Saturday, January 11, 2014
Wish List for our Readers from the Jungle Red Writers
LUCY BURDETTE: Can you believe I read in a blog post this week that there are 3500 books published every day. 3500 PER DAY. wow. The good news for readers is we have access to more books then we ever dreamed of. The bad news, is figuring out what is worth reading.
There's some bad news for writers too: We can get swept away in the waves of published books. Wouldn't it be a nightmare, to write a wonderful book and see it sell poorly because the news didn't reach enough potential readers? Since three of us Reds have the books coming along the publishing pipeline in the next two months, and all of us have at least one book coming out in the next year, we thought it might be worth reviewing the power that readers have to support the series.
So I've asked each of the reds to tell us something on their wish list for readers. For me, I would love it if readers who enjoyed the Key West mysteries would post a review. It could be on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or good reads or library thing, wherever you find your literary water cooler. It doesn't have to be an English term paper, even a couple of lines will do. And, though we all love five stars, any review is better than none. How about you Reds-- thoughts about ways readers can support your work?
RHYS BOWEN: I don't think readers realize they have the power to help us until we tell them. They think of us as powerful creatures, making millions (I wish) selling books like crazy. My Facebook followers have been amazed when I mention that reviews on Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Goodreads can really help me. Also if they don't find my new book in the library, they can request it and thus make the library order it. The most useful thing is to recommend their favorite writer to friends and family and many of my readers already do this. They will write to me and say "I got my mother/sister/best friend hooked on your books." That's the best publicity ever!
And another thing that really helps if they plan to buy the book is to buy it on the first day, or at least during the first week. That makes the numbers leap up--hopefully enough to hit some of the bestseller lists.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh, my gosh. Readers, you have no idea how much difference you make. If you like our books? Just TELL someone. Tell a friend, tell two friends. Word of mouth is so critical. Buy books as gifts. My secret worry: I always think everyone thinks that everyone else has bought the book. So people just-don't buy it, figuring oh, she'll be fine.
My mother once told me--"I went to the bookstore to get your book, they said they were out of it. So that's good," she said, "Right? People are buying it." Yeah I said, but they were sold out. Did you ask them to order it for you? No, she said, I thought it was too much trouble. AH! Mom!
Pre-order, pre-order. You better believe I will tell you when TRUTH BE TOLD is available for pre-order. Those numbers are critical! And think how efficient that is! YOu'll never have to give it another thought until it arrives.
(No pressure, gang. It's just our careers...:-) ) Each and every book makes a difference. Each and every review and recommendation makes a difference. It truly does.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: We are only here, talking to you today, because of you, our readers. We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate you. And I can only agree with what the other REDS have said. And I would add, not only recommend books you love to your friends and family, but LEND them. I know that seems a bit contrary, because we want your friends and family and everyone you meet in the street to buy our books, but sometimes people are just not going to do that until they've actually read one. So while they might not buy that book, we hope they will buy the next one. And then recommend to their friends. And so on.
Of course, if you've already loaned your friends earlier books in the series, they will run out and buy the new one, too:-)
HALLIE EPHRON: And when you go to the bookstore and you see my book on the shelf, turn it face out... just kidding. I only make my children do that.
The biggest thing is: Read. If you can't afford to buy the book, then borrow it from the library or borrow from a friend. Read it and tell friends, booksellers, and librarians if you enjoyed it.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I'll jump on the library band wagon along with Hallie. For many of us, the first time we try a new author is at the library. According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, there are 8,951 public libraries in the US - and that number doubles when you count branch libraries and bookmobiles. Robust library sales alone are enough to keep a mid-list author alive, and they can powerfully boost debuts and best-sellers alike. So, readers, visit your local library. If they don't have an author you like, ask if they can add his or her books to their acquisition list. Recommend the books you love to other library-goers. And needless to say, librarians can be the most influential readers of all. My first books were successful in large part to librarians thrusting them into the hands of patrons and saying, "You have to try this!"
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: What everyone else and especially Hank said. If you like a book, tell your friends, your family, random strangers in bookstores and libraries. And the pre-order thing is amazing — and we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY appreciate it!
Lucy: that's it Red readers, back to our regularly scheduled program:). Tomorrow, a recipe from Downton Abbey Cooks--and 3 chances to win the cookbook!
For other writers reading this blog, any other tips that you think would help spread the good word?