Thursday, May 16, 2013

what makes you read?

ImageThings are progressing, slowly but surely, on the publishing front.  My manuscript, Hush Puppy, has reached the proofreading stage at the publisher and the cover is in development.  I feel like I should warn people it's more of a novella than a novel, but the length feels right for the story to me, even if it is on the shorter end.  I don't tend to write giant tomes.  I like to get straight to the point.
 There will be a new web site for all my books (self and traditionally published) soon too.  The blog will move there, but don't worry. I'll make sure you have the link.  It's going to be gorgeous, I think.  Can't wait for you to see it.
I've been trying to figure out how to market Hush Puppy.  The publisher doesn't have a huge marketing wing, so a lot is up to me.  Many authors these days are doing blogs tours to promote their books, contests online, giving away iPads and gift cards, advertising on Twitter and Facebook.  It's enough to make your head fly right off.  I still have a day job.  When am I going to do all that stuff too?? Its a lot of noise and flash, but I have to wonder, just how much of that stuff works? Because I can probably count on one hand the number of books I've opened up based on something I saw on Twitter.  That's not much.  So I wanted to ask you, what is it that makes you pick up a book and read it?
Is the pretty cover? The reviews on Amazon? Or your friend saying, "Oh, you've got to read this! You'll love it!"  What do you think?


  1. A flashy cover, reviews on Amazon, and the first few pages that I can read. Word of mouth helps too, but, yes, I think unless you're personally popular on Twitter, as in people personally talk to you for you, marketing on Twitter is difficult. Apparently BookBub is really good. The ads are very pricey, but I read it's not easy to find success unless you buy an ad on them. I write YA, which is the cheapest ad, and that starts at $200 bucks. I have a publisher as well, but if my contract manager isn't able to spend that amount, then I will take the risk and do it (marketing is a team effort at AEC Stellar). But for now, I am connecting with others and forming bonds and, basically, selling myself as a person. The more interested people are in you, the more interested they'll be in what you have.

  2. Yes, I've heard a lot about "branding" one's self. I think it's a little funny because when I was a kid, I never would have presumed I could "get to know" an author. They were these magical beings somewhere else that I would never actually see or meet, beyond the picture on the cover. Now, everyone seems to expect access to authors, but it's really only within the last few years such a thing has been possible at such an intimate level. It's a curious development. I met an author who's work I had enjoyed in an online community and realized I didn't really care for his personality, which seemed conceited and rude to me. My immediate reaction was, "I don't think I'll read any more of that guy..." His online presence actually hurt him, in my case.
    I asked my daughter, who's ten and reads a lot of school library books, what makes her chose a book. Here's what she said: an intriguing picture on the cover and a thrilling blurb on the back of the book that suggests mystery or adventure. She's pretty smart, that one, if I do say so myself. ;)

  3. It's just about being found, especially if you're with a small publisher who is primarily online. So establishing a presence for myself is crucial, especially by the time my book gets released. So much is just expected out of writers now especially because bookstore are shrinking. I mean, remember when B&N never sold toys? Now they can't depend on books and music alone to stay afloat like they used to.

  4. "Being found" brings up another question I have. Like you, I write YA and also middle grade, but I'm not sure my target audience is frequenting the online places I am. Sometimes I feel like I'm promoting myself to the wrong group - adults - not who I'm hoping are my younger readers. How do you reach a young audience?

  5. I agree with Hannah. When I pick up a book it is the cover that catches my eye first. Then the back of the book for a brief review of what is inside. If neither of these hook me, I'm most likely to put the book back on the shelf.