If you were wondering how to jump aboard the ‘author’s helping authors’ band wagon, this makes it so easy!
You can see from the side panel that I regularly read and review books on Goodreads. I also post the review to Amazon for the books I’ve downloaded and read by indie authors. I know how important it is.
So, all of you ‘indies’ out there, time to help each other out. Share the message and post your book links!
And to all you gallant readers: let’s have your reviews! Pretty please?
This afternoon we’re packing our bags and heading off up country for a few days. This is the kind of thing we’re hoping to see, so maybe there will be animal adventure stories next week. After all, this is Africa!
In the meantime, be warned. A deluge of chapters from my work-in-progress novel for younger readers is scheduled. I hope you have the opportunity to dip in.
This article gave me a little prod of encouragement when it comes to marketing. I’m clearly not putting enough energy into my efforts and I need to re-double this for my forthcoming novel ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
I know a couple of folk who are up for #PitMad tomorrow – good luck to you guys!
Here’s some useful advice should anyone be considering entering a future contest, plus a bit about the etiquette on how to respond to people’s pitches on Twitter.
If you’re a writer on Twitter, every now and then your feed is going to blow up with book blurbs for a day. If you’re wondering what the heck is going on, the answer is…a pitch party. This is an event where writers share a one-tweet length description of a completed book, in hopes of attracting an agent or publisher.
I’m not pitching..what do I do!?
It may sound counter-intuitive, but DO NOT LIKE PITCH PARTY POSTS. Agents and industry professionals use the like button to indicate interest in a pitch. YOU, as a friend, should show your support with comments and retweets ONLY. Re-tweeting raises the post’s visibility, and it becomes more likely to catch an agent’s eye. It’s also a great way to make new friends and build your following.
The building stands proud and prominent on a history-dense corner in the commercial district of the Big City. Not a member of a countrywide chain in a modern mall, this proudly independent book store has character. The floors are wood and mosaic and a rickety stairway leads down to the basement (children’s books and non-fiction, coffee and cake).
The author enters. Staff members are all busy with the stock. She peruses the shelves studiously. Virtually all of the fiction they carry is literary fiction. There is no ‘populist’ or mass-market stuff. Actually, these are the books which the author likes to read.
Awesome company surrounds her.
She ventures downstairs. The children’s books are for early middle grade and below. No YA at all. The coffee smells good and there are lots of comfy seats. A couple of students are chatting quietly and, at a rough wooden table, two women are deep in conversation over a laptop and a sheaf of closely typed pages.
The author sits down with a coffee and a rather dusty chocolate brownie. She selects a literary magazine from the low table in front of her and listens in to the two women. Eaves-dropping is second nature to an author, after all.
They are discussing which new books they are going to take for the store!
Dare she disturb them?
She thinks about the Margaret Atwoods and the Zadie Smiths upstairs. The beautiful book covers with their multiple reviews and recommendations. She hears them reject the latest Alan Titchmarsh.
She is intimidated.
She buries her head in the literary magazine. Time passes. She listens and ‘people watches’. For a Monday afternoon there are a surprising number of customers. She pigeon-holes them for future reference.
Finally, the two women finish their meeting and go upstairs. The author abandons the remains of the brownie; her mouth is dry enough as it is. She takes a deep breath, then takes the stairs.
One of the women is leaving, but the other smiles at her from behind the desk. The author approaches and enquires in general terms about the store’s purchasing policy. What the owner has to say is interesting, but not exactly encouraging. She explains how they know their purchasing clientele and what will sell in their store.
And here it comes. The woman’s guessed what’s she’s really asking. The author owns up and bravely tells her about her book.
The owner is very pleasant. She explains that they select less than one percent of Indie Authors’ work each year. Anything they do pick has to have a local ‘buzz’ about it. The author’s novel clearly doesn’t fit.
The woman is kind. Another might…one day.
The author reflects. It would be nice to have her book in a bricks and mortar store. But one book, amongst all these… and in just one store..?
So, this writer walks into a book store. She has a mooch about; she knows the store well. She often comes in, to browse (books are so expensive). It’s one of the largest book selling chains in the country. Nicely fitted out, and the staff are always friendly. It must be nice to work in a book store, surrounded by all those lovely books.
The writer picks up the latest copy of The Artist magazine. She’s written a few articles on behalf of clients which have been published in this particular periodical. Not that the artists get paid – it’s for their publicity. Nor does she get a mention, but at least the clients pay for her time. She has an idea for another of her clients.
But that’s not why she came today.
Clutching the magazine, she approaches the desk. One of the assistants intercepts her. “Can I help you?”
She takes a deep breath. “Can I just ask you..?”
The assistant smiles encouragingly. He’s a nice-look young man; intelligent, open-faced.
“Can I just ask you if the store supports Indie Authors?” (There, she said it).
The assistant smiles kindly; a little apologetically. “No, no, never. It’s all done by Head Office…with the publishers, you know.” He pauses. “There was this one time though…”
“Go on,” the author says, leaning forward, as if some major confidence might be shared; some key to unlock…
The assistant is speaking. “The lady’s books were selling very well. There was a lot of publicity. She was selling her books out of the boot of her car.” He shakes his head. “It was a bit greedy really. You know, on the part of the store. They realised they could make money out of her. It didn’t last long.”
The author nods. “So you have to be popular first?”
The assistant nods and smiles sympathetically (pityingly?)
The author nods. “I’ll just pay for this then.” (At least she asked. The ground didn’t swallow her up). She leaves the book store, head held high.