What Mascara, Thai Food & Julia Child Can Teach Us About Social Media Success

 

Last summer I wrote a rather controversial post The WANA Theory of Economics. I explained why traditional marketing doesn’t sell books. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it will sell some books, but it lacks the ability to mobilize the fat part of the bell curve–that HUGE population of folks who would normally not define themselves as readers (but they LOVED Hunger Games and bought the whole trilogy, went to the movie and bought all the action figures and a Mocking Jay lapel pin off Etsy).

Sorry. Traditional marketing cannot give the Hunger Games Effect. I didn’t make the rules. Anyone in publishing more than a minute will tell you that the only way to created the Harry Potter Effect or the DaVinci Code Effect—which is a mass mobilization of the fat part of the bell cure—is 1) good book and 2) word of mouth. Ads, commercials, trailers, mailers, bookmarks have minimal effect on the overall sales numbers and we will talk about why in a moment.

Sometimes it seems that life would be easier if traditional marketing could sell books because then we could pay for a nice book trailer and program an automated platform to blitz out “commercial” on every social site. Yet, the fact remains that books are not tacos or car washes.

So What’s a Writer to Do?

Too many writers are in search of what I call “the White Stag”—the voracious reader who devours books like candy. WHY? How many books can you write? Who cares if someone only reads two books a year if one or both are OUR books?

Writers spend far too much time marketing to a very small segment of the population that defines themselves as “readers.” Too much book marketing is happening in places where we are least likely to find most people—book stores, author blogs, book review sites, reader forums. And, you know who makes up the most of these “reader” groups?

Other writers.

The Family Tree Needs Branches

Thus, not only are we marketing to one of the smallest sections of society—the self-professed avid reader—but we are also spending far too much time marketing to each other. Writers get on Facebook and Twitter and hang out with each other, befriend each other and talk to each other. They blog about writing and talk about writing…at the expense of talking to potential readers.

Make no mistake, writers are awesome. I spend most of my time talking to writers. Yet, in fairness, you guys are my demographic. Ah, but hold on.  Calm down. Writers are incredible, kind and talented. We should befriend writers. They are our professional core and our support network.

The Core Mistake

Yet, where the mistake happens is that fellow writers are our comfort zone. We cannot mistake our professional network for our reader demographic. Will writers make up part of our readership? Yes…but they are not ALL of our readership.

We MUST reach out to fresh blood and bring new readers into the family. If we don’t our platform becomes almost inbred, then starts playing the banjo and firing a shotgun in the air and it’s all downhill from there.

Too many writers spend too much time talking to a small group at the expense of the big picture.

The Only People Who Read Are Avid Readers…um, No

Now, another HUGE misconception many writers have is that, unless someone professes to love reading that they, therefore, do not read at all. Major misconception. Avid readers simply need far less convincing because they already love to read.

Think of it this way.

Why traditional marketing works for other products is the consumer already wants what the market has to offer. Traditional marketing is merely there to help us choose from the options. So, if I make mascara that has the power to look like false eyelashes, then advertising in a woman’s magazine is a pretty safe bet.

Women already wear mascara. Most modern Western women, do NOT need to be convinced to wear makeup. They already do. So the fancy ad that uses Mila Jovovich and a crap load of Photoshop will offer an edge in sales and will sell mascara.

The tricky part about selling books is this is also how traditional marketing works for books. Traditional marketing only speaks to those people who love wearing makeup reading books.

All the ad does is help a self-professed reader choose between all the choices. Yet, convincing this demographic to read is not where the magic happens. Selling books to only self-professed readers will not create the Twilight Effect.

Thus, we as writers have the daunting task of convincing a demographic that our book is worth forgoing 12 hours of undivided attention they could be using on something else they already know they love, like watching Glee or hitting aliens with plasma grenades.

We have to convince consumers to part with money for an activity they do not believe they enjoy. THIS is why traditional marketing fails to sell books. We must tap into that outside group of people to get momentum. Ah, but when we do, watch out! It will hit critical mass and then BOOM!

The Fat Part of the Bell Curve is Essential to Hitting the Tipping Point

An example…

If I am from Thailand and I grew up eating spicy stuff all my life, then likely I will seek out Thai food restaurants. What if, however, I happen to open a Thai food restaurant in Arlington, TX? In Arlington, there happens to be a lot of people from Thailand.

Ah, but the problem is that with a large population of Thais comes a larger presence of Thai food restaurants. If all of them are catering to other Thai people and offering all kinds of authentic cuisine, then that is very steep competition. How can my little Thai restaurant survive?

I have to think differently.

I can go after the same patrons as all of my competition (fellow Thais), OR I can seek to introduce an exotic food to outsiders who don’t already believe they love Thai food. If I can convince Joe American to just try something different once…then my food can make the fan.

Joe will see that MY Thai restaurant has awesome food, and he will not only be loyal (since he is still afraid that other Thai restaurants will give him heartburn), but he will also tell all of his Joe American pals who don’t believe they like spicy stuff either.

Joe’s opinion will carry more weight with this new population of potential patrons. Why? Well, it’s nothing shocking for a Thai person to love Thai food. BUT, for  Joe American who normally lives off hamburgers? His opinion is gold. Joe and his pals likely will still believe they hate Thai food….but THIS restaurant–MY restaurant–is different. My restaurant is that perfect choice for a date night or when you just want something different.

It just takes some creativity when defining our demographic. Put another way.

What Julia Child Can Teach Us About Social Media

Why was Julia Child so successful? She made fine French cuisine accessible to average people. See, the other French chefs of her time defined their demographic far too narrowly. They all targeted an elite group of foodies. Julia, however, saw her demographic as anyone who could masticate food and who wanted to enjoy the experience.

If you liked good food and maybe liked to cook, YOU were her demographic. Guess what? That was a demographic of hundreds of millions. The result? Julia Child became a legend. She didn’t patronize regular people. She believed that just because they hadn’t grown up in high society, didn’t mean they wouldn’t embrace fancy French cuisine and love it if given access.

Too many writers narrowly define their demographic as those people who say they love to read books and they patronize non-readers.

Yet, what is our REAL demographic? Anyone in need of informing or entertaining. THAT demographic is MASSIVE and when we writers mobilize THAT sector of society—the fat part of the bell curve—this is when literary history is made.

The DaVinci Code, the Harry Potter Series, Twilight, Tuesdays with Morrie, Water for Elephants, The Help all ignited a passion for stories in people who normally would not have defined themselves as avid readers.

Nothing Great Happens in the Comfort Zone

My advice to you guys? Break out of the comfort zone and start tapping into larger networks that can become readers. Go after new blood. This is one of the reason my blogging classes are very different. They are designed to teach writers to blog in ways that will connect outside that circle of comfort. I also have some tips in WANA for those of you who need some suggestions.

So what are your thoughts? What ways have you used to branch out from talking only to other writers? What suggestions or tips might you offer? Do you think you need help getting out of your comfort zone?

I LOVE hearing from you!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of April, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of April I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

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  1. #1 by lazylauramaisey on April 18, 2012 - 12:06 pm

    Very interesting post. Great info. It really got me thinking. (And heading to the kitchen to make a Thai curry!)

  2. #2 by katmagendie on April 18, 2012 - 12:09 pm

    I’m all fired up – *looks around like a deer in the headlights* – lawd.

  3. #3 by bevnault on April 18, 2012 - 12:20 pm

    I’ve sensed what you said, but lack knowledge of how exactly to put it into action. Recognizing my need for a lifeline to my future fans is a crucial first step, no?

  4. #4 by tomburkhalter on April 18, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    Hope it’s OK that I’m reblogging this one, Kristen. I think you have a crucial marketing insight here, and I’m sharing it with my writer’s group. Good one!

    • #5 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 18, 2012 - 12:44 pm

      I encourage reblogging. Spread the WANA love!

  5. #6 by tomburkhalter on April 18, 2012 - 12:41 pm

    Reblogged this on tomburkhalter and commented:
    Kristen Lamb is funny, interesting and absolutely BRILLIANT even if I don’t always agree with everything she writes. This blog contains a crucial insight into book marketing that all us writers would do well to consider! –Tom Burkhalter

  6. #7 by Marla Martenson on April 18, 2012 - 12:43 pm

    Loved this post!

  7. #8 by Stacy Green on April 18, 2012 - 12:50 pm

    This really hit home. I know some authors are all about Tweeting their books and others, and it seems like Twitter is fast becoming all links and no conversation. I love supporting other authors and will continue to do so, but I’ve been wondering HOW to branch out to these other readers. I’ve considered Goodreads, but the only other thing I’ve come up with is new/different hashtags, especially with my Thriller Thursday posts. I’m also going to try to jump into discussions about my favorite crime/suspense shows, etc. Other than that, I’m stumped. How DO we reach out to the larger audience? I’ve been worried about only marketing to other authors for quite a while.

    Thanks!

    • #9 by Catherine Johnson on April 18, 2012 - 8:14 pm

      I agree with you Stacy. I’m definitely on the hunt for some fun hashtags. We could come back and share them too. A treasure hunt!

  8. #10 by drlanileary on April 18, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    Helpful insights and powerful parallel to the work I do with the dying: in both writing about and teaching others how to be with the dying, we must convince a new audience that they will “profit”, be successful and enjoy an activity they do believe they can not do. The audience is out there; we all have a loved one who will die, and we can make a difference!

  9. #11 by James on April 18, 2012 - 1:05 pm

    I am a very well-published novelist who’s about to hit the e-book/self-publishing market with as many as nine novels, some previously published by places like Avon, HarperCollins, and NAL, but this time I’ll be doing it myself, under two different pseudonyms (one male & one female). I think this advice about how and what to blog is RIGHT ON. I’m taking it to heart and pursuing a totally different market by tapping into my intuitive/psychic abilities. I’ll be offering free readings on my new blog (AskJamesKing.blogspot.com), and, Oh by the way, here are all my novels, many of which have a spiritual/paranormal bent —

    If you’d like to be one of the first to receive a reading, and you’re willing to have your letter, along with my reading, published (anonymously, if you’d prefer) contact me at “contactauthorking@gmail.com.”

    Kristen, I’m an avid follower of your blog. You know from whence you speak!

  10. #12 by themiddlestsister on April 18, 2012 - 1:12 pm

    Thanks for the food for thought, Kristen! I’m going to pass on this link to a few people I know🙂

  11. #13 by LauraDrake on April 18, 2012 - 1:27 pm

    I loved your last post on writer inbreeding, Kristen. If anyone reading this wonders if they need to branch out — ask yourself…you’re a writer, supportive of your fellow writers, right? Percentage-wise, how many books of writers you know, have you bought this year? Me? about 5% (but I’m notoriously cheap) 20%?

    This isn’t even hard to do — all it takes is a little thought. I write about the world of Pro Bull Riding. I am following every single PBR fan I can find on Twitter, FB, etc. Okay, that’s not bad. It may be the fat part of the bell curve of bull riding, but let’s face it — it’s not (yet) a huge sport in America.

    So I started thinking – who else would be interested in my stories? Well, farmers, ranchers, dairymen, small town people, heck, even backyard gardeners! So I broadened my scope.

    Spend some time thinking about your market – then make it bigger!

  12. #14 by Ryan King on April 18, 2012 - 1:29 pm

    While I agree, I didn’t see anything about *how* or *where* to do that. Tips?

    • #15 by Laura on April 18, 2012 - 10:31 pm

      For my clients, we brainstorm who else would be interested in their book – who *besides* book lovers. There are so many niches these days — a mystery featuring tea-loving, sword-wielding gardeners, for instance, might get reviewed or discussed on blogs devoted to gardening, tea, swords, and any combination of the three, in addition to mystery fiction blogs.

      The key is to get on the blogs and become part of the conversation – and it should be genuine. Which shouldn’t be a stretch, really – I mean, if you wrote a gardening mystery, you probably do like to garden. You don’t have to be an expert, just enthusiastic and friendly.

      • #16 by Ryan King on April 19, 2012 - 7:20 am

        Hmm. Good points. Thanks Laura🙂

  13. #17 by Kathleen Boston McCune on April 18, 2012 - 1:37 pm

    I’ve seen this too…….have tried to get my cousin whose husband used to be with MGM to read my books…but they obviously don’t read period or they would at least have read of themselves in the Family History chronicles, but haven’t……it’s tough “Grabbing the Star” when the star remains out of sight….but we will all keep trying because we work so hard to write what we love and know others are missing our excitement!

  14. #18 by malindalou on April 18, 2012 - 1:56 pm

    I definitely identify with the need to better define the characteristics of your target audience to get money/attention/clicks etc.🙂

    One of the ways I do that is to look on Twitter to see how people tag their own posts. I then use those hashtags when I make an update. For example, when I want to write about how great a cure for insomnia is, I run several synonyms for “insomnia” through the search function on Twitter to see how others define it. The term “cantsleep” once came up frequently, so that’s the term I use.

  15. #19 by Paisley Kirkpatrick on April 18, 2012 - 2:14 pm

    Thank you! You have just hit on a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I have sold my first book and it will be published in August. I’ve watched authors discussing their problems getting sales and all the blogs and such they are doing without much success – or at least not as many sales as they would expect with all of their effort. I keep thinking why are we spending so much time on ads in writers’ magazines. They are writers and if they are anything like me, don’t have an abundance of time to read. Why aren’t we trying to get to non-writers and who will love reading our stories. You just confirmed my opinions. I have been handing out cards and personally speaking to everyone who doesn’t run the other way. It’s amazed me at how excited people in my community are and how they keep telling me (whether it is true or not I can’t say yet) my sisters loves this genre, my friends can’t read enough of your type of story and ask for more cards to give them. I know this is small stuff at this point, but I do write about our area in the gold rush era and it seems I might be building a fan base before the story – one in a series – is published. Hoping I am heading in the right direction. I plan to get more involved when the publishing day gets closer.

    I love reading your posts. You definitely have a great grasp on all that you write about. Appreciate your knowledge very much.

  16. #20 by August McLaughlin on April 18, 2012 - 2:14 pm

    I LOVE your thoughts on branching out, Kristen. It was a HUGE eye opener for me to learn that our blogs can—and should—extend beyond “writerly” content. In addition to improving our sales (future, in my case :)), it makes for a far more enjoyable experience, for everyone involved. Thanks for another fantastic post. Every writer best read your books.

  17. #21 by susielindau on April 18, 2012 - 2:40 pm

    My blog today included my first edited video. I got a couple new followers because of it. I am trying to build a strong base of subscribers so when my book comes out, I can roll it out to them. I realize I need a good product and then it really is up to a few readers who spread the word.

    Do you think that adding a movie I create or vlog once in a while is a good idea since it will always be in the same theme of my blog? It may be a way to get my name out there.and hook a few non-writing subscribers….

  18. #22 by Suzan on April 18, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    Wow, Kristen, we must be on the same wavelength. I just blogged about something similar on Saturday. I had to do a paper on the McDonaldization of society and it inspired me to do the same comparison about the writing community. Breaking out of the McDonald’s mold is excellent advice for any author. I think the WANA method can fit into that idea perfectly.

  19. #23 by Debra Eve on April 18, 2012 - 2:54 pm

    Julia Child is my shero! You’re so right on about her. Not only was she accessible, she was boundlessly passionate about her subject. I’ve been experimenting with breaking out of my comfort zone here and there. It’s been scary, but fun too. Great post, Kristen, and great reminder to think of Julia when my self-esteem lags.

  20. #24 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on April 18, 2012 - 3:13 pm

    “We as writers have the daunting task of convincing a demographic that our book is worth forgoing 12 hours of undivided attention they could be using on something else they already know they love, like watching Glee or hitting aliens with plasma grenades.”

    I love your ADD so much! So this is why people work so hard on their Facebook fan pages, right? Because if 5% of those fans might buy your book, well… that’s the jackpot. Especially if you have 100,000 fans. By the way, I am just about to hit 500, but I need to nurture that garden more.

  21. #25 by lynnkelleyauthor on April 18, 2012 - 3:32 pm

    You’re right as always, and this makes perfect sense. Figuring out how to reach our targeted audience is the tough part. We have to try different methods if what we’ve tried isn’t cutting it. Thanks, Kristen.

  22. #26 by Jane Bailey Bain on April 18, 2012 - 3:38 pm

    You’re so right that int’s the interface where things happen. The meeting of ideas from two different disciplines is where new ideas really spark.
    I was at London Book Fair yesterday, there was a platform talk where Authors were talking about what They want from Publishers! Fascinating, the big players are finally waking up to the fact that the publishing world is changing beyond recognition, and they will have to respond if they want to stay and say in the new game!!!
    Jane Bailey Bain (Author: ‘LifeWorks’)

  23. #27 by Yvette on April 18, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Hi Kristen. We don’t do twitter down in the nether regions of the world, as i think I’ve mentioned once before. And I still don’t have a show of finding the time to host my own blog, however I’ve taken your advice, I now subscribe and comment daily on other people’s blogs and I’m going to work on some guest blog spots. I also took your advice in branching out a bit, so I subscribe to blogs on poetry, acting, and investment as well as writing. I’m trying to broaden my horizons!!
    Yvette Carol

  24. #28 by Peter DeHaan on April 18, 2012 - 3:56 pm

    What? There’s a Mocking Jay lapel pin?

  25. #29 by JM Randolph on April 18, 2012 - 5:41 pm

    Reading this post, I saw something in a whole new way. I have kids who think they hate reading. But if you can get the book in their hands and they begin reading, they love it. We just have to get the book in their hands. True for my kids, true for marketing.

  26. #30 by sistersdoart on April 18, 2012 - 6:33 pm

    Whoa ( or woe), are we all, that we now well in the tent of blogging.
    My sister and I, new to this marketing, are having a gallery show in Western Pa in July. Will be good to learn some of your tricks and see if the visits to our site are less spotty.

  27. #31 by sistersdoart on April 18, 2012 - 6:36 pm

    Whoa (or woe) are we all, that we now live in the tent of blogging. Everything is visual. Sure writing is important but we must catch the eye to sink the hook.

  28. #32 by Myndi Shafer...one stray sock away from insanity. on April 18, 2012 - 8:36 pm

    Dig this post. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget to branch out beyond the circle of writing peeps. I DEF have room for improvement there.

    Well done, as usual, Miss Ma’am.🙂

  29. #33 by Jarm Del Boccio on April 18, 2012 - 8:58 pm

    Yes, I do need help…great idea for another post! Thanks!
    MakingTheWriteConnections

  30. #34 by Donna Brown on April 18, 2012 - 9:01 pm

    I hear what you’re saying, but how do we branch out? I’m always hearing what not to do, but never anything specific enough to make any difference without it costing more than we make to market our creations?

  31. #35 by lisaaalford on April 18, 2012 - 9:11 pm

    I Don’t have a book out or even one in the works as of yet (other than in my own headspace) I am at the moment working with a couple of friends, Tasha and Jess… in a Social Networking business. Given that, maybe I understand this better than some who are *used* to trying to market to the same demographics as eveyone else.

    I recently wrote a book review and tho I of course posted a link for it to all the writer groups I am on on FB I ALSO poated it to my Military groups (former photojournalist in Army) My Wiccan friends etc… Basically almost every group I am a part of know that at least SOME of them have an interest in what I wrote even tho they dont join writers groups…

    I dont believe in spamming them or flooding them with everysingle thing I share from writing groups but if it is something really great I will have NO problem send them all a *shoutout* Thx Kristen, great blog!

  32. #36 by annstanleywriting on April 18, 2012 - 11:42 pm

    After reading We Are Not Alone, I’ve been posting about personal growth – mainly my own story – but I just realized from this and some of the comments that I probably should be reading personal growth blogs and commenting. It’s just that I get so swept up in reading writing blogs and following my writing peeps that there isn’t time for anything else if I am going to write even a little. It seems to me that it’s a toss up between reading about craft and blogging and drawing in people who might be interested in reading my stories and novel when it finally appears.

  33. #37 by 90 days to evolution on April 19, 2012 - 5:07 am

    Great post. This reminds me of Stephen King’s Book, On Writing. He says to get over yourself (in a nicer manner) and figure out what your audience really wants or needs. A lot of bloggers out there, including me, are trying too hard to be most profound blogger ever for that particular thing, and they forget: people want to be entertained with a story OR evolve through your ideas. At least, that’s how I see it. I’m personally blogging to bring myself out of my own shell so wanting followers and all that jazz is not really my aim. It’s about speaking my truth and not being afraid to do so. I guess I’ll never write as a profession, as that would drive me away from my own purpose of self-evolution. If they read it though, I’m so super happy as it naturally validates me, my emotions and my writing. We are social creatures, after all. Thanks for your ideas!🙂

  34. #38 by dpbowman on April 19, 2012 - 7:46 am

    Food and writing….Oh how you know the way to my writer’s heart!🙂 Very encouraging, thank you!

  35. #39 by Sherry Roberts (@SherryRoberts7) on April 19, 2012 - 8:06 am

    Good topic, Kristen. When I started my blog, I intentionally created two branches: one for writing and one for entertainment, slice of life, fun thoughts. When I sit down to write a blog, I think of the spirits of Erma Bombeck or the great Jean Kerr or sassy Molly Ivins. If we can be smart and entertaining, maybe someone will want to spend time with us and our books. That said, it is easier to sell to a niche than the whole world. I hope you write another blog with specific tips for making the world your fan.

  36. #40 by Paige Kellerman on April 19, 2012 - 12:12 pm

    I think this may be one of my most favorite posts you’ve ever written, Shaman. Agreed, agreed, agreed, though. For a while, my social network consisted mostly of writers, but, even though my numbers were growing, I realized I wasn’t pulling in the “parenting” and “everyday reader who likes humor” category I really wanted in my demographic. I’ve had to make the conscious effort to start writing columns for the paper and joining parenting blogger spheres. I’m starting to meet a lot of other great writers, but a lot of readers as well. Great post!

  37. #41 by Pauline Baird Jones on April 19, 2012 - 1:08 pm

    I love this, but like others, still trying to figure out how to put it into action. Been re-reading your blogging book and pondering it and how it relates to me. LOVE you insight into giving first. That feels so much more comfortable to me than the me, me, me of so much social media stuff. I was also reminded to be patient! So I will once again be the (patient) little engine that could. That attitude got me published. LOL! Thank you very much for your blog. It keeps me grounded.

  38. #42 by terrysgirl on April 19, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    This is so fascinating! My sister just sent me to this blog and so far I’m loving it! This is definitely something I need to figure out better. I’ve only just begun writing in the last year and I’m just starting to research the publishing/marketing process. Thanks for your insights!

  39. #43 by Janice Addington on April 19, 2012 - 5:19 pm

    I love your blog. It makes me think, and wonder, and worry, and fret. As we speak I’m writing the cover letter for my fantastic sci-fi novel. The traditional publisher I’ve chosen will take 3-4 months to respond – probably with a nice form rejection letter. Would I be better off publishing with an e-book publisher, telling my friends and my kids friends on Facebook to go buy my book and hoping for a miracle?? Decisions, decisions. Jan Addington

  40. #44 by punkrgrl on April 19, 2012 - 10:20 pm

    I’m just starting my blog, and am glad I found yours at the beginning of this adventure.

  41. #45 by Jess Witkins on April 20, 2012 - 12:46 am

    You had me at Julia Child. I read her autobiography 2 years ago and fell in love with her! She is an inspiring woman. She learned 4 languages all over the age of 40. I worked really hard to learn to 4 words/phrases in Korean for 2 weeks! LOL

    I love your business sense Kristen and I CAN’T WAIT until the DFW conference when I get to hear you speak in person! You are my reality check and pulse on the business. Thank you for sharing this info with us!

  42. #46 by jadwriter on April 20, 2012 - 5:11 am

    I have recently been visiting local libraries and handing out postcards promoting my self-published ebooks. So far, they have all taken the cards and displayed them. I don’t know if it has worked or not but at least I am getting my message across to readers. I write for different genres, so will try to promote myself across those: adults (romance), YA (fantasy) and 6-9 (magic fantasy). I aim to get myself known in libraries so that if they want someone to come and give a talk/workshop then they have my details.

  43. #47 by Piper Bayard on April 20, 2012 - 8:51 am

    My family’s from the Ozarks. I can confirm the dangers of inbreeding. It’s wonderful to have other writers to form a support system and network, but we can’t afford to forget that it’s the readers we need to reach. Great post!

  44. #48 by suzanna on April 20, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    totally agree – but how to think outside the box????????

  45. #49 by Terri Bruce on April 21, 2012 - 11:46 am

    This article should be required reading for every new author! I see so many of them set up their blog and what do they blog about? Writing tips. No, no no!! You should be connecting with readers – if you write romance, blog about romance. If you write about horror, blog about horror. Once people can wrap their head around that, the “marketing” takes care of itself. Thank you!

  46. #50 by granbee on April 24, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    Kristen, you have reinforced my decision to constantly seek out those who are NOT writers to blog with, attract to my Facebooklinks and Tweet with. But then I read something today in Poets and Writers on advice on how to prepare manuscripts for submission to writing competitions: research the preferences and style of the presiding judge of the competition and tailor your manuscript accordingly. I realize this is a different writing goal than working to sell a LOT of copies of one’s book. But I think the two can fit together thusly: aim to get birdlovers to buy my book because it presents birds differently, such as through personification of lead character “birds” in the book.

  47. #51 by ceciliamariepulliam on April 29, 2012 - 7:17 pm

    As always, Kristen, entertaining, understandable and informative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  48. #52 by teabuddy on May 2, 2012 - 2:15 pm

    What a great post. Could not agree with you more, Kristen. I blog about tea, more specifically Assam Tea. I grew up in a tea plantation in a remote corner or India where the rain forests border Burma. Assam is where the best tea on earth grows. It’s a little known part of the world and my novel “Teatime for the Firefly” is set there. I attract readers to my blog because of my posts on tea (I know this because I can see the search terms they use to get to my site). I have a blurb at the end of each post about “Teatime for the Firefly” with links to the synopsis and first chapter and get them interested that way. It has worked very well for me.
    Cheers!

    PS: You are right, Julia Child is a shining example to us all!

  49. #53 by BC Brown on May 7, 2012 - 2:21 am

    With permission, I’d love to reblog you on my site http://www.bcbrownbooks.blogspot.com so my readers can learn from your experience and wisdom? Since this is past the “April contest” you mentioned, I’ll make note that this article is not a current one so there is no confusion.

    Compliments of another article you wrote concerning blogging, said blog of mine will soon be spruced up a smidge too.😉

    Thanks for sharing all your experience, wit, and good humor. No matter how old any of us get, or how long we spend in the Writing Game, we always have something to learn.

    BC Brown ~ Paranormal, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy
    “Because Weird is Good.”

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