Monday, June 25, 2012

Building readership by Barbara Edwards



When I wrote my first book I didn’t even know about readers. I wasn’t worried about those vague future participants in my success. I wasn’t thinking in terms of number of books sold, but in getting the darn thing written and published. I spent months writing my manuscript. Then I put my hours into finding a publisher. When I say hours I mean hundreds of hours before the call came. 

Whoopee! Someone out there thought my book worth putting on the market.

Then came the edits. Oh boy, who knew that that wonderful person who loved my story was so picky? My editor wanted the grammar correct, the plot to flow smoothly, the characters to be consistent, the dialogue to make sense. More months spent on rewrites and edits.
All of this is to please the reader. And I thought my book was perfect when the editor offered a contract.

To get to the point: readers.

Readers buy books. Since my book is so good, I knew it will fly out the door. Hah. A few friends bought it. A few more read the great reviews and bought it. Then nada. I did book signings and sold more. Sold a bunch at the Romantic Times convention.

I needed a way to reach readers. The next move was a website, only someone had my name on hers. Turns out she was an exotic dancer. Sigh. Didn’t exactly drive readers to my site. I added free reads and buy links. I persisted since all my friends and family owned a copy and I really needed to find more readers.

For a time I became lost in the world of cyber promotion. Do you realize how much time you can waste on the web? That writing time is lost forever when it could be used on the next book instead.
I went on FaceBook, Yahoo groups, Goodreads, Shelfari, Twitter, posting my profile and book information everywhere I could find. Sales hiccup with each action.

Then I had the AHAH moment. Another author said, you need to write more books. Each book adds more readers. It’s called a geometric progression in fancy language.

This was what I really wanted to hear. Write, write, write. So I wrote and published several more books. The giant leap didn’t happen. A steady climb, but not huge.

The point is still readers. My publishers are great, supportive and helpful, but they can’t add readers. I get my name out there.

A part of me is still the hermit writer huddled over my laptop, but another part is the media mogul spending part of each day inviting readers to learn more about me, like what they learn and be interested enough to buy my books. I hope you're one of them. 

Visit me at: Http://www.barbaraedwards.net
Ancient Blood http://on.fb.me/naHRY5
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/barbaraedward

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