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Fiction Groupie Archives

These are my writing posts from my former blog, spanning 2009-2012. To see new writing posts, click on the blog tab above. To see these archived post organized by topic, click "For Writers" above.

Entries in writers (57)

Friday
Jan272012

Fill Me In Friday: Best Writing Links of the Week

 


It's that time of the week again. Hope everyone had a wonderful week! Here are the best links I've come across in the last few days.

 

On Writing and Publishing:

The Literary Lab: Who is the Ultimate Authority of a Piece of Fiction?

25 Things Writers Should Know About Agents via Chuck Wendig

Novel Plotting Worksheets | Annie Neugebauer

Jennifer Represents...: The Fine Art of Zipping It, or XYZ PDQ

Reader Reviews and What Not To Do, by @WendySMarcus | Romance University

10 Bestselling Books with 50+ One-Star Reviews - GalleyCat

why Pinterest is totally not a waste of time: creating a visionboard for your novel

The Bookshelf Muse: Do You Need a Social Media Intervention?

The Value Rubric: Do Book Bloggers Really Matter? | Publishing Perspectives

Writability: Why I Don't Auto-Follow Back

No Shame Here | GENREALITY - on not considering any book a "guilty pleasure"

Writing in different genres: A Blog Series | Nicole Basaraba's Uni-Verse-City

Trust Thyself | Kait Nolan - on writer's block

What’s the Problem with FREE? « Kristen Lamb's Blog

Why blog hits DON’T REALLY MATTER | The Red Pen of Doom

The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books | The Red Pen of Doom

What You May Have Missed Here:

What You May Have Missed on the FINAL Week of My Blog Tour:

 

All right, that's it from my end. What were some of your favorite links of the week?  Have a great weekend!

 


 

 

 “...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement

 

Monday
Jan022012

Authors Interacting with Readers Online - More Controversial Than I Thought

Okay, before I get into the nitty gritty, I'd like to make a few announcements:

1) My "official" blog tour starts today. If you visit and comment on posts throughout the tour, there's a chance to win a gift certificate. : ) Today's post is over at Romancing Rakes where I'm talking about The Anatomy of a Sex Scene. (There's also a review of the book here.) I'd love it if you guys would stop by and say hi!

 

 

2) So, uh, I have a book coming out. SQUEE!!!!!! CRASH INTO YOU drops tomorrow. Though I will refrain from begging--*ahem* for now--I will be your BFF (you know, virtually braid your hair and paint your toenails) if you check out a copy. (Um, for you boys, I'll buy the beer and cue up the big screen for the bowl games.) And really, if nothing else, you can buy a copy just to see if I've followed all that writing advice I'm sharing on here all the time. And then make fun of me when I didn't. ;)

Okay, so onto today's topic...

 

Kids of conversation
Photo by Kris Hoet

 

Authors Interacting With Readers Online - Some Things to Think About


This past week I ran across a thought-provoking post over at Dear Author, Is there room on the internet for authorial interaction? In the post, Jane talks about the role of the author and when it's appropriate for the author to interact with the readers (when it adds value and when it taints things.)

 

The post itself is enough to get you thinking, but the slew of comments are just as enlightening. I was truly surprised to find out how some readers feel about authorial interaction.

Most agree (and I can see this point) that an author should not be commenting on reviews--mainly because once the author shows up it can make others clam up. Who wants to say something negative once they know the author is there listening?

But I was surprised to see that this even went as far as applying to the author saying thank you for the review. Jane and some other reviewers mentioned that a thank you almost makes them feel uncomfortable, especially in response to a negative review,because it implies that the reviewer has done a "favor" for the author. (I'm assuming this is for reviews you didn't directly set up with the reviewer. If you directly interacted with the blogger--like setting up a blog tour--then a thank you is obviously in order.)

Now, I'm southern. I say thank you for EVERYTHING. It's like a reflex. To think that my thank you may make someone uncomfortable kind of took me aback. When I say thank you, it's simply because I'm appreciative that the person took the time to read my book and to comment on it publicly (which is press--regardless of the content of the review.) Reviews are important. So my instinct would be to thank someone if I saw that they reviewed my book. (Plus I'm a dorky new author and just want to hug everyone who reads my book, lol.)

But perhaps the thank you should be a case by case basis and should be done privately via email instead of posting it on the review and shutting down other comments. (This does not mean I'm going to stop saying thank you, lol. My grandmother would come back and haunt me about my bad manners.)

The other issue that was interesting was how many of the commenters didn't like interacting with authors. They preferred to read and discuss the book without knowing anything about the author. They didn't want to hear the writer's perspective on why they wrote something the way they did.

I can understand this in the forum of a review. You don't want the author "defending" themselves in the comments, but seeing that many are opposed to any interaction is a little surprising and flies in the face of all we're told about connecting with readers online.

Some readers felt very strongly--finding authors "friending" readers on social networking sites as "rude". And another said they had enough drama in their life and didn't want to read about the author's life. Another was unhappy with authors hanging out on "reader" sites. One person said authors should only be known by their work. Also, many assume that if we're online and discussing books that aren't our own, we're just friends with that author and it's not genuine.

This prompted author Courtney Milan to ask in the comments:

How safe is it for authors to participate in discussions of books at all? Do people just assume that authors are friends with the author? Does that chill discussion?

The whole post and discussion was rather enlightening for me, a bit depressing and frankly, isolating. Yes, I absolutely agree that authors should refrain from commenting/defending/attacking in the comments sections of reviews. That's a given.

 

But now we're not supposed to discuss other books and we're not supposed to go in "reader" groups/areas? Yes, we're writers, but first and foremost we're READERS. Just because I have a book out there doesn't mean I'm not also voracious reader who loves to discuss books with others. Hearing that my presence in a reader group may be construed as something self-serving made me a little sad. Like I can't play on that playground anymore.

And maybe I'm the exception but even before I was a writer, I loved the idea of getting to know the authors behind the books I enjoyed. I liked reading the "why they wrote the book" posts or little explanations and insider information about the story. If I was actually able to discuss/chat about the book with them, well, awesome! So I know that there are other readers out there like me.

And maybe that's why the responses to the post surprised me. And, of course, this is a specific sample and may not (probably doesn't) represent readers as a whole. Many people commenting on the post were authors and book bloggers. Book bloggers are not your casual readers. They deal with authors daily. So I'm sure if you've dealt with one too many difficult authors, you can become a little more wary and jaded.

But here are my takeaways from the post:

1. Saying thank you publicly for a review may not always be a good thing. Send a note privately if you'd like to thank the reviewer.

2. Commenting on a review in any way can shut down reader discussion.

3. Readers may see you as an intruder with an agenda if you join book discussion groups. (So make sure you don't have an ulterior motive for joining.)

4. You may not be the best person to publicly promo your friends books (and vice versa) because many readers will only see it as helping a friend. This doesn't mean don't do it, but understand that it may hold less weight than independent reviewers so make sure you mix it up when you're promoting your book.

5. Some readers don't want to "connect" with you. It may taint their reading experience. Respect that. So interact, be available, chat, blog but don't go "hunting" readers and injecting yourself into their online lives if you weren't invited.

6. Don't jump into Facebook or Twitter discussions when people are discussing your book unless you're invited or messaged directly.

7. Do everything with genuineness. Don't "friend" people because you want them to buy your book. Friend them because you want to get to know them. (Duh.)

8. If certain issues or questions keep coming up in reviews, don't necessarily address them in the comments. Write a blog post on your own blog answering those questions so that readers who are interested in knowing more can seek it out if they'd like. (Good fodder for FAQ section.)

So what do you think about all this? Were you surprised by any of it? And how do you think these things should be handled? Do you think this represents a large group of readers or is more specific to bloggers who deal with authors daily?

 


 

 

 

"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series

 

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.


All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|

 

Wednesday
Dec072011

Why Only Focusing On Your "Target" Audience May Hurt You

 

Target

In the world of book marketing--or any kind of marketing for that matter--you often are told to figure out who your target audience is. This group of people is the way to the promised land of success. You need to figure out WHO will buy your books and then target your platform to that niche.

 

So, using that logic, I should target 25-50 something year old women who are already romance readers. Most of them are probably in relationships. Many will have children. I write sexy so I can cut out the super ultra conservative sector. And on and on it goes.

There is, of course, a lot of logic in this approach. Knowing who your "ideal reader" is can be helpful.

But, what about everyone else?

The reason that Twilight became so successful is because it didn't just get the teenage readers who like vampires and romance. It busted through the genre and got people who not only weren't typical young adult readers to read it. It got NON-readers to pick it up. It jumped the nice lines of its target market and that's why it became so big.

Now, the number of books that do that is small. Phenomenons are called such for a reason. But that doesn't mean we can't use that logic on a smaller scale.

I haven't stuck to reaching out to just that "ideal reader" profile above. By complete happenstance, I ended up reaching out to writers first then expanded a bit with my author blog. I've become friends with people who write and read every kind of genre you can think of. 

I mean, think about it. I host authors like Jody Hedlund on my blog. She writes inspirational/Christian historical romance where a kiss can be considered risque. I write seriously steamy erotic romance with BDSM elements. I am not her ideal reader and she's not mine. But you know what? I buy her books and give them as gifts because I like her and know I'm giving a quality gift to people who ARE her ideal readers.


And I can't tell you how many times I've had someone say to me:

I don't read romance, but... I'm going to buy your book because it sounds really interesting or I read your excerpt and liked it or I enjoy your voice on your blog so am going to try your book.


Those comments give me the squees because there is no higher compliment to me than for someone to say--I'm willing to take a chance on you even though this isn't normally my thing. I love that.

 

And I find myself doing that with other authors as well. I'd never read historical romance until I picked up Ashley March's debut. I bought it because I wanted to support her as a friend, but then loved the book and have since bought more historicals.

So what would have happened if Jody had only reached out to her "target audience"? I would've never found her or bought her books.

There is benefit in not tightening your network too much. A niche can be good but don't make it too exclusive. I have guys who have told me they are going to buy my book. Everyone in marketing would tell you that's definitely not my target audience, but hey--why the heck not? I read "boy" books. Guys can enjoy "girl" books on occasion too.

So blog and make friends across the spectrum. Don't limit yourself. If you do, you're not just going to miss out on some potential new readers, you're going to miss out on some really cool people and friends.

So what do you think? Do you try to cater to a "target audience"? Have you bought a book way outside your normal preferences because you got to know the author?


“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

 

Friday
Nov182011

Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Links of the Week!

 

Sorry this is so late going up. It's been a crazy morning. First there was my squeeful news, then I had to take kidlet to get all his 4 yr old shots. Nothing says happy birthday like getting five needles stabbed into your thighs. :(  But anyway, I'm here now. Hope you enjoy the links!
On Writing and Publishing:
Should Authors Comment on Reviews? by Squeaky Books (make sure and read the comments, interesting to hear perspectives from book bloggers)
DeKloutifying by John Scalzi
What NOT to Blog About by Rachelle Gardner
I'm There But I'm Not by Tess Gerritsen via Novel Rocket
For Fun:
Romeo, Ripley, and Bella Swan by Rosemary Clement-Moore via PopSmart Books (really interesting essay about how the Twilight books have roots in Greek tragedies.)
What You Missed on the Author Blog:


What You May Have Missed Here:

by Ashley March

 

 


All right, that's what I have for this week. What were some of your favorite links this week? Have a great weekend!


 

 


“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

 

Friday
Nov112011

Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Links of the Week!

 

Hope everyone has had a great week! It's time to gather up the best links of the week.

 

But first, I wanted to announce the winner of Mia Marlowe's Sins of the Highlander from Wednesday's contest. Congratulations to Buffy Leonard!

All right, now on to the links. Enjoy!

On Writing/Publishing:

Fascinating Interview with Stephen King in NY Times

On Ebook Pricing from Indie Author Selena Kitt

The Craze for Long Books Goes On and On an On by The Guardian (found via Anne R. Allen)

8 Press Kit Elements for Your Author Website at The Fearless Self-Publisher

5 Mistakes Writers Make with Virtual Book Tours by Working Writers

On Humor in a Romance by Sierra Godfrey

The Creation of an Agent's TBR Pile by my lovely agent Sara Megibow via Romance University (This fascinated me.)

It's Not a Competition by Beth Revis

Book Bloggers: The New Publishing Gatekeepers by Jennie Coughlin

When to Modify Your Name for SEO Concerns by Jane Friedman

Why An Author's Early Works Are Usually Most Original by Vicki Hines

On Your Mark: Marketing Your Novel by Janice Hardy via The Bookshelf Muse

On Writers Covering a "Territory" In Their Novels by Laura Oliver

Are Social Media Sites the New Publishing Slushpile? by Publishing Perspectives

For Fun:

Okay, so I usually stay away from politics on here, but I was watching the Daily Show last night and knew I had to share this. Dude, I almost fell out my bed laughing at "I smell toast!" You have to watch it to understand. Go to the 6:30 mark in the video, that's when the funniest stuff starts. Hilarious.

 

 

What You May Have Missed Here:

 

What You May Have Missed on the Author Blog:
(GREAT discussion going on in the comments)

 

Alright, that's all I've got for you this week. What were some of your favorite links of the week? Have a great weekend!

 

 


"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.


All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|