Sunday, November 20, 2011

Author Etiquette Rule 1

So, hello all in the internet, reader and writer.  First a quick status update.  As of right now, I'm at 128,000 words for Aeris.  I'm deep in my groove now, and the words are flying out of my fingers whenever I can scrounge up the time to devote to them.  My new method of attack?  I ditched the idea of continuing to write the three stories simultaneously.  The book has become so long that it was mentally debilitating (not an exaggeration) to continue to write on it day after day, word after word, and know in my heart that thousands and thousands of words were left until the end.
Currently, I'm writing Nikka's storyline.  I've had it mapped out for a while now, and the tricky ending has been conquered.  I estimate that I'm about 4-5 chapters from the end of her story line, about 6,000 words for those of you keeping track.  That will bump me up to 134,000ish and she'll be done.  For the rest of Aeris, if I go off of what Nikka's story has cost, word wise, Aeris is going to end up at 170,000 words.  And no, I don't think I'm going to get it done in the fall.  I will be danged lucky if I get it done by the end of December, writing my butt off to do it.  Still, it feels good to be almost done with Nikka.  Next up will be Luka, then Zyander.

On to other topics.  I've been wanting to do a series on things that bug me as a reader that authors do.  How they behave in public, what they do in the internet arena, how they interact with me, Kate The Reader.  This will all be subject to personal opinion, but judging from some of the blogs I've read lately, I'm not the only person who feels this way.

Here is my first rule:  If you want to be my friend on GoodReads, be my FRIEND.  Share reviews, comment on mine, recommend books to me, etc.  Please DO NOT use that as an opportunity to send me spammy mail.
Look, I get it, I'm a indie writer myself.  It's hard to get your name out there and get those books sold!  You're thinking to yourself... how can I let people know that I have a totally awesome new book coming out that they must read IMMEDIATELY??  Well, I can tell you how NOT to do it.
1- Don't send me a hundred thousand emails telling me about your awesome new book that I should buy and read.
2- Don't send me LOTS of invitations to some event that you're "hosting" that is really just you shoving your book in my face.
3- Don't recommend your own book to me using GoodReads new feature.

Nothing will make me unfriend you faster than these three things.  The best thing you can do to get my interest is:
1- Write books in a genre I read.  If you write, say, YA fiction, I can pretty much guarantee you that at some point I will hear about it and be intrigued enough to read the blurb and the reviews.  On my own.  Without prompting.
2- Give me a free copy.  I hadn't really planned on bumping Kait Nolan's new book to the top of my reading list.  I was interested in passing, but when she sent me an email offering me a free copy, with the understanding that I would give an honest review (as she did for SEVERAL other people), it went to the head of my stack.  Then I read it, and MAN, she's got a fan for life now.
3- Interact with me, be my friend, show me you give a crap about me.  It will make me give a crap about you and I will become really interested in seeing what it is you write.

So, that is my rule for the day.  More on spammy emails, HERE.

Happy Reading!


Claudia Lefeve said...

You know I'm waiting in the wings to continue my beta reading :)

I recently gave a newbie author some advice. Not that I'm an expert, but that word of advice was: be people's friend...don't mention your book. If someone is interested, they'll find a way to your website/amazon/etc. on their own....that's how I find books.

Nadja Notariani said...

Excellent points, Kate. I actually received a Goodreads notification that someone had rated my book - only to discover that they left the stars blank - and messaged me below in the comments about their own 'great new book'. It smarted.

I had to laugh over your three points. True, but funny, too.

I find books a few ways. 1. Goodreads reviews that spark interest. 2. From following the writer on their blog and hearing about the books' progress, storyline, excerpt, etc. 3. Friends' recommendations.

I don't think I've ever bought a book because of an email or 'plug' in my comments. Although I have gotten books I might not have otherwise tried (and I liked them) because of beginning promotions that offered a free copy for a limited time. I like that idea. The only problem I see in if for authors is that too often, the readers of the free book don't put up a review.

Anonymous said...

"Interact with me, be my friend, show me you give a crap about me."

I really, really loved this statement. I've read books by authors just because I liked them and they've shown they liked me. I don't mind seeing a few promotions here and there...after all, you have to market yourself. But don't flood all venues with it and don't spam people constantly. I've actually read books based on suggestions by the authors on Twitter. But these people also tweet about other things...not JUST their books.

alberta ross said...

all of those and prob more!!!- I hate being deluged - think your blogs will go well - in my long life of travel I have worked at many things - shops, motels, nannying, fruit canning etc all mostly service industry and the thing that really ******* me off was- those I was providing for thinking they were superior because they paid and I delivered - what they didnt seem to get was without the givers they would be nothing -

Us writers are nothing without our readers and as you say dont **** us off

good post

keep smiling

Kate said...

@Claudia: Being a friend is the better idea anyway, since it may end up the person isn't the right one to promote your book anyway. It would be like Jodi Piccoult randomly deciding I should promote her books.
@Nadja: I can't believe someone would do that!! That's a new one on me, but I think I'll include it in my NEXT entry, because it's about comments.
@LLE: I think we can all agree that some promotion is okay. After all, I do SOME promotion here on my blog. And I think you're totally right, because I've found several authors just by how they interact on Kindleboards and goodreads.
@alberta: Truer words were never spoken: writers are nothing without their readers.