I'm writing. Shelby Foote is the exception.

Colin, thanks for the mention. Janet Reid made her appearance yesterday. Dr. John Frain is up today. Blog hopping has been wonderful. I need to go babysit shortly so my son can vote, but I'll be making the rounds later.

Panda in Chief said...

I love reading the acknowledgement page! And if I loved the book, I'll read the acknowledgments twice. (I'm wierd, I know) in fact, I've even BEEN on an acknowledgement! That was sure a fun thing. (And yes, I read the entire book, and not just the bit about me.)

Like some have said, it's all how you word it, whether it comes off as sincere appreciation for your reader and a gentle request for help, or hitting them over the head with some shameless promotion. And Susan is right too, that it is common practice among the independently published, with little or no marketing budget.

Adib Khorram said...

Sometimes I read the acknowledgements before I read the book! It's one of my favorite things, in part because I think it can make the author more real as a human.

P.S. Janet, I think there might be an extra other either before or after "dodos like me," and "listedn" should be "listened" on the line after that.

kdjames.com said...

I read all the front and back matter, too. In fact, I find it annoying when an ebook opens to "chapter one" instead of the cover, because I have to scroll back and start from there.

I agree that it's savvy to put that kind of request at the end where a reader is most likely to be in the mood to pass along the word to others (provided they liked the book), but I've read so many requests of that type that were off-putting. I did something similar in my self-pubbed novella and am now, two years later, afraid to go back and read what I wrote. It's a very fine line, asking for help without being offensive.

I'm doing the A to Z thing as well and haven't had time to visit other blogs yet, so can hardly expect anyone to visit mine. But my "theme" is perhaps a wee bit more challenging than what it sounds like everyone else is doing. And by challenging, I mean insane. I'm writing a novella. Four entries in and I've posted almost 4K words. But it's having the intended effect: I'm writing fiction again. So, yay?

AJ Blythe said...

Yep, word of mouth works for me... which is why last night I started the first in Stuart Macbride's Logan McRae series *glaring at Sam Hawke*.

BJ, you've raised a good point. Thanks.

A-Z... the year I don't do it and everyone jumps in here. Feel like Baby in the corner, lol. But 2 weeks of April are school holidays and trying to juggle work-from-home with 2 Barbarians and finding time to visit blogs becomes very difficult (especially as we are going away for a week to an spot without internet).

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Acks make for interesting reading. It gives an insight into the author's head.

I've been researching indie publishing for a while now. Putting a request for reviews, word-of-mouth, etc is common practice, either in the Acks or in a Note From the Author.

How you word this is also important. One of the more elegant phrasings I've seen is "if you've enjoyed this book, please leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads or other reputable site. Telling friends is one of the easiest and best things you can do for an author whose book you enjoyed."

I am also participating in A to Z Challenge, though I don't recommend you start with day H - "Hard Decisions". I had to make a very hard decision last night and it broke my heart. To fit in with my theme (reading), I used it as an example of why I read escapist fiction. Sometimes life is really hard and really sad and one must get away to let one's heart heal. (This is also why movies were so popular during the Depression.)

Julie Weathers said...

I split the posts to keep them not so long.

Word of mouth promotion can be an amazing marketing tool. I know people are tired of hearing about Diana Gabaldon, but she has a remarkable sense of promotion.

She tries to be very patient and gracious to readers as well as accessible. I'm not aware of many authors who will reach out to readers as much as she does. From answering questions about the stories, characters, writing process, to just popping in to give advice to aspiring writers about writing or saying hello to fans, she's very down to earth. She's very good to post excerpts of her writing and dissect them to demonstrate writing techniques when people are talking about writing.

This has helped galvanize a very loyal fan base.

I don't know that I could do it, but it's intriguing to watch. The Gabaldon Army is constantly bringing in new converts.

I would encourage all writers to join some kind of organization. There are always local writing organizations, genre focused groups, etc. If you've been active in these groups, helping others, getting to know people, helping the organization, when you're published they will help spread the word for you. You'll need this base long before you're published, not because you want to use them, but because you need a support system.

Fish swim in schools for a reason, besides they can't walk in schools.


Janice L. Grinyer said...

"Humility is your friend when asking readers for a favor. Always good to remember, whether in an acknowledgments page or in person."

What wise John Frain said, multiple times over.


John Frain said...

I guess this is an unwise time to beg you to follow my blog. JohnDav

Hello? Hello?

Weird. One second my keyboard is working and the next seco

Lucie Witt said...

Julie isn't joking about the The Gabaldon Army. My aunt is a member. Last time she was visiting Kentucky I casually mentioned how I've always meant to read Outlander, but just never have. She made me get up, took me straight to the book store, and bought me a copy.

No one sells your books better than someone who genuinely loves them.

Now I miss working at Borders (RIP).

Theresa said...

I'm earning a solid F in book promotion. It makes me very uncomfortable. If someone mentions they are reading my book, I thank them and ask them to post a review if they are so inclined. At the end of any talk or reading I give, I say the same thing. I know how important it is to reach that magical number of reviews on Amazon. I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

Kitty said...

I checked out the book on Amazon, and this is how the description of the novel begins: College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person.

Before my mother died, she had a college student interview her for the same assignment.

Allen Eskens said...

Janet, Thank for posting about my book, The Life We Bury. It is an honor to appear in your blog. It was my idea to include that paragraph, and at the time I was hesitant because I didn't know whether it would be perceived as savvy or desperate. I am happy to see your take on it. Further, you should know that The Life We Bury is in its 10th week on the USA Today's Bestseller's list. It didn't get there until well over a year after it was published. It has definitely benefited from word of mouth promotion. Thank you again for the post.
Allen Eskens, Author of The Life We Bury

John Frain said...

Allen,
What an awesome story. I mean, the one in your short paragraph here about your book waiting a year on the tarmac and then hitting cruising speed for takeoff. The title by itself intrigues me and calls out to read.

Isn't the line between savvy and desperate entirely too thin? Good luck navigating that, and also on your next book.

Janet Reid said...

Allen Eskens is a classy guy.

Joseph Snoe said...

Allen Eskens

I forwarded your post to a writer friend and she immediately ordered "The Guise of Another."

That shows something, I think.