Wiscon: Reaching Readers

Panelists: Melissa F. Olson, Wesley Chu, Trisha Woolridge, Liz Gorinsky, Sally Weiner Grotta

Sally announces Pixel Hall Press party. There will be writers’ guidelines there.

Sally: What do readers want from writer?

Melissa: Lots of books coming out. Writers need a new way to become important to readers. Also, social media opportunities.
Wesley: Readers want to be interactive. Get closer to the world they’re reading about.
Trisha: In YA/MG, marketing is also to parents, librarians and teachers. Networking, interaction on line and at conferences.
Liz: Connections with communities. By doing this, you can connect with dozens of your readers at the same time. Book release sites. Talk to writers of similar stuff.

Sally: What about serialization?

Patreon–serialization of novels. Base of people. Better with established relationships.
Some writers can write serialization. Other authors prefer to have entire novel written first.

Crowd Sourcing: Holly Lisle sends out her first draft to a mailing list.
1000 strong readers can support you for life.

Book tours: Some people design their own. Overall, this is an impractical way of reaching readers.

Try a focused even like World Con.
Blog tours are also a good idea.
You can do stock signings at book stores.
Touring with other authors or being on panels with other authors is a good idea.
Make sure you have questions and choices of topics. Don’t go ni cold.

Specific etiquette on how you act on social media. Sell your book by selling yourself. Most people and readers are interested in the author and their personality.

Book blogging. Usually, there are specific guidelines.
For bookstores, have a press release and photo ready. Make sure your book has an ISBN.

Talking to book clubs is always a good idea.

Watch out for people who sell services to independent writers. They can feed on your dreams.

Chu’s blog tour. Thirty-six posts in 3 weeks. One every day. Shock and awe!!!! Entertainment is number one.

Have friends and use them….but not in a bad way. Show up for author friends, and they show up for you.

Email list. Some like it, some feel it is old school. It can provide readers with material between books.

Trisha loves conventions. Also study guides. School visits.

Melissa uses a newsletter.

Release materials can come from publishers to fans first.

Time considerations: Does this eat your time? What’s the return on your investment. Do I write more books?

Some writers write a week’s worth of web content on the weekend.

Do what is suited to you. Don’t do everything.

Melissa uses short blocks of time for social media, and long blocks of time for writing.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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