Renee Writes

Posts tagged promotion

3 Ways to Connect with Fantasy Readers by Dave Chesson

It’s impossible to succeed as a fantasy writer without knowing how to reach the right readers.

Even the best book with a wonderful cover can’t be considered a success if it doesn’t reach the people who love it.

There are currently over 197,000 fantasy eBooks on offer in the Kindle store alone, not to mention many more short reads. In such a competitive environment, it’s not enough to simply wish that a book draws the attention of readers.

Fantasy authors should actively seek out every opportunity possible to find and connect with people who are likely to love their work.

If you’ve published fantasy for a long time, finding your future fans may be second nature to you. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry!

These simple tips will help you to reach the right fantasy readers to make your next book a soaring success.

Participate In Online Communities

The passion fantasy fans have for their genre means Amazon doesn’t even list fantasy along with other fiction categories. It has its own special section. That’s how widely loved fantasy is.

As such, fantasy fans are passionate about connecting with like-minded people online.

Many busy fan communities exist solely to help fantasy fans meet one another and discuss the books they love.

As a writer, you should seek out and engage with these communities as much as possible. There are several important reasons to do so.

First, there is no better market research than listening to fans directly. Hearing fans talk about what they like and dislike is a great way to finetune your own work.

Second, by offering value and participating in community discussions, you show yourself to be someone who is knowledgeable about fantasy and has something to offer the fan community. When it’s time to promote your next work, you’ll find it a lot easier to market to people you have a preexisting relationship with, rather than people who have never heard of you.

When participating in fan communities, it’s important to give value, rather than just promoting your own work. You should actively enjoy and contribute to discussions regularly. Visiting only to promote your own books is a mistake which will do you more harm than good.

Network With Other Fantasy Authors

As well as reaching out to fans directly, it’s a great idea to use your fellow fantasy writers as advisors.

There’s no need to discover everything for yourself. Fantasy writers who have been publishing and marketing their work for a long time will have plenty of tips to share on the ways they reach out to readers and connect with them.

It’s useful to get a wide range of opinions rather than relying on just one author. By getting lots of advice, you will be able to see what is working well across the board.

Just as you shouldn’t interact with fans selfishly, you shouldn’t interact with authors selfishly either. Don’t just ask endless questions. Strike a balance between getting the information you need and contributing something in return.

Take Charge Of Your Brand

You have one powerful weapon to help your books succeed in the crowded marketplace that no one else has.

Yourself.

As it becomes harder and harder for fantasy fans to gauge which books are worthy of their time, authors can increasingly stand out from the crowd by building a strong brand.

Branding is simply using the right combination of words and visuals to make a positive impression upon the readers who come across you. This means writing a bio in language that will appeal to fantasy fans, using a pic which is appropriate for the genre and ensuring that all of your branding efforts are easily accessible, such as through an Amazon Author Central page.

There’s nothing better from a reader’s perspective than feeling they know and admire a writer as much as they do their work.

Building a solid brand as a fantasy author is the fastest way to make that happen.

What Works For You?

What are some of the successes you’ve had reaching out to fantasy fans as an author?

If you’re a fantasy fan yourself, have you ever discovered an author in one of the ways mentioned?

I’d love to hear about your personal experiences in the comments.

Twitter Misuse: Don’t Make These Mistakes!

I’ve been noticing more and more that people are misusing Twitter (as in breaking rules set by Twitter), mainly in the area of Spamming. These are things that can get your account banned, so it’s worth looking into. Especially since there are a lot of people out there telling others that these things are what they should be doing to build their followers.

One of the biggest things I’ve seen is people following thousands of people, then unfollowing everyone including those who have followed back in an attempt to make themselves seem more popular than they are. Sadly this isn’t an isolated event either. Through using Statusbrew, I have noticed more than a dozen people a week who have done this to me.

It’s one thing to unfollow people who don’t follow back if your purpose for using Twitter is to network with like-minded people, but to follow just to get the followbacks and then unfollow everyone who has followed you is really rude and inconsiderate.

For me, it’s very irritating and reduces the person’s credibility in my eyes. I’ve actually removed authors books from my to-read list (which is extensive) for this kind of behavior. I’d rather read books from authors who are willing to network with me and get to know me as an author as well. That’s the main reason I use Twitter is to get to know other authors and help them promote their work (and hopefully have them promote mine as well). It’s a way of increasing everyone’s exposure. But people who want all the glory and have no interest in connecting with or helping other authors are not worth my time.

I only unfollow for 3 reasons:

  • Offensive behavior
  • Doesn’t bother to follow back (unless it’s someone I have an interest in following because I’m a fan of their work)
  • Follows me, then unfollows me after I follow them back.

If you’re following and unfollowing indiscriminately just to make yourself look more popular than you really are, not only are you risking losing your account, but your following is likely not to be loyal to you. You’re also risking your reputation.

After a lot of trial and error, I found the best way to get new followers is to 1) be an interesting person to follow by not just posting ads, but also fun stuff for people to read and regular updates (which I’m trying to do more of because sometimes I just don’t know what to say). 2) Engage with people! If you’re trying to network with other authors, talk to other authors: say hi, ask them how they’re doing, respond to their tweets, retweet their tweets, invite them to be interviewed or write a guest post for your blog. If you engage with another author this way, their followers are likely to follow you as well.

The other big thing that I’ve seen is people using @ReneeScatts simply to send me an advertisement for their book or other product/service. The purpose of the @ replies is to engage directly with someone on Twitter, not to promote yourself or your business. I’ve had a few people who started doing this on a daily basis to try and get me to buy their books, and I ended up blocking them in the end.

Again, this is something that not only can get your account suspended or banned, but it annoys people. It’s like the Twitter version of telemarketing. No one likes telemarketers, so don’t be one on social media. It’s another thing that can harm your reputation as an author.

Bottom line is, while it’s okay to promote on social media, your main goal should be networking. That’s what will get you more followers, readers and ultimately sales.

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3 Books on Sale This Week Only!

 

All this week (9th – 15th), I have three of my books on sale on Smashwords for $1.99 each! Get them before time runs out! And don’t forget to download Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6) free!

 

Demon Hunt (A Shadow Stalker Prequel Novella)

Demon Hunt (A Shadow Stalker Prequel Novella)

$2.99
Auren and Kado accept that they may not be able to avoid her leaving the Dark Isle. Now they have to prepare for that eventuality. Will the training be more than Auren can handle? *Prices may be higher in some stores. I have no control over this.*** Prices may be higher in some stores. I have no control over this. Smashwords always has all my books at their list price and can be downloaded in multiple formats, including Mobi, which can be read on Kindle readers and apps. *** More info →
Buy from Smashwords
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Scribd
Buy from GoodReads

 

Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 – 12)

Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 – 12)

$3.99$1.99
Auren is captured by the Galvadi trying to rescue her friend, Jade. Then she is tortured by the man who is supposed to love and protect her. When Makari finally realizes she's not the delohi-saqu as his father claims, he helps her escape, but their plans don't go as expected. *** Prices may be higher in some stores. I have no control over this. Smashwords always has all my books at their list price and can be downloaded in multiple formats, including Mobi, which can be read on Kindle readers and apps. *** More info →
Buy from Smashwords
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Scribd
Buy from CreateSpace
Buy from GoodReads

 

Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episodes 13 – 18)

Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episodes 13 – 18)

$3.99
Auren turns herself over to the Galvadi to get close to Drevin and Makari has no choice but to play along. He is forced to either torture Auren to prove his loyalty or die knowing she will be tortured and enslaved anyway. Somehow they have to get close enough to Drevin to bring him down and put an end to the Galvadi’s tyranny once and for all. *** Prices may be higher in some stores. I have no control over this. Smashwords always has all my books at their list price and can be downloaded in multiple formats, including Mobi, which can be read on Kindle readers and apps. *** More info →
Buy from Smashwords
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Scribd
Buy from GoodReads

 

 

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