It's nice to see a proof of concept that means more than "Oh, right. Interesting idea."
The June/July issue of Massachusetts Horse magazine just hit the news stands. I'm pleased to have been featured in a very nice two page article. It proved the concept that sometimes the best way to find readers not to club them silly and drag them by their hair to your book. Sometimes a bit of finesse works wonders. I know what you're thinking...horse?
There are two parts to the finesse concept. The first is "pull." Every author, from the minuscule indie to blockbuster best selling author, wants you to read their book. You know exactly what they want because you see images of the cover everywhere, reviews start popping up and you hear the "Read me. Read me." mantra. The summer reading season ensures that readers are inundated with ads and missives bluntly telling them what books to stick in their beach bag. Eventually readers become immune to the push of the direct ad. What they want is a siren song pulling them toward their next great read.
The second part is "brilliance." Readers are a very smart group of people. They can easily sniff out a ploy which is also why the direct approach has its problems. They don't want to be told what to do or to be tricked into something. Feeling as if they have made a discovery on their own, they are then much more likely to share that discovery with others. If you feed your reader's innate curiosity enough to pull them to a topic, they will brilliantly discover your book.
An "author profile" is a great way to tickle your reader's curiosity and dangle your book out there without walloping them with a "read me" message. I've mentioned before that having a credential or two behind your fictional writing strengthens your written word. It also strengthens the bond you have with your reader. An author profile that showcases another aspect of yourself makes you more familiar and approachable. If the readers are interested in you as a person, they will be interested in learning what you have to say.
Susan Winslow's profile of me in Massachusetts Horse article is a great example of this. My book, The Charity, is not a book about horses. However, the main character and the story have strong bones there. I drew on my past of raising and training six horses and riding competitively to weave story threads that would ring true to an expert or a novice. The profile does a great job in writing to an audience of horse enthusiasts about someone who shares their passion and who might also be interesting to them.
So, in the process of marketing your book, consider the benefits of indirectly introducing your book to your readers by finding opportunities to introduce yourself.
More on A2R (Author to Reader) Marketing can be found here.