After reading Erin's very helpful post on promotion I got to musing--as I do frequently these days--on what actually drives book sales other than having the name "Stephen King" or "James Patterson" on the cover. (Even Bill Clinton is going to Mr. P. to work on his first thriller.) And while this sitting and staring made me look all sorts of deep it did not really result in much of an answer.
It did raise a few more questions, though. But they were not the sort that I can answer on my own. I need your help. I need readers (and what author doesn't?). So I'm asking the readers who visit this blog this week or every week a few things that can help authors better understand what works and what doesn't. For example:
- Do contests help? If you see an author is offering a free copy to anyone who can identify the 14th word of the Gettysburg Address (it's "a") will that make you stop and take notice? Will you enter? How do you feel if you don't win?
- What kind of contests are most appealing to you?
- Do posts on Facebook or Twitter give you information or just annoy you in the course of your working day?
- Does this blog, in addition to giving you vital data on my health, get you at all excited about upcoming books?
- Do you go to an author's web site? What generally drives you there? What do you look at on a web site?
- What gets your attention: The cover? The title? Do you just buy everything one author you know writes?
- Do reviews make a difference to you?
- Do blurbs?
- How do you find out about new books and new authors?
- Is this too many questions?
- Is Terri going to ask me Five Questions?
- What do you want to know when an author takes questions? If I did a session of Ask Me Anything on Facebook, what would you ask? Would you follow it?
- Have you ever thought: Why doesn't an author do [fill in the blank]? If so, what?
- Do book signings drive you out of the house (to get there) or out of your mind (from boredom)?
- In short: How can I (because let other writers ask on their blogs) get your attention with a new book, like for example EDITED OUT?
Come on now, readers. I'm counting on you. Don't be shy; answer below in comments. Let's start a discussion. Because without readers a writer is just some yutz who types things out and then wonders why that was necessary. Besides, it's way too late for me to get a real job.