Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Selling to Communities

Thought I’d share with y’all an article in Publishers Weekly called Communities The Key, Publishers Told. Its focus is on promoting your book, especially through online communities.

Here are some quotes to ponder from that article:
One of Goodreads' best interactive tools are featured author groups, he said, where authors make themselves available to answer readers' questions on the site for a number of days.

Looking to the future, Joel [president of Twist Image] pointed to figures that showed sales of smartphones outpacing PCs in the fourth quarter of 2010. "This is the shift away from fixed locations. This is the shift where we're going to have a society that is much more in tune with using our mobile devices as their primary form of connectivity," he predicted.

Then [Joel] described a SnapTell app's ability to recognize a photo of a book and provide the user with information about the book, including the nearest bookstores and how many copies are in stock.

Joel … said many companies that consult his digital agency now blog and tweet and have Facebook pages, but that is not enough.
Okay, setting aside, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads Author Sites, what are you doing that you can see is affecting your sales? I think blogging could be added to the list.


  1. yeah, I add blogging to the list. When I have something to sell I hope to use my blog.

  2. I know quite a few authors who have plugged into the blogging community to help promote their sales. It's a very good diea, because not only are they supportive of one another, they help spread the word and write reviews. The right groups tend to be quite active in their support.

  3. With all the networking and socializing sites, how does one keep up and which ones do the most good in terms of publicity and sales? Shouldn't it be more about connecting with readers than about promotions? And yet if we do not promote, we do not get read. The new Catch 22.

  4. Definitely blogging. And I'd say it's important to have a current web site as well with any news, announcements, that sort of thing.

  5. Local events! I've gained supportive fan bases by doing book signings. I don't look at them as just selling, but as a way to build great relationships.

  6. J.M., it is a Catch-22. We must promote or we won't be read. But if we put the time we must in promoting, when will we write?

    Joanne, there's some debate as to whether you need a website since your blog can have pages. I'm with you, though. I have both.

    LM, thank you for saying that! You do have to think of it as building long-term relationships.

  7. Blogging and Facebook are the only things I've been able to keep up with. All the groups I joined on other sites have fallen by the wayside. Probably a mistake, but oh well.

  8. I think all the exposure via Web sites, blogs, et al, contributes to visibility, which eventually translates to sales.

    Regarding the need for a Web site and a blog, I still have both. Maybe because I haven't taken the time to figure out how to add everything from my Web site to my blog. LOL I update my Web site about once a week and my blog three or four times a week, and I still direct people to my Web site when I am guest blogging. I like having the bulk of the "business" on my Web site, so I can use the blog for sharing information and just for fun.

  9. Absolutely!

    Blogging with your own blog with snippets of an author's life is something I enjoy reading. Keep it simple and interesting.

    Guest blogs/tours are a great way to get the attention of your target readers, build a readerbase, and a chance for fans to interact with you, the author.

    I've found most authors willing to chat via Goodreads and Facebook. The thing to keep in mind: While most love to hear what you thought of their books and are willing to answer questions, keep in mind authors are usually on deadlines. So they don't have huge blocks of time to chat.

  10. I love GoodReads becasue of how convenient it is so find authors there, and it seems that more and more authors are now joining the site, making it easy to get in touch/learn about their books.

    Blogging, I agree with to an extent, although it depends on how the author uses their blog to network and promote themselves. Even with the most diligent blogging and careful promoting, it doesn't always work.

    I would say maybe guest spots on radio/TV shows, if an author can wrangle them. Signings at bookshops and going to conventions can also pull in more readers, plus you get the added bonus of meeting an author in person and chatting to them, which I imagine leaves more of an impact than a fleeting comment on a blog/Twitter/FB where everything moves so fast and is so densely populated.

  11. Well, I'm not actually selling anything to anyone yet but when I do manage to get to that point, I'll definitely keep this post in mind.

    Thanks for sharing.

    M.J. Fifield
    My Pet Blog

  12. I know the blogging community helps, but I really need to sign up for Goodreads.

  13. Blogs should be on the list. I fail at smartphones. They outwit me every time.

  14. I know what you mean, Karen. I can't keep up with the groups on LinkedIn.

    Maryann, I do the same. I update my website once a week and blog 3 times a week.

    Good point, Sia.

    Totally agree, Jennifer. Face to face is the best.

    Alex, about the only thing I do on Goodreads is post book reviews.

    Hi MJ.

    Laura, it's just so much to learn. Every time you turn around, there's something new.

  15. I signed up for Goodreads last November, but have only just started using the site last month. I don't have anything published yet, but as a reader, I really love Goodreads - it's like Facebook for readers!

    I think, when it comes to social media, even if you can only do one or two sites, if you enjoy your time there, everything falls into place.

  16. I don't have a book at this point - but there are some great suggestions here! :)

  17. You're right Belle. If you enjoy it, you're more likely to keep doing it.

  18. Most of my time is spent blogging and rarely look at Facebook. I will go back and look at Goodreads again, it sounds like a good site. I have picked up many books on the recommendation of bloggers. I've got to know the blog site where the blogger has similar tastes to me and if they recommend a book, I'm confident in purchasing it.

  19. Hitting the forums that have the subject of your book as one or more of the topics. I'm not saying actually promote your book but offer insight of the subject that just happens to be in your book.

  20. I do Twitter and Facebook. They work well for me. I find GoodReads awkward and hard to figure out though I continue to poke around on it. Of them all I prefer blogging, as that's where I can actually write and be read.


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