Saturday, November 9, 2013

NW Bookfest '13 Workshop Review #1: Connecting Authors & Readers via Alternative Digital Platforms

(Image from:  storycentral DIGITAL)
 I chose to attend this workshop because I'm not writing a traditionally printed book, but a webcomic.  I figured since I'm working directly on-line, I might learn something about connecting with more readers.
This was a panel discussion hosted by:
These ladies discussed the various on-line sites that can help writers promote their work.  One of them, and I'm afraid I can't remember who said it, summed it up best: 
The internet is the new slush pile
But merely adding more slush isn't an effective way of marketing yourself.  Serena had the following advice--
--Plan your promotions carefully
--Have a purpose to your promotion
--Know what you write and know your target audience
--Build readerships (this takes time) and finally,
--Ask other authors for help, review their advice and pass it on.
Christine added--
--Have a specific goal
--Get a mailing list set up, if your website doesn't have this feature then use Mail Chimp or Tiny Letter
--Make this mailing list something special for your avid fans
--For every 20 people contacted via marketing outreach, two may develop into readers/fans
And speaking of marketing, women along with YA (young adult) are different readers/buyers than men.  Women are very loyal and want a more continuous and personal relationship with the author.
Not a "one of and move on" experience like guys do.
All of the panelists agreed that having a website is crucial to your success as an author, along with the importance of blogging.  The typical blog topic is a recently published book, but what if yours isn't on the shelves, or in an app yet?
Serena had the following suggestions--
--Feature other authors and their works
--Post odd and/or personal stories about you
--Upload deleted scenes  (I also just read adding character sketches and backstories is another plus)
--Add some interesting research details that you didn't add in your story
--Images, people love pictures.
Finally, Lyn added writers should do book give-aways, which on average attract 800 readers, along with discussing some of the aspects of Goodreads.
But for anyone looking for something to actually read, rather than checking  out the ratings, all of the panelists talked about Wattpad.
I've certainly heard of Goodreads, but I haven't gotten around to singing up for it.  Wattpad is completely new to me.
Looks like I have some on-line catching up to do.

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