Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For My Shyer Readers (Help me out?)

Be one of Frannie's champions?
Recently we were polling new members at our summer swim club about how they heard about us and why they joined. The overwhelming reply: the pool was recommended by friends. All the fancy schmancy marketing in the world can't begin to touch word-of-mouth.

As a self-published author, all marketing is up to me and I'm learning as I go, but I've discovered the wonders of word-of-mouth apply even more in the world of books. Especially in the world of books. My readers fall into a few buckets:

  1. Those who read and are willing to post a review in a public forum (usually Amazon or a blog mention). This, sadly for me, is the smallest contingent (2%?). (You know who you are, and I kiss you.) I had no idea public writing struck fear to the hearts of many. Public speaking, yes, but public writing?

  2. Those who read and will give it a star-rating on Goodreads. No review, but a rating. I appreciate it, since at least their friends see it, and it adds to the ratings data. Again, this constitutes a handful of people (1%?).

  3. Those who stop me in passing or shoot me a quick email/text to tell me they liked the book. Don't get me wrong. I am deeply appreciative, and it always makes my day, but marketingwise it doesn't go any further. (20% or more?)

  4. The silent others. Granted, if they hated the book, it's probably best they keep silent. Or, I suppose, they never read it, in which case I really can't count them as readers. Hmm... (75% of the pie)

I came across an interesting re-post this morning that inspired me to take keyboard in hand and type this post for you because it had lovely suggestions for my shyer readers. If you enjoyed The Beresfords or Everliving or Mourning Becomes Cassandra or The Littlest Doubts or Mia and the Magic Cupcakes, would you consider letting someone else know?

  • Post a link to the book on your Facebook page. Don't have to say much--just something like, "Need a summer read? I liked this one!" (One minute option.)

  • Tweet about the book! (30 second option) Whenever I read something I would give 4 stars or higher, I tweet about it and do a Goodreads rating and post.

  • Pin a copy of the book cover on your Pinterest page. Confession: I don't do Pinterest, but I'm guessing this would be another 30-second operation.

  • Lend your copy out to someone you think might enjoy it. I don't mind. Maybe that person will love writing a public review. :) (No time at all!)

  • Suggest it for your book club. I love to visit. Depending on your book club, this might be quick and painless to do, or you might have to prepare an oral report and be ready to do battle.

  • Give a copy as a gift. Guess what all my kids' teachers are getting in a couple weeks? Uh-huh. They got Mia and the Magic Cupcakes for Christmas, so it's The Beresfords for spring.

  • Invite friends to my next bookstore signing and go out for a meal/drink afterward. I'll be at University Book Store Bellevue on Wednesday, July 18, at 6:30. Walking distance to Zeek's Pizza, Black Bottle, and countless other fun places.
If you have other quick and easy and painless ideas to help me out, be sure to mention them in the comments. I so appreciate you all!


  1. I both reviewed on Amazon and rated on GoodReads. The shyness is a function of hesitating to write a bland, mundane, non-fresh, non-compelling review (for me).

  2. Thanks for being part of the 2%! I think even "bland, mundane, non-fresh, non-compelling reviews" (not that you write them!) can be helpful if a star-rating is attached. :)