June 4 – 10: “What are the advantages of using new media to bridge readers with authors?”

This week we’ll discuss the advantages of bridging readers with authors using new media. Join ITW Members C.E. Lawrence, Joseph Amiel, Eyre Price, Nathaniel Kenyon, Vincent Zandri and Bob Mayer!


C.E. Lawrence is the byline of a New York-based suspense writer, performer, composer and prize-winning playwright and poet whose previous books have been praised as “lively. . .” (Publishers Weekly); “constantly absorbing. . .” (starred Kirkus Review); and “superbly crafted prose” (Boston Herald). SILENT SCREAMS, SILENT VICTIM  and SILENT KILLS are the first three books in her Lee Campbell thriller series.  Her other work is published under the name of Carole Bugge.  Titan Press recently reissued her first Sherlock Holmes novel, THE STAR OF INDIA.

Joseph Amiel is an internationally best-selling author, whose novels include STAR TIME, BIRTHRIGHT, DEEDS, HAWKS and A QUESTION OF PROOF. He has also won awards for screenwriting and for his comedy-mystery web series Ain’t That Life. A graduate of Amherst College and Yale Law School, he is married and lives in New York City.

NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer has over 50 books published. Bob graduated from West Point and served in the military as a Special Forces A-Team leader and a teacher at the JFK Special Warfare Center & School. He is the CEO of Cool Gus Publishing, which has grown to a seven figure business in just two years, and is one of the bestselling indie authors in the US. For more see www.bobmayer.org or www.CoolGus.com

Nate Kenyon’s novel DIABLO: THE ORDER was recently released from Gallery Books. His first novel BLOODSTONE was a Stoker Award finalist and won the P&E Novel of the Year. Bloodstone was followed by THE REACH, THE BONE FACTORY, SPARROW ROCK, and STARCRAFT GHOST: SPECTRES, based on Blizzard’s bestselling videogame. THE REACH, also a Stoker finalist, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was optioned for film. He is currently writing a thriller called DAY ONE.

Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES, SCREAM CATCHER, BLUE MOONLIGHT and MURDER BY MOONLIGHT. He is also the author of the Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Zandri’s list of publishers include Delacorte, Dell, StoneHouse Ink, StoneGate Ink and Thomas & Mercer. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, GlobalSpec, IBTimes and more, he lives in Albany, New York.

Eyre Price was raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but has called a lot of places “Home.” A litigator for 15 years, Eyre left the law to become a stay-at-home dad–and write. His debut novel, BLUES HIGHWAY BLUES, will be published by Thomas & Mercer in June 2012. He has traveled the Blues Highway from Minnesota to Louisiana and stood at Robert Johnson’s fabled crossroads. He lives in Illinois with his wife and son.

James M. Tabor is an international award-winning and best-selling nonfiction author who has also worked in television. His new thriller, THE DEEP ZONE, has been praised as “Like Clive Cussler at his best” and “Right up there with the best from Baldacci, Crichton, Preston and Child.” Brad Thor called him “the new Michael Crichton.” Random House/Ballantine will publish a sequel to THE DEEP ZONE next April.


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  1. I was just at a brunch up here at Byrdcliffe Arts Colony where the subject came up, and I was telling another writer about the amount of time spent on promotion these days – it’s huge, endless, and it’s a mixed blessing.

    The plus side is that the sky’s the limit – you can be in touch with readers directly via Facebook, Twitter, and countless other social media sites. All of this can translate to sales – hopefully! On the minus side, the amount of work you can end up doing can also feel endless.

    And now I have to go Tweet this conversation.

  2. This is true: I can sell more books online in the time it takes me to drink a large cup of coffee from the Dunkin Donut than I can by getting in a car and driving to the local bookstore for a formal signing. I’ll say it again: I can sell more books from the comfort of my bedroom, dressed only in my boxer shorts while drinking a cup of hot coffee, than I can at a formal book signing. Not only that, but I can sell books to prospective readers who come not only from my home town, but who come from geographies as far away as the UAE. That’s the power of new social media and that’s the significance it will play in the future of writing and book selling.
    New media is all about communication, bridging that once impenetrable gap or in this case, wall, that made it almost impossible for a reader to interconnect with an author. Until recently, authors used to be seen as stodgy, cranky characters who penned their works all alone in some ivory tower atop a mountain. You didn’t go near an author. You merely drove to the bookstore and slapped down your $35 for the latest hardcover.
    But all that has changed. Here’s the irony: through the advent of digital tech, authors have become human, flesh and blood individuals who yearn to reach out to their readers.
    Now with Facebook and Twitter, you can make contact directly with an author and an author can spread the word directly and/or indirectly with a reader. Take it a step further, and the reader can utilize a new media retail medium like Amazon to write a review of his or her favorite titles, making this not only a new golden age for writers and writing, but the age of the amateur where every voice counts.
    Speaking of Amazon. I think there’s a reason why they are the most powerful book seller on earth and I think there’s a reason why they have a chance to become the most powerful publisher. And that’s because they don’t sell to a distributor. They sell directly to the customer. The consumer. When I write a book for my Amazon publisher via Thomas & Mercer, their crime imprint, I know I’m not writing for the publisher first, the distributor second, the retail outlet fourth and finally the customer. I’m writing directly for the customer, often time via the Kindle. Ah yes, E-Books, a very green-friendly and far less expensive means of doing business in this, the social media savvy, digital age.

  3. I agree with what’s already been posted, of course. We all understand (or at least think we do) the power of new media to connect writers with readers. It’s a new paradigm in publishing–technology allows writers to speak (and sell) directly to readers, one at a time or hundreds, even thousands at once.

    The old distribution model is rapidly dying because it’s no longer really necessary. Technology has cut out the middle man. In the past couple of months I’ve met via Skype video chat with a writing class at a Kentucky university and spoken with students directly about my work; held an online chat with hundreds of Diablo fans about my new novel The Order; and watched my Amazon sales numbers go from 5,000 to 100, ten minutes after Blizzard put up a Facebook post about the novel. Of course I’ve also connected directly with readers on my own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads and Google+ pages.

    It’s a far cry from the old days where the only real chance a writer had to make a personal connection was at a reading or signing. If an event like that went well, you might meet forty people and sell 20 books. But as C.E. mentioned, I think writers have to be careful not to get swallowed up by all this. You can spend hours and hours online connecting with readers, and that’s time not spent writing. So it’s more important than ever to manage your time well–set aside a couple of hours each day to promote yourself, and stick to it. I’ve had a number of times when I have Facebook open in the background while I’m working, and someone pops up in chat and wants to talk and I get distracted. That’s a pretty neat thing–imagine even five or ten years ago being able to connect so easily and intimately with a fan–but it’s also a time sink. So I’ve learned to just shut everything off when it’s writing time.

  4. I can’t say for sure, but I’ve been led to believe there was a time in the not-too-distant past when writers focused on writing, marketing was something best left to the publisher’s marketing department, and readers were only known in brief encounters at book signings (which said marketing department had pre-arranged.)
    Obviously all of that has changed in this Internet Age. These days, a writer’s responsibilities have only begun when that last page of the manuscript is finished. The marketing department now revolves around (or completely consists of) the writer, and readers want complete access to an author through websites and Amazon pages and Facebook and Twitter.
    It shouldn’t come as any surprise, then, that the most obvious advantage of the unprecedented channels of communication that have been opened between writer and reader in this digital age lies in marketing. There is, as we are all too well aware, no end to the new opportunities (and necessities) for creating and building a readership in this digital age.
    I would, however, suggest that there is an even greater advantage to be realized.
    My debut novel, Blues Highway Blues, will be published later this month, but already the advance reviews from readers have begun to appear on various sites across the web. Many have been quite favorable. Some have been less enthusiastic. Whatever they’ve had to say, I’ve read each one and, to the extent possible, I’ve responded to each one by thanking them for their insightful comments.
    And that, to my mind, is the greatest advantage we as writers have gained by pulling down the wall that once separated us for our audience. I can tell you what Alan from Chicago thought of my use of musical references throughout the book (he loved it) and what Happy Reader of Northern California thought about my use of obscenity (she did not appreciate it at all) or my incorporation of a figure that may or may not be rooted in Voodoo (she did not approve of that either.) And because I believe that criticism is the mother’s milk of creation, I have gobbled up everything they’ve given me, learning something from each review and benefitting from every different perspective offered.
    Whatever divide once separated the novelist from readers has gone the way of that wall in Berlin and they are no longer satisfied to merely consume our work. They’re anxious to reach out, to interact, to share their thoughts. And in that new relationship is a wonderful opportunity for each of us to look at our work through the eyes of our audience and to grow as writers from the experience.

  5. That’s an excellent point, Eyre. Criticism (good and bad) is no longer limited to the “professional” reviewers, and there’s often a direct line of communication with the reader, so a writer can really dig into what worked and what did not, at least for that particular person. It’s sort of like having a gigantic writers’ group or critique circle, and you don’t even have to leave your bedroom to attend it.

    The downside to this is also pretty obvious. Opinions differ, individual experiences are personal and difficult to judge. I’ve had readers both love and hate the exact same thing in the same book. It happens a lot, and you can pretty easily get lost in this feedback. So I think it’s more important than ever these days for writers to have a strong sense of who they are and what they want to do with a novel–take the criticism with an open mind (good and bad), be able to use what works for you, and throw away what does not.

    I think there’s an interesting phenomenon in this crowdsourcing of reviews, and it’s pretty much what Amazon wants to happen with the way they built their site. I think most of us feel in our hearts which novels of ours work the best. On a case by case basis, readers might disagree, but when you take them all together, at least in my experience this seems to be reinforced by reviews. My highest rated works on Amazon are those books I thought were my best too. The model isn’t perfect, but hopefully the best novels rise to the top through word of mouth–assuming, of course, that the books get enough initial exposure, and the reviews aren’t overly influenced by other variables (like a really good pr budget).

  6. In my 20 years in traditional publishing, the amount of effort put into marketing my books by my various legacy publishers: St. Martins; Random House; Tor; Berkley; etc. etc. equals the amount I do in one day. Frankly, if you’re not receiving at least a six figure advance from a legacy (and these days, mid-six-figures), forget about it, as we used to say in the Bronx. They throw the book out there, hoping it sticks.

    The internet and indie publishing has changed all that. Just last week I sold 5 figures worth of eBooks across the various platforms. That’s equal to the normal advance from legacy for a new title. In one week.

    Tomorrow, I get up at 4 am to catch a 6 am flight to NYC. To take a cab to the Javits Center to attend BEA. For one day. I catch a 9 pm flight to come home. That’s so I can get face time with people. Especially Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Audible ACX. I think that’s critical. The biggest mistake I made in traditional publishing was not putting myself out there. Not getting face time. So why the new media is great, it’s still people making decisions. I can email or call them all I want, but making that effort is key.

    Here’s a very time efficient way of using the new media: go to people’s blogs and make intelligent comments. People read their own blogs. You want to be noticed? That’s the way to do it.

    1. Wow. That is very interesting, to say the least. Thanks for the hard and fast facts that back up what you advocate, Bob.

  7. Nearly all authors in the pre-Internet age experienced the galling frustration of having a publisher put little or no marketing effort into a book they may have spent years writing. The new media provides the means of emancipation from that netherworld; they can personally market their books in so many ways that were never before available to them. In days of yore, you hoped the people reviewing books for newspapers would pick yours to write about or maybe someone would write an article or even that you’d be interviewed on a phone-in radio show. Today, everyone with access to a computer can be a reviewer, and thousands of people with only a love of books as qualification are conveying their opinions on Amazon book pages and blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter. Readers and writers are also only communicating with each other on websites and in online book forums. They are reading authors’ blogs and writing blogs themselves. And just as they can be stimulated to see a movie through trailers, they can are becoming excited to buy books while watching promotional video trailers online.

    I’ve always felt that my courtroom thriller A Question of Proof , a book I loved and that received excellent pre-publication reviews, was not marketed effectively or vigorously by the publisher and could have reached many more readers. The presence of the new media with its potential to communicate my enthusiasm and belief in my book directly to thousands of potential readers induced me to launch it in digital form.

    What does that entail? On June 27th it will be made available for purchase on Kindles and Nooks and other eReaders, as well as via print. I’ve updated it so events in the book are happening now, and added new material to make the reading experience as immediate and as pleasurable as I can. I’ll be inviting online reviewers to blog about it, and I’ll be tweeting about it to my followers and communicating with bloggers and posting material on my Facebook site and unveiling a personal website osephAmiel.com.

    I’m also taking additional advantage of the new media by shooting a video trailer for the book that will go up on YouTube, Facebook, and my website; and will be linked as an attachment to all my marketing emails and tweets. Not every writer is an experienced video-maker, but every author can work with people who are experienced and at a fairly low cost catch the attention of large numbers of potential readers and, hopefully, stimulate them to buy the book.

    In short the new media is the best tool authors and readers have ever had to find each other.

  8. I agree with Bob…Unless you’re getting mid-six figures and even then, as much upfront as possible (because legacy publishers just love to cancel contracts or not abide by their terms…), then indie publishing is the sure route to go. Bob and I have been published by the majors so it’s been a bit easier for us to market our indie work successfully. But major deals or not, it’s still up to you to utilize the new media opportunities to push your work. And yes, things like grabbing some face-time at BEA is critical. See ya there Bob!

  9. Amazing comments, everyone – I’d love to cut and paste this whole discussion to share with my online students!

    Nate, I’m finding it’s almost the norm that what some readers love about a book is precisely the thing others don’t like. In my case it tends to be setting, which I love writing, and people who like my work like that; of course my anti-fans dislike it just as much. So I think Amazon and other online “reader reviews” can be a trap – you have to write what moves you, not what some jerk in Peoria thinks his girlfriend could have written (not singling out Peoria; it’s just a good comedy word.)

    As far as IM on FB, I immediately log off FB anytime someone pops up and says hi. I guess I should really figure out how to turn it off, eh?

  10. Great insight folks, love to hear your experiences. Those of us who were indie authors from the start sometimes may have it a bit easier if we work from the understanding right out of the shoot that no one is going to help us. Our profits are only what we manage to eek out by combination of a good story, friendly web presence, and constantly putting out more books. While still not making five figures a month from my books I can say that I am making as much money as the effort I’m putting into it. And the whole publishing thing opened new doors for me as well, such as becoming a regular narrator for Audible for many books (including my own). To quote a friend, all it takes to erupt on the scene out of the blue is to work behind the scenes for a decade or so until you surprise everyone who thought you were goofing off playing at being a writer.

    Oh and, speaking of goofing off…Carole you can put your FB account offline as far as chatting by opening the chat window, clicking on the little gear thingy in the lower right corner, and choosing “Go Offline”. Then no one will see you when you’re browsing.

    Have a great day folks.

  11. One of the many disadvantages of a tardy entrance is the avalanche of incredibly valuable information already present. When I was first getting into using the ‘net and social media to market my books, I asked a writer who had several hundred thousand Twitter followers how in heck he’d amassed so many. “Easy,” he said. “I’m Tweeting three or four hours a day. Have been since Twitter came on line.” Doh. I shoulda seen that one coming. No free lunch, even on the ‘net. I’m taking away the same message from all those whose comments appear above. And I am incredibly impressed with the way you all are forging a whole new model of book selling. At Thriller Fest last year, I was talking with one of the all-time greats, and asked him what house he was with now. “Amazon,” he said. “Exclusively.” Of course, he had notoriety that had been established by 20 years of bestsellers, so took all that to Amazon–a classic win-win. He got more $ per book, and they got his sales potential.
    My wife just called for dinner, so gotta go. Can’t want to read more tomorrow.

  12. James,
    No way – 3 or 4 hours a day? I’d be embarrassed to admit that. I wonder if he dreams in sound bytes.

    Thanks, Basil! Great tip – just got IM’d by some creepy guy who wants to date me…. wait a minute, there’s a premise in there somewhere! Thanks for the tip. ( :

  13. There’s no doubt that becoming involved in marketing and putting ourselves out there for our readers via blogs and websites and social media has become a necessity in this new market. And while I truly believe that there’s quite a bit to be gained from this new writer-reader relationship, I also worry that there’s an inherent danger in letting readers get too close.

    I remember being a young man of an impressionable age and just loving that stock photo of Robert Parker on the back of all those Spenser novels. All I knew about the man was the confident stare, the nose that convinced me there was plenty of authenticity to his fight scenes, and that great old leather coat, just as weathered as his face. That was all I knew and all I needed to know.

    I didn’t know about his work routines or what he thought about current events. I wasn’t privy to correspondences he might have had with other writers. All I had was his work and that photo. And the lack of information allowed me to create a Robert Parker all of my own—every bit the hero to me that Spenser was. And that relationship (or lack thereof) I am certain contributed to my enjoyment of Parker’s writing.

    Would that have been possible if I was reading his tweets from BEA this week? If I was checking out pictures he’d posted of himself, maybe pictures that didn’t convey that take-no-crap tough guy staring back at me from the dust jacket. If I had known who Robert Parker was would I have enjoyed his work so much?

    I have to tell you, seeing Alice Cooper in shorts and a polo out of the links makes it impossible to remember how ground-breaking he once was? Is there anyone who can hear “Crazy Train” now and not picture that doddering old man chasing his dogs around the mansion? And although his music is the soundtrack to the most important years of my life, it’s difficult for me to listen to Springsteen these days because the lyrics that once resonated with me so strongly now seem at odds with the guy who lives in the mansion on the hill and will drop $800K on a horse.
    All art is magic, but with all humility, I’d argue that writing is the ultimate magic trick. Writers don’t have the advantage of controlling how or when our audiences encounter our work. There’s no crowd ambience or special effects. It’s not part of a special night out. There’s just us…by ourselves…with a blank piece of paper. That’s a hell of a trick to have to pull off.

    Maybe there’s good reason for us not to be so eager to reveal that the wizard behind the curtain is all too human.

  14. While most publishers behave like amphibians, laying their eggs and leaving their young behind, publishers are the only form of “capital” enterprise I can think of that makes an investment and ignores the product.

  15. That’s too funny, Carole–I’m always frozen with indecision when someone pops up in chat; do I close out FB and leave the poor person wondering whether I did it on purpose? Will he/she just think I happened to close my laptop down right when they wanted to chat? 🙂 I know I should just “go offline…”

    Eyre, those are some great points about maintaining the mystery. We are “the people behind the curtain.” Do you really want the audience to pull that curtain back and see how we really work our magic? Probably not. So it’s a balancing act–give enough of yourself so that readers feel a connection, get a better understanding of the work itself, and (hopefully) get interested enough to try it, while not giving so much personal information to take the sheen off the apple. There are other, obvious dangers in giving out too much personal information too.

    I think this separation between professional and personal lives gets harder and harder these days. We’re all blending it together with Facebook and Four Square and Waze and other apps that track where you are, what you’re doing minute to minute. I stay away from most of that tracking, but it’s hard to keep the wall from crumbling.

  16. Jeff,
    That is a hilarious metaphor. Omg, seriously, if you find it floating around at ThrillerFest it’s because I’ve been repeating it. Giving you credit, of course.

    You’re clearly more sensitive than I am – I never worry much about whether they feel hurt; I just hope it teaches them not to IM me again. On the other hand, as you point out, it’s better just to take the useful advice from Basil and dodge the whole thing.

    Just saw a funny episode of Family Guy where Stew and Brian are waiting for Jonathan Franzen to show up at a bookstore reading, and an employee tells them he’s sorry, but he’s not going to show, because “like any real author, Mr. Franzen is too good for this dumb town.”

    See now, if Franzen wanted to use social media, he could tweet that episode. But he’s probably too good to do that.

  17. We’re all more or less saying the same self-evident thing: Although it’s great to be able to make sure that our books won’t go unmarketed because we ourselves are doing much or all of this new-media marketing, we also need time to write our books, so we have new product to market, if not to nurture our souls, which is what our fans and our creditors really want from us. What about a thriller about an author who can’t get to write his next novel because dark and insidious forces threaten to overwhelm him with the need to tweet and post and email and make videos, so he decides to assassinate . . . Better save that plot for myself.

  18. I’ve published nonfiction books, as well, and enjoyed more aggressive support from a publisher’s nonfiction side: national author tour, Daily Show appearance, a number of national radio program appearances etc, all generated by very conscientious and skilled marketing and publiicty work. I’d be curious to hear from anyone else about fiction vs. nonfiction support. I know this is a Thriller forum, but I’m still curious.
    I loved (though found depressing) Jeff’s comment about publishers being the only capital businsses that invest in products and abandoning them. I’d make several observations about that. First, they don’t abandon all of them, certainly. Look at the $$ thrown at the EXPATS launch, and those spent book after book on the established big earners. That’s good business, of course. But second, I wonder if they see the mid-level mortals as a kind of breeding pool, where survival of the fittest in a trial-by-fire marketplace produces a few Spartacuses worth supporting and lots of losers who are not. (However, once upon a time I was VP of Marketing for a sizable company (not a publisher), with a multimillion dollar marketing budget, and I can tell you we didn’t do R&D that way, nor did the competitors in our market niche.) The third thing that occurred to me was something I forgot while writing the second. But I’ll bring it back up and try to throw it out.

  19. With the discussion about the necessary balance between online promo and writing time, I’m curious what everyone thinks is the BEST use of that time. Anything worked particularly well for you? Things that didn’t work?

    For me, I think my most successful time is spent in online chats–as long as those chats are promoted by multiple groups. It’s sort of like the old bookstore or library reading and discussion, only nobody’s limited by geography. I can reach a lot of people at once, and still offer the kind of personal connection that seems to interest people the most.

    A variation of that is a message board or blog continuing Q&A, where I stop back and answer questions as they come up (a little bit like this roundtable).

    Goodreads has also really helped me connect with readers. It’s a great site.

    Some things that haven’t been as successful for me? Facebook promo status updates (nobody really seems to care about those, although if you change your relationship status or post about a personal tragedy, the response is remarkable, which says something about how people view the purpose of Facebook); Twitter (I just haven’t built much of a following or seen any major sales jumps through tweets, although I also haven’t spent time building a large following); and online banner ads (not quite in the same ballpark, but I’ve tried them, and they got me almost no traffic).

  20. I think something many writers are doing wrong is the incestuous nature of their social media. They are basically talking to other writers and then marketing to them. In fact, it might be said even this forum is that. I would submit most people reading this are writers. It would be nice if there were thousands of thriller readers scouring this, but in reality it’s normally writers looking for tips. Which is fine, but we shouldn’t necessarily confuse the intent.

    It’s a Catch-22 that we must market, but often, with fiction, we can’t market. But we must. But we can’t.

    I’m in the airport o the way home from BEA and my impression is that most of publishing still doesn’t get that the world has changed. It still looks like business as usual which spells doom for most of those with that attitude.

  21. What a good question about how to spend your time marketing Nate poses! And I totally agree with you, Nate, about FB.

    I had my story (Silent Justice) singled out in the PW review of the MWA anthology Vengeance (and I was one of “the rest,” – i.e. The Professor and Maryann, not a big name author), so I was so thrilled to be in the book, and then to be mentioned in the review – well, I posted on FB and got maybe 12 Likes. My friend’s cat died, and wowsuh! Like 42 responses.

    So I think you’re dead on there. What about LinkedIn? Does anyone really use that?

  22. I do use LinkedIn, but more as an extension of my email contact. My personal links and the groups I post to are handy places to announce a new book or episode of a web series series I created. Another way to reach people, but I imagine they’re a better reading demographic than FB.

  23. Joseph,
    You’re probably right about LinkedIn vs. FB – I’ve only had about two requests for recommendations on LinkedIN, even though people keep sending me connection requests.

    Are there any other sites, up and coming or whatever, that we’ve missed mentioning?

  24. I mentioned Goodreads, a great site. LibraryThing, Shelfari…I’ve used those in the past, but haven’t been back to them in a while. I’ve seen a fair number of writers on Google+, and I have a profile but I haven’t been very active there. I’m curious whether it’s going to eventually overtake Facebook or not. I have a feeling most people have time for one major social networking site in their lives, although the question is, will they eventually switch over and leave an old favorite behind, the way they did with MySpace?

  25. Again I have to agree with Bob…What we need is a platform where we can not only speak directly to other writers but to readers…They exist in one form or another on Facebook, but writers aren’t necessarily going to be buying our work, it’s the readers we need to connect with. And like Bob, just arrived back from BEA….

  26. Trying to make time tomorrow, Friday, to get to BEA in the morning, but other activities have taken priority. Talk about marketing hogging time! Today I directed a shoot of a video trailer for the eBook launch of my novel A Question of Proof. Tomorrow afternoon finally getting a photo taken for the new website, which can’t go up until it has the photo. then next week have to work with the video editor and look at the photog’s photos and the website, and only then can I get to blog and tweet and view Goodreads etc. Best-selling authors are not just getting marketing help from publishers, they are getting writing time.

  27. Now I feel like the guy at the AA meeting with booze on his breath for mentioning nonfiction. Regardless, I am finding this roundtable incredibly valuable. Clearly all you others have more experience marketing this way than I do, but I’ll toss in my two cents as we’re coming to the end.
    I haven’t found FaceBook to be especially helpful, either. A handful of friends and devoted readers try to generate buzz through their own friends, but, as others have said, pets and breakfast recipes do better. Similarly, Twitter hasn’t been helpful. My sense is that both of these CAN be helpful, but need to take energy from some existing notoriety. Here’s an example. Before appearing on The Daily Show, my 2010 book’s Amazon ranking was somewhere around 7,000. The day after, it was #11. THAT generated some increased Facebook and Twitter traffic, for sure.
    Goodreads and Library Journal reviews have been very positive about both my last books, but they didn’t boost sales or generate much buzz as far as I could tell.
    Interestingly, the Amazon reader reviews for THE DEEP ZONE have been stellar–all five and four stars–which suggests that readers really like the book. I’ve Facebooked and Tweeted about that till I’m blue in the computer, but haven’t seen a giant response.
    I’m intrigued especially by Coolgus.com, and wonder if that may not a glimpse of the future for many of us.
    I wish I’d been able to offer more valuable comments to this roundtable, but do want to say how grateful I am for all the others. It has been extremely helpful. And I wish you all the very, very best. Maybe some of us will meet at ThrillerFest.
    Be well.

  28. What’s really incredible is that, at least in my case, it took me literally years to actually “get it.” By that, I mean, understanding the online marketing and selling opportunities available for every author. From virtual tours, video trailers, blogs, social media posts, etc. it’s just incredible what you can do now to help yourself as a viably selling writer. When I was first publishing with the legacy publishers, I wouldn’t have dreamed of pushing my books this way. Now my work is never done, as they say. I even lecture on the topic and grant interviews…I’ll say it again, “incredible.”

  29. Vincent,
    Yeah, it’s that “work is never done” thingy that is so depressing. Even when I’m watching TV, I know I could always be marketing! Where is Alec Baldwin when you need him……
    I think it’s awesome you write non fiction, which is what I most like to read – and double awesome you were on The Daily Show. I have to go back and catch that episode. If you have a link to it, and can post, that would be great, thanks.

  30. The ThrillerFest gang just published this year’s ThrillerFest schedule, and I noticed a few panel discussions and classes related to this week’s Roundtable topic:

    “How Do You Make the Most of Social Networking?”
    “EPub, POD, and the Future of Publishing for the Writer.”
    “Ebook Marketing and Author Platform”
    “Is Indie Publishing for You?”

    Of course, depending on what the folks in the “Is the Apocalypse Imminent?” class determine, none of this may matter.

  31. I’m a little bothered that I sometimes have to think about those math questions the machine asks before I post…But onto the subject at hand…”The Apocalypse??” Never has there been a more golden age for writers. We have the power of choice now. To publish as we want, what we want, when we want. No longer are we relegated only to the legacy publishing model, and what’s fueling our sales is social media…

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