First a few links for you as the Omega tour for Susannah Sandlin continues. Check out the TheFull Fang at Bitten Twice today for an interview and chance to enter for the official tour prizes (including a Kindle or Nook).
Also, check out the new review for River Road over at She Wolf Reads!
Which is sort of a segue to today’s Shop Talk topic, as I’ve been chatting with my editor for the Sentinels series about how to make the books more visible. We think we have a good series getting started with Royal Street and River Road and despite all the guest blogs and blog tours and book signings, most people still haven’t heard of it. Or maybe they didn’t love the first one and don’t realize the second one is in some ways the real start to the series.
How do we get it in front of more people? How do we find the urban fantasy readers who might like the series? If they weren’t crazy about Royal Street, how do we get them to give River Road a chance? We’re talking about metadata and search-engine optimization and other terms that seem like they could work but, really, I’m not sure we know if they do or not.
It isn’t as simple as “write the book and they will come.” It isn’t even as simple as “write the best book you can, and the audience will find you.” Because the old ways of books finding their audience—what’s called “discoverability”—don’t really work anymore. There are a core of readers who still buy their books at physical stores, who browse stacks, who talk to booksellers about books they can recommend. These days, we are more likely to buy online. There are literally thousands (well, okay, maybe even more) of authors out there writing paranormal fiction and clamoring for readers’ attention. How does one stand out in the crowd? How does one get heard over all the noise?
As a reader, I buy online. I rarely “browse.” I go in with an idea of what I want because I’ve seen someone mention it on an email loop or I know the author or I became intrigued by the blurb when I was doing my “Fiction Affliction” columns for tor.com or my Reader’s Choice lists for this blog. Occasionally, I’ll fall for the Amazon “Readers who liked Book X also might like Book Y” email.
So…here’s the big question for you as readers. How do you like to find new authors or new series to read? What influences you—reviews on Amazon? Goodreads? Blog posts? Word of mouth from friends or other readers on email loops? Author websites or newsletters? Chances to “test drive” an author’s writing with a short story or other writing sample?
Inquiring authors want to know!
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