This Little Piggy Went To Market… by Susan Lute

Part two of our publishing plan. Taking a look at last week’s post and the list I laid out to indie publish a book, it occurred to me a traditional publishing plan wouldn’t be all that different. Something to consider.

This is the journey of one writer. While I write this, two things are happening. It’s 6:50 am on a Saturday – not so early for me, but the rest of the house, except one, sleeps. The five year old is sitting beside me using “special” coloring pencils to make pictures on the back of old manuscript pages. And on this, the second day of its 5 days of free offering at Amazon…Jane’s Long March Home is at #87 in the free Kindle store, and #24 on Amazon’s Best Sellers Top 100 Free list for Contemporary Romance. Yes I’m obsessively watching. More about this later.

First let me say, this post is not about selling books. Not really. It’s about making life-long friends. Here’s what I’ve learned over the last year. It used to be, you’d write a book, turn it into your editor, and when it was published, you were sent on a book tour. Or not. If your publisher didn’t arrange one, you might get in your car and go anyway. Today it’s a whole new ballgame. The name of the game is social networking, and book or blog tours. And the number one thing I’ve learned is, authors need a marketing team partly comprised of readers.

You’re all nodding your heads saying, “duh”. I can see you. And you ask, “Why don’t you just hire a publicist?” Good question. Part of the answer is, I’m cautious by nature, which is why I’m usually behind the eight ball while everyone else is jumping on the band wagon. I have to observe and circle the wagons before I engage. And there’s always the question of cost, right? Yes, I have trust issues. I’m betting there’s a lot of you who are just like me.

So the question is, where are these readers who will become friends? There are a lot of reader communities in the cyber world, so I thought it would be fun to visit a few.

We’ve talked about Goodreads. The link takes you to my page, but from there you can visit all of Goodreads. Every reader forum you can think of is there. You can spend hours investigating and never see it all. One caveat (and this is true of all readers groups), this is not the place to toot your own horn. It’s a place to share what you’re reading. Goodreads readers will find your author page. If they love your books, you’re gold.

WANATribe, founded and hosted by Kristin Lamb. This isn’t a reader’s site, but its a fabulous place to learn how to reach readers. I’m just learning my way around, and Wow!

World Literary Cafe, Where Readers & Authors Unite, a community started by Melissa Foster. This is a cool place to connect with readers.

The Spinning Wheel Cafe, an Amazon forum. Many say tread Amazon forums with care. This cafe is all about readers and authors hanging out together. You’ll make great friends, and there’s always an ample supply of apple fritters.

There’s one more way to reach readers, so we’ll go back to Jane. I’ve been hearing a lot about Amazon’s KDP program; followed the discussions about the program’s good…bad…indifferent effect on sales. After watching, and reading Marie Force’s article, Free Books: Should You Or Shouldn’t You? Crunching The Numbers, late to the party as usual, I decided to try a little experiment. It’s 4:22pm. Sales of my other books are brisk, and Jane just hit #19 on the Romance Contemporary Top 100 list. Holy @%&$!

Well, I hear the 18 mo old stirring, so off I go. Do you visit any reader sites that are awesome? Share. We’d love to visit too.

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About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on September 3, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Huge congrats on the free download numbers, Susan! I’ll be interested to hear what happens sales-wise after you go back to no freebies. I’ve heard from others that it does increase sales of other titles, and if you get into the Top 20 on Amazon that sales of the free title continue when it returns to a cost. I haven’t tried this trick yet because I haven’t chosen KDP Select for any books. It’s hard for me to imagine three whole months (90 days) with only Amazon as a platform. Maybe after analyzing a years worth of sales I’ll try it.

    Really appreciated the WANATribe link. I’d never heard of this site before. I think I’ll give it a try and see what the helpful interactive discussions vs pimp-my-book quotient is. My difficulty with most author lists is that the pimp-my-book posts seem to be the majority, and given the limited social-media time I allow myself it turns me off pretty quick.

    As always, I love this blog and all of the Jane’s who post. It is the one blog I ready no matter what.

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  2. Before you ask, with everything going on, yes, it took all day to write this post. Distraction. It’s wonderful 🙂

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