Monday, January 11, 2021

When your reader is a dunderhead

 I subscribe to Poetry Magazine.

It comes once a month, and if I diligently read one poem a day, I can finish the whole issue. (I fail at that goal more often than I succeed.)

Because I haven't gone to the post office for ten days, I'm still reading the December issue even though it is now January.

I'm glad I had the extra days cause I found a poet this morning that really caught my eye.

First with this

and then with a poem called "Friendly Skies, or, Black Woman Speaks Herself Into God"

After I read that poem, I checked the author listings to see if the poet had any published collections. The bio mentioned a book called Reparations Now, due out from Hub City Press this year.

So I googled Hub City Press and found the tab Bookshop.

 I clicked and because I've had this happen before, I understood I was now at the indie alternative to Amazon site, Bookshop.

 Which is lovely, but it's got All The Books, not just Hub City titles.

 And Ashley M. Jones was nowhere to be found, most likely cause her book Reparations Now isn't due out until September.

 But I pressed on cause I REALLY wanted that book.

I went to Amazon. Aha!

 The Amazon description mentions this is her third book.

And since I like math, I knew that meant there were two other books.

So I clicked on her Amazon Author profile.

And sure enough there was one book.

I bought it.

And when I did, Amazon's algorithm coughed up the second.

And so I bought that too.

 Now, here's the thing: Ashley M. Jones has lovely, wonderful website. It's right there.

In plain view.

But I didn't even google to see if she had one.

Yes, sometimes I am my own best example of idiocy.

So, figure on some of your fans being complete dunderheads. Just like me.

Make SURE your bio (on Twitter, on reviews you write, on short stories you get published) mentions the place you want readers to find you. Most often this will be your website.

But also, think about how people will look for you. Will they google the title of your book? Do that to see where you come up on the search results.

What about your name? Google yourself to see where your website shows up in the search results. 

It's the start of a new year.

This is a good project for you.

Any questions?


nightsmusic said...

My first step is to look for the book title first. I rarely click on an author's site unless I can't find the book or I've read it and want to see what else they have available. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. It's just the way I do things.

KMK said...

Great advice, as always! Sometimes writers (me!) get so caught up in being Very Online that we don't necessarily think like a reader. I'll be checking my profiles today!

Kitty said...

I wanted to ask why your mail isn't delivered to your home. Then I thought about it and realized you must get a lot of mail. Dunderhead-dom averted.

Ann Bennett said...

Your home library must be a wonderland.

John Davis Frain said...

Janet Reid and the Missing Muse

Coming Autumn 2021 from Harper/Collins. If you want it now, you'll have to search for it.

AJ Blythe said...

My first stop is always an authors website and I get really cranky if I can't find out (this is more common then you would think as many authors for teens and kids don't have them, grrr). I prefer their website because they will (usually) have all their books and in reading order.

Don't forget, if you are going to google yourself, don't do it from a computer/device that you own as Google/Apple etc recognise it is you and will put your things (eg website) higher up the list, if not at the top.

Katja said...

On my author page, Amazon coughs up your friend's book Funny You Should Ask.

Funny! 😆

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I don't know about poetry, but with short story publications, there are sometimes word count limits on the bios. Maybe that's what happened here, and she decided to hype her (forthcoming) latest!

ashleyj said...

Thanks, Janet--I recently updated my socials to include a linktree with all the places I can be found! Was checking my website stats just now and I saw this post and had to say 1) thank you for reading my work and ordering my books! and 2) this post really helped me see a potential road block with folks trying to find my work!

all, you can find me, as Janet said, at www.