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Thursday, December 18, 2014

A2R Marketing: The Gift of Words from Readers

If you're like me, the holidays make time pass in a blur. If we're not careful, the moments that make the holidays special will be forgotten in a swirl of tissue paper, twinkly lights and finger foods. As a wife, mother, friend, (etc!), I get busy doing for others and end up at the bottom of my list. Pausing long enough to absorb and savor can feel like a luxury. So, when I received some emails from readers who loved my book, I sat, stunned and humbled, and remembered to take a breath and appreciate their gift of words.

For my readers who have taken the time to email, tweet, post, like, and review, THANK YOU! Below are a few messages I've received recently (with identifiers taken out).

"Absolutely fantastic, Connie! If I am not ready for Christmas, it is your fault.
I love the book. I detect a horse-loving childhood for you.??
Good Luck and many congrats. What an accomplishment."
-New Hampshire

"I have wanted to email you since I finished your wonderful, amazing book – and this is the first chance I have had! ... I just wanted to let you know that I LOVED your book. And I am a bibliophile. I read ALL of the time that I’m not working with horses and Reiki! Which is a lot. You were so sweet offering to skype with us and all. And while I don’t need to take your time with that – I did want you to know how very much I enjoyed your book. And how much I am looking forward to the next one! I’ll try to find you on facebook so I can be notified when it’s out! Can’t wait."

"I just wanted you to know that I just finished "The Charity"! I bought it at the Equine Affaire last fall and it had been sitting on my bedside tale staring at me. Working full time and raising three teenagers keeps me very busy so to commit to reading a book is a daunting task for me. I finally started it last week and couldn't put it down until I finished it. ironically I finished the last few chapters at my daughter's horse show. all of the parents kept asking me what was keeping my attention and I told them about the book. I highly recommended it to everyone."
-Rhode Island
"I rarely have time to read but when I do, I like books like "the girl with the dragon tattoo" trilogy, the "hunger games" trilogy, as well as Gillian Flynn books .The Charity was as suspenseful and riveting as those, if not more! Being a horse-lover made me connect with your book even more. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your book, and await your next one!
Regards and thanks for such a great read!"
-New York

"A copy of your book came my way from a friend. It was on my stack of books to tackle and once I finally got to it, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. ... My daughter also has a copy and I am encouraging her to pick this up. I notice that the ending left a lot of opportunity for a sequel? Looking forward to that if you are planning on it!
Best of luck to you with your writing. You are very good at it!!"

"OMG! I loved the Charity... I can't wait to start the next book. Is it at the bookstores yet? I usually read books on the best sellers list, and you are right up there with the best."

"I wanted to touch base with you Connie and tell you that I just finished The Charity. It has kept me glued to the chair, tense and turning pages until the end. It is quite the book and full of suspense and a true thriller! I enjoyed every page until the last....I am so glad to see there is a sequel coming out because I was left sitting there going, 'but what happens to them now?' So thank you for writing more of the story....why this has not been picked up for a movie I have no idea! I can imagine certain people in the roles and see the horses and countryside, etc. The story would make a great movie!
... I have been an avid horsewoman for many, many years. So I have enjoyed your book immensely and look forward to The Troubles....I think I'll take a breather for a few weeks and read some Nicholas Sparks to settle down tho'. 
Blessings to you and yours and may 2015 find you all in good health and spirits!"

More on A2R (Author to Reader) Marketing can be found here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A2R Marketing: The Care and Feeding of Your Favorite Author

Come on, 'fess up. You have a crush on an author and are happy with the one-sided affair.

You read his or her work with books you own, got from a library, or borrowed from a friend. You fell in love with a story or a character because something touched you in a way you never thought possible. Somehow, the author reached into your heart and expressed something you knew was there, but didn't know how to articulate. Then, you read the quick bio in the back of the book and were even more intrigued with the person behind the words. Shyly, with no one looking, you googled her and found blogs or recent interviews. You liked what you read, or viewed, or heard. You were hooked.

We authors are a complicated sort. We spend hours alone, crafting sentences we hope will do exactly that - to beguile and hook you. You've bitten our sweet apple and thought you were safe in your curlers and fuzzy slippers, with a mug of tea in one hand and a thick tome in the other. You thought you were safe from need.

You were wrong. For each sated moment you enjoyed, a hunger grew. Maybe you talked about your new love with anyone who would listen (thank you!). Perhaps you suggested our book to your book club (wonderful!). The more adventurous of you "liked" a Facebook page (yes!), followed us on Twitter (yippee!), or left a comment on a blog (way to go!). Maybe you've even been so bold as to attend a reading (incredible!). Thank you for carrying us in the crook of your arm as you commute (cover out, please, so all can see), or got sand in our pages at the beach (aahhh!). Lip prints on your e-reader are perfectly acceptable as you kiss a favorite passage. If you've done one or all of these things, you may have smiled to yourself thinking you've cared for your beloved author.

Everything mentioned above is fantastic and greatly appreciated, but there's more you can do. Remember, we authors are lovers of words. Not just our own words, but yours, dear Reader. Yes. Your words. Post a review. Gulp! We ask you to declare your love of us publicly. We ask you to stand on the rooftop of the great House of Barnes & Noble, or atop Mount Amazon, or on the shores of Goodreads, and shout, loudly and proudly, that you've read our words and want more.

Because, in those digital wilds, more of you lurk. We authors know this to be true. There are readers out there who want to know what you've read and what you thought. In the process of caring for us, you get to care for your own. How perfect can that be?

So, as you care for us, feed us with your words and reap the reward knowing you're providing sustenance for others, just like you.

Here is a check list for ensuring proper care:

  • Tell your friends and suggest it to your book club. Many authors are happy to join your group for an evening and others can do appearances via Skype.
  • Ask your local library to buy a copy. Better yet, but one and donate it after you've read it!
  • If the author has a Facebook page, please "like" it;
  • Ditto for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.;
  • If you see them on a blog, comment.
  • On Amazon, post a review AND add the author as a 'favorite' by visiting their author page and clicking the "Add Favorite" star button below their image;
  • Add the book to your Goodreads list and review it there.
  • Authors are happy to hear from you. Reach out. 

More on A2R (Author to Reader) Marketing can be found here.