Written. Edited. Published. Now What?

The second book in my Haven series, TWICE DEAD, was released last week. The writing for that particular book is done. The words are set in stone–okay, ink, but still, there is no more editing to be done. The book is out there for all the world to see. So, besides work on the sequel, what am I supposed to do now?

Tell people about it, of course! But how?

I’ve been guest blogging and holding contests to celebrate the release and get the word out. Blog tours, signings, and convention appearances all give writers an opportunity to not only interact with our very awesome readers, they also (hopefully) expose our work to potential new readers. Giveaways are fun, though not always easy to come up with. The hope with a giveaway is to get people excited about the book, but there are a lot of mixed opinions among authors about what is good to give away. In the picture here, you can see a Twice Dead notebook and mug I recently offered on my blog.

At signings and conventions, I keep hundreds of bookmarks on hand to give out and to leave in places where they might be picked up. The bookmarks tend to be well received; I’ve even had readers ask for them because they can’t see me in person. I do wonder if they are useful promotional material though. Personally, I love bookmarks and have picked up books by author’s whose bookmarks I’ve snagged at conventions. But then, I’m a big dork and if I know I have the bookmark, I typically search it out to use in that book because well, that seems to make it even more special. (See, dork. ^_^)

The thing about getting the word out is that I’m not sure how people find their books these days. Observing my own book buying habits can’t be considered standard anymore as I now know many of the writers I read. I talk to them on the SFWA forums or RWA loops, I sit on panels with them at conventions, I share an agent with them, or I blog/guest blog with them. That changes things. I’m not exactly the typical reader anymore.

So, here is my question for everyone out there. How do you find new books/authors? Do you peruse the shelves at brick and mortar stores looking for covers/titles/blurbs that catch you? Do you use the ‘recommended for you’ or ‘customers also liked’ suggestions in online stores? Do you read reviews? Go on friends’ recommendations? Run across authors on blogs or at conventions and take a deeper look into their books if you’re interested in what they say? Something else entirely? What do you think is the best way for an author to get the word out about their books?

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday!

8 Responses to “Written. Edited. Published. Now What?”

  1. 1 vikki
    February 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I’m not a typical reader either. I’m an obsessive reader. I choose books based on a variety of reasons.

    1. The cover….The old adage never judge a book by its cover. I don’t believe it. There are certain things that are true in this world. A hot sometimes half-naked man with embossed lettering on the cover typically means it is romance. Sometimes there is a woman with him….sometimes not. That book will be picked up and I will read the back to determine if I would like to read it. About 30% of the time, that book will go home with me. Fun colors (orange, pink, yellow, red) with an attention grabbing title can get me to pick it up too.

    2. Recommendations from friends. This one is self-explanatory. A friend tells me this is an awesome book and then gives me a blurb. I’m likely to at least try it.

    3. I was given a copy of a book and I must now buy the rest of the series because it is so awesome. This has happened to me more than once.

    I don’t buy very many books online, but I think the “people who have bought this also bought that” feature is pretty cool and I can see myself buying because of that.

  2. 2 Annie
    February 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    >How do you find new books/authors?
    Mainly online – recommendations and blogs. And for some genres, some specific lists (such as Locus)

    > Do you peruse the shelves at brick and mortar stores looking for covers/titles/blurbs that catch you?
    Rarely – not so many bookstores that sell English books from new authors where I live and when I travel the ones that I see are usually the ones at the airports.

    >Do you use the ‘recommended for you’ or ‘customers also liked’ suggestions in online stores?
    I find new authors in this way all the time. Even if I do not like 9 out of 10 proposals, they at least lead me to other proposals 🙂

    >Do you read reviews?
    Yes. Especially the low-star ones – in most cases they reveal the strengths of the book much better than a glowing review.

    > Go on friends’ recommendations?
    Rarely. For one – my friends do not read the type of books I do until I recommend them. But if online groups count – then – yes, a lot.

    >Run across authors on blogs or at conventions and take a deeper look into their books if you’re interested in what they say?
    All the time.

    >Something else entirely?
    Sometimes a title makes me look at the book. But in most cases that is because this title had shown up at Amazon as possible match for the one I already look at.

    > What do you think is the best way for an author to get the word out about their books?
    Not by spamming online groups, that’s for sure 🙂 Having blogs like this one kinda works and I like it. Having an interesting presence in internet helps.

  3. February 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Vikki, I totally agree with you about the cover. If the marketing team and designers got it right, I should be able to tell just by the cover if the book will appeal to me (or at least to which genre it belongs.) That doesn’t mean I’ll *like* the book, but the cover is a draw. Thanks for chiming in!

    Annie. Wow, 10 points for answering all the questions! I’m with you on the recommended buttons–even if I don’t like the recommendations, I’m always curious. And I totally agree about not spamming groups. Some people do that on a couple of the loops I’m on. Not only do I tend to delete the messages without reading them, but I shuffle that person to a corner of my brain reserved for annoyances. Not a good place to be–and nowhere I’d like to find myself. ^_^
    Thanks for adding your insight!

  4. February 18, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Hmm… I thought the thing to do after the books was finally out was to start a new project. Well, I suppose you’re already under contract for the next book in this series. Moving on…

    I find books two ways:

    1. recommendations online, after which I do a quick wiki search,
    and also
    2. by browsing in a bookstore. I never buy based on “customers who bought this…” ads. But I rarely buy online anyway, unless I just can’t get the book from a store.
    3. Okay, I lied, there’s a third way, if I met the writer online, or enjoyed their blog. (Examples: John Scalzi’s blog sold me on four books, and I advertise for him when people ask for recs. And, this blog, obviously. Kelly Meding and Celina Summers hooked me through a writing forum.)

  5. February 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Great post! 🙂

    I still browse the stores and I’m usually drawn in by covers.

    Besides the covers, I get a lot of my books via online publicity — like blogs, review sites, fiction communities and places like that… I found several new books/authors just through mentions by friends on Twitter and blogs.

  6. February 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Kalayna! I have access to library trade magazines to tell me about new releases. In addition to that, I read Locus every month, and of course I haunt a number of SF/F media sites.
    I love to wander the brick&mortar bookstores, but these days that tends to be my endpoint, with me walking through the door with a list in hand.

    See you at ConCarolinas!!

  7. February 20, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Often times, I check out books recommended by current fav. authors. If I’m in a book store then the covers attract me, I read the burb and buy it if it sounds good.

    Online I read reviews by blogs like Bitten by Books because I prefer Urban Fantasy and they review a lot of Urban Fantasy books.

    Most books I buy, I usually see them online first then pick them up when I’m cruising my local book store.

    That’s how I found Kelly’s book, Rachel Vincent, Vicki Pettersson and a couple of others.

  8. February 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks everyone for weighing in! Sounds like there are different preferences for different readers, but a lot of people do their research before buying these days.

    Misty, can’t wait to see you!

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