To explain, I have to begin at the beginning. And when I come to the end, I'll stop. (Thank you, Lewis Carroll.) The beginning is a little "get-to-know-you" project called the Write Campaign. That's what this little badge is on my blog for.
|If you're interested, visit the Rach Writes Blog|
The campaign is about more than getting to know other bloggers and writers.It's intended to help you build your platform—otherwise known as building an audience and a plan to reach that audience so that when you have books to sell, you already have people who want to buy. A lot of people, ideally. This makes publishers happy, since they won't have to do as much work or take as much risk in putting out your work, yet they'll stand to make more money in the bargain, because you already have lots of readers lined up to spend their cash on your books. A strong platform/built-in audience is good for business all around.
I'm learning how to build that platform, so I'm participating in the Write Campaign. And as I've been getting to know other writers, it occurred to me: Even though we're all networking—and that's great!—we still need to do more. We need to connect with readers. Pure readers. Not writers who will read our stuff if we read theirs. (Not that this is bad. I like connecting with other writers and helping them out by buying and reading their work. But it's still different than finding a pure reader.) A pure reader is someone who reads purely because he or she wants to read. It's the person who browses the bookshelves and sees a new book that looks interesting, so they take a risk and buy it. It's a reader who has no agenda to connect with writers others than the fact that they like reading. Pure readers are worth their weight in gold. Or worth their weight in every book they buy with your name on it.
This begs the question: How do we writers find pure readers? Especially in a publishing world that is changing, and an online world filled with 99-cent ebooks by everyone who wants to have something in print, whether it is good or not?
And more importantly, how do readers wade through those 99-cent ebooks to find the good stuff? That's what they deserve, anyway. It's what I would want as a reader. The best books. How do readers find the best of the books that have flooded the ebook market?
Well, these little questions have turned into a big research project. It's bigger than I realized,as many things are. So, to really answer these questions, my planned one post is going to become several posts over the next several Fridays. If you're interested, keep stopping by for more information as I get it.
I'm still putting together my ideas, but here is what you can expect over the next several weeks as I explore this topic of finding and connecting with readers:
- Twitter people that might be worth following as you build your platform
- Twitter hashtags to help you get in on the conversation in areas where your potential readers might be
- Websites that offer a higher quality approach to ebooks and connecting writers and readers
- Bloggers and blog posts that give good advice for finding readers, building your audience, and sifting through the ebook glut to find the gold nuggets (the best of the best ebooks)
- Interviews, if possible, with people who have built their own platform and what they did to do it (this part will take some time, I expect, but be patient; I'll find people willing to talk and share their ideas)
- Podcasts and podcast episodes that you need to be listening to if you want to learn as much as you can about getting your books to stand out in the marketplace
- Literally anything else that I turn up that might be useful to writers looking for an audience
- Literally anything else that I turn up that might be useful to readers looking for good new writers whose work is good enough to spend money on
As I gather this information and share it, I definitely want to hear from you. The good. The bad. The ugly. The disturbing. The beautiful. Anything you have to suggest that will help answer the questions I'm seeking to answer. Any additional questions you have that you'd like to see me investigate and address. We are going to rock this casbah to the ground! Stay tuned, and expect good things here. I promise to do my best to get you the best. Why? Because you're my reader, and you deserve it!
Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.