I just read an excellent article in The Huffington Post this morning about how to use social media for new start ups.
Writing is a business, as much as it’s a craft. In order to gain the readers we want and followers we need, we are constantly trying to find the most efficient and effective means of connecting with our audience. Social media has been a major boon to writers of all genres. It helps us connect with family and friends to let them know what we’re doing, it allows us to connect with others who might be interested in our work, but more importantly, it needs to be about connecting with others-period.
In order to be well received, we have to show respect, listen to what others have to say, contribute thoughtfully and intelligently to the conversations that interest us, and if we want others to help us promote our work, start by promoting theirs. Pay it forward before asking for paybacks. I guess I think of like this: If you walk into a room and start boasting about your accomplishments, talk only about yourself and what you’re doing or think, and monopolize the conversations, you’ll quickly find yourself standing in that room alone. On the other hand, be polite, listen and contribute intelligently, ask about others and be genuinely interested in them (not faking it till it’s your turn), and be prepared to offer assistance where you can, others will gravitate to you. No pushing needed.
What are your thoughts or pet peeves on social media?
I visualized going into my local bookstore and picking up a book. I know I pick up lots of them, but what makes me decide to buy the one or two I ultimately select? I realized that the first thing I do is look at the titles to see if it intrigues me. Next, I look at the front cover. If it’s too boring, amateurish, or cartoony, I’ll likely pass. If it has a title I like, and a cover that intrigues me, I’ll turn the book over to read the back or inside cover blurb to see if I like the sound of the story or subject matter (depending on the type of book).
After reading the blurb, and putting all the pieces together in my head – and yes, the cover art needs to be reflective of what the blurb is telling me the book is about – I’ll invest the money to purchase it.
Since getting my Kindle at Christmas this year, I’ve really gotten into e-books, but the premise for choosing the books I want to read remains the same. It doesn’t matter the format, print or e-book, I just want some reasonable assurance that the time and/or money I’m about to spend on my purchase is worth it. Time and money are precious commodities, and I hate wasting either one.
So, as I contemplate the release of my book, and any future books (I have lots of ideas floating around in my head, as well as a sequel in the works), I really do have to think about things like cover art, blurbs, price, etc. As a result, I’ve been seriously looking into where publishers, indie or self-publishers, get their cover art. Sites such as I’ve been amazed at the number of websites that offer this type of product, and the seemingly limitless artwork available for book covers. It’s like I’ve discovered a whole new door I had no clue existed. What fun to walk through that door and browse the selections offered. Very cool.
My question for today is: what’s more important to you in selecting a book; title, cover art, the blurb, or price?