Friday, September 16, 2011

Connecting with Readers: Part 1

What do I mean by "connecting with readers?"


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.

16 comments:

  1. Terrific post! Thanks for sharing. This could turn into a great resource.

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  2. Thanks, Amy. My goal is definitely to have a thorough and effective resource for writers (and readers too).

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  3. Those are all interesting questions. The world of publishing is changing so much sometimes I feel like I'm just holding on for the ride and waiting for it to sit still. How do we capture readers? Let me know what you find out. :)

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  4. Building my platform and connecting with readers are definitely areas where I could use some help. I'm looking forward to this series.

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  6. Believe me, Laila and JM, I will definitely be sharing what I find out. Stop by on Fridays for updates on what I learn!

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  7. I love this. You've put a lot of work and thought into this. Keep connecting!!!

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  8. I didn't realize that you were doing the Campaign too! :D (This is Rebekah/Taethowen, the ML, btw)

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  9. Thanks, Karlene. I will. :)
    Hi, Rebekah. Nice to see you stop by. I saw your FB post. If you're on Twitter, I'll look for you. Or if you beat me to it, connect with me. :)

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  10. Hi there
    Hope you are well. I am in your fantasy group and I just thought I would stop by and say hello. It's taking me time to get around everybody as I am in two groups. Great blog btw.
    Eve xx

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  11. Hi, Eve. Thanks for stopping by. It's taking me time to get around too. Lots of people in the groups. It's good to meet you.

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  12. Hello
    You are very welcome and thanks for posting a comment on mine. The advice you gave was great thank you so much. Yeah I guess you are right it will take time to get to grips with it all but I'll get there . It does take time to get round everybody doesn't it? Good to know I'm not alone. .
    Great post btw.
    Great to meet you.
    Eve xxx

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  13. Excellent post. And I can tell you put a lot of thought into it. And a lot of work. What a fantastic resource this will be. :-)

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  14. This sounds like a great series. I definitely struggle with where to find this "pure reader" you speak of. Is it an endangered species or myth? =P In seriousness, though, it is hard, and writers tend to flock together because we speak the same language. I've tried branching out with other interests, but haven't had any luck yet. Looking forward to the first post!

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  15. Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Linkedin and now Goodreads . . . finding pure readers interested in multi-cultural topics has been a very time consuming effort. There's not a day that goes by that I wonder if the time put into all this social networking-platform building will actually pay off later. I am genuinely looking forward to any findings, tips and anything else that can help in this area.

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  16. Also been searching for those "pure readers." Would be delighted to discover what you find.

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