I recently read an article on how your future book sales depend on your ability to get to know your audience! This can be a daunting task considering we all are short on time! The author of this article claimed that just by merely having friends on various sites does not guarantee future book sales. You need to take the time to be true friends with people! Bear in mind my friends who I actually get to see in person are few and we don't even meet that often. Not because I don't want to but because we are so busy factor! However I understand that being true friends via the internet to everyone is impossible. In fact for me to quit my job and become a full time author would take thousands of my novels being sold. Unfortunately I can't become true friends with thousands of people and hold down a job and finish my book too! But what I and you can do is let a group of people know what you're about and hopefully they will want to buy your book later. And if some friendships are gained then that's just icing on the cake. So I'm going to list a short bio so you can get to know me. For the sake of time I'll ask a few questions and hopefully get to know you too!
I am creeping up on age 40! Where does the time go? I'm the youngest of six kids but the sister closest to me is six years older than me!! I've wanted to write a novel all my life and I'm making the final revisions on my first one now! If someone said you could only have one more dream come true I'd choose the famous successful author one! I lost my father to a brain tumor years ago and still write to him in a journal I keep. I love dogs. I love my boyfriend who is the love of my life. I feel a mid life crisis coming on because I still haven't finished writing that first book and I still need more followers if I'm to ever sell enough books to quit my job and write full time! I'm going to start getting up earlier and trying to write or edit everyday! If I can do this then maybe that mid life crisis will stay away. My greatest fear is failing as a writer. I don't have any kids and this book series I'm writing will be something I leave behind when I'm gone. Something for future generations to read and hopefully love.
1. What would be your one more wish to come true?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. Who is your favorite author?
4. What genre do you write in?
Hoping to get to know you better,
http://activeamateurchef.wordpress.com/ check this out for my recipes!!
I have to say that the author of the article you read has a valid point. Yes, everyone is short on time, but the truth is that people need to feel connected to you in order to care about you. If they don't care about you, then they won't have an interest in you or your work. It's a challenge, but it's necessary for up-and-coming unknowns to build a network first, and a fan base second.
Posting random information about ourselves is transparent to anyone who's been on social media for more than a month. It smacks of a 20 Questions Tag. Spouting off drive-by facts about ourselves and hoping people feel like they know us better is futile. It's not going to make people want to buy our books.
To communicate effectively we must share info. That means asking questions that you actually care about getting the answers to, and responding thoughtfully. Answer questions honestly. Give thoughtful and consistent answers. Really share.
You've offered a "short" bio, in the interest of time, implying that your time is more valuable than your readers'. You also use a lot of exclamation points throughout the two near-ranting paragraphs, again, implying some level of frustration, upon which any half-attentive reader will pick up.
This craft requires our willingness to care, pay attention, make sacrifices (time, money, sleep, relationships, etc.), and to accept and analyze criticism. Then we make adjustments accordingly. (Or not.) After which, there will be more attention, care, sacrifice and criticism. And so on.
Now this is me, attempting to get to know you better, and wanting to care about you so that I can care about your book.
What is your book about? What's the title? Is it based on any real-life events? Do you have any sample chapters available to read? How many books do you plan for the series? How long have you been writing? I see from your website that you enjoy cooking and running. Congrats on all those 5Ks. I once ran a half-marathon in Nottingham, England. It was murder on my knees, but I understand what you mean about the sense of accomplishment. Not sure if I'll ever do it again, though. :)
You say your greatest fear is failing as a writer, but your boyfriend is the love of your life. You say your dream come true would be to be a successful author, but you cannot see yourself making time to build your network or finishing your book, which is a major factor in your pending midlife crisis.
Your questions don't give any reader the impression that you actually care to know (really) anything about them. Even so, here are some answers to your questions.
1. My one more wish come true would be to see my mom healthy again, and to live a full and happy life. I wish she would stop smoking and move out of that raggedy house into a smaller, more economical and comfortable apartment.
2. My greatest fear is being asked to redeploy to Afghanistan, seeing my soldiers die, having to write letters home to their families, and even losing my own life, never seeing my family again.
3. I don't have a favorite author, but I enjoy reading a variety of authors, playwrights and poets: Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, J. California Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, William Faulkner, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Tennessee Williams. My uncle Harvey was a great poet. He died unexpectedly, and I miss him very much.
4. I write literary fiction, women's fiction, romance, and nonfiction. I would also like to write a children's book one day.
Good luck to you on your writing, publishing and reaching your one more dream come true.
My book is a romance suspense novel called Last Words. It is set in Napa Valley, California and Bodega Bay California. Amber Milestone is a chef who works with her stepfather, Seth at the restaurant Hale's View. The restaurant overlooks Hale vineyards. The wine made from this vineyard is served at the restaurant. Amber falls in love with Jack. Jack's father is co-owner of Hale's View and owns the vineyards. Amber's love affair with Jack turns her world upside down. She is forced to make life changing decisions. She finds the strength within to forge ahead with her life. Last Words is book one of at least a two or three book series.
It seems like you got the wrong impression from my article. I do plan on working hard on finishing my book as I said I am going to get up early to write on hour a day or more. I have and will continue to make sacrifices to finish my book and yes I know we all make sacrifices and that is what it takes to become a writer.
I do care about people who read my discussion and do want to get to know them. Thanks for answering my questions and I hope my information about my book was helpful.
I hope I cleared some things up and I'm truly sorry if you got the wrong impression of me. I'd like to be your friend.
Thanks. I think your book will be well received. You already have a captive audience with folks who love food and wine. Add romance, and you've got a perfect recipe. <---attempt at being clever. And folks love book series. Another great idea.
I'm afraid that my response yesterday might have come off as harsher than I wanted. I just came home from a deployment, and my usually mellow temperament has yet to catch up with me. Your info about your book was very helpful, and it makes me as a potential fan care about the answers that I already have in my head about your main character and her conflicts.
Does Jack turn out to be a cad who was only using her for his pleasure and amusement? Does she find out brother and sister, AFTER she's fallen in love with him? Does the Jack's dad die mysteriously, leaving Amber a giant inheritance, after which she becomes a murder suspect? Life turned upside down leaves tons of possibilities for me. That may be because I watched too much Columbo and too many episodes of Days of Our Lives (my mom's doing) as a kid. Who knows? But don't tell me now. I'll wait.
Anyway, thanks for answering back. I was afraid I'd scared you away with my tone. I'm glad I didn't. It is never my intention to be unkind.
Good luck with finishing Last Words and all of your series. I'll look forward to seeing it published. :)
Thanks for your words of encouragement about my romance suspense book. You must be a courageous person to be in the military. May all your missions be safe.
Thank you. Courageous is much too kind a word, but I appreciate that. And we all appreciate your good thoughts for all of our missions.
I hope you stay encouraged, too. It'll be a great journey, even if exhausting. Remember to keep us posted. :)
You don't need to be friends with everyone, no. But, you need to be friendly, approachable and humble. You need to have a professional attitude and not sound and look like an amateur. You are an author, so you are a brand. Period.
Friends and family make the worst supporters. They do not support your work because of your talent. They support you because they love you.
If you want to sell books, you need to show your expertise in your field and do your due diligence. "I don't have time" does not cut it.
"We are so busy factor!" - We are all in the same boat. I am a journalist, reviewer, blogger, author, playwright, social media manager, translator and proofreader. If you saw the amount of daily emails in my Inbox, you would faint. lol
"In fact for me to quit my job and become a full time author would take thousands of my novels being sold. Unfortunately I can't become true friends with thousands of people and hold down a job and finish my book too!" - We are all in the same boat. However, if you want to be successful, you need to invest money, time and effort in your work. Writing a book is easy. Everyone can write a book. Marketing it is quite another story.
"But what I and you can do is let a group of people know what you're about and hopefully they will want to buy your book later." - Letting people know about you does NOT guarantee anything. You must first uplift and entertain them. They want to feel a connection. This is not about you, this is about THEM and how YOU can help THEM. If you cannot do that, you won't sell anything.
"My greatest fear is failing as a writer." - Who isn't scared of failing? When I was a kid, many people told me that I was a retard and could never do anything good with my life. I am from France and I speak English fluently. I have a bachelor's degree in translation. I wrote two plays, five books, several short stories, and recorded a CD. I taught French to adults. I have designed all my websites. I am currently working towards creating an organization. I have helped countless numbers of independent artists and entrepreneurs. And I could continue.
I am not trying to show off. I am just trying to show you that if you let fear run your life, you will never do anything.
Be careful how you introduce yourself to others. A little self-doubt is ok, but your entire blurb is full of negativity.
My best advice to you is this. To create a relationship with people, you need to know yourself. If you were a potential reader, what would you like to know about you? How could you make people relate to you and your story? How can you help them?
Take a serious look at the person you are. And don't forget that all of us here have been in your situation. And change your attitude.
In my job, I get to interview a lot of people. You would not believe the amount of talented folks there are in this world. But 95% will never make it far for two reasons:
"They are scared of failing"
"They don't have the time"
So, keep your head high, trust your abilities and skills and work hard. :-)
I absolutely agree. And I did not see your reply, so I definitely have no idea what you wrote. ;-)
Success and ideas were once dreams, until we decided that it was time for action. In this day and age, you either have a go at it or you drown.
Hi Colleen, I'm on the cruel cusp of seventy, so forty sounds quite lovely. My wish is to see my book on film, and my biggest worry is that I won't live that long. The screen option to "Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever," was purchased shortly after the book was released in 2010 by a producer in Hollywood. She truly believes in the book and has hired a screenwriter to adapt it. The key is will a studio or network feel the same way.
My favorite author is Richard Russo (although I didn't like Bridge of Sighs). I write women's fiction and have finished my second novel, "Staying Afloat", the story of a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother who morphs into a sex-starved adulteress.
Happy to meet you.
Congratulations on both books, including the screen optionedd Husbands May Come and Go But Friends Are Forever. That's great. Did you reach out to the producers, or did they contact you about the book? How long did it take you to write it?
How long do they say it might take for your book to be made into a film? Do they consult you at all once they buy it? Do you get any say-so? I hope you get to see it, and I wish you more success of your other projects. Please continue to keep us posted on its progress.
I also like the synopsis of Staying Afloat. Sounds like a good one!
To answer some of your questions, a press release went out prior to the book's release and the producer saw it and sent me an email saying she had ordered the book. She read it, loved it, and sent an option agreement shortly thereafter. According to the agreement, she doesn't have to keep me informed of any progress, but she does. The first actress she sent it to was Meryl Streep (can you imagine?). No one knows how long a project like this takes. Some books are optioned for years before anything happens; some options never get exercised. Who knows? But I'm still thrilled at the possibility.
Check out the reviews. http://www.amazon.com/Husbands-May-Come-Friends-Forever/dp/09825046...
I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to read the book. It's sounds wonderfully real to me, although I haven't reached 50 yet. I'm relating more than ever to loss and more receptive to different avenues of healing. I should have it before to long weekend. I have a funeral and a wedding to attend back-to-back.
And Meryl Streep?! Woohoo! You never know. An Oscar-winning actress even considering the role is a hoot! Maybe even a slim Kathy Bates would do. Haha. Listen to me. I haven't even read the book, and I'm already casting the movie.
Oh well, cutting the babble short for now. Congratulations, again. Stories like yours are very inspiring and motivating. :)