Episode 12 – Getting Personal with your Readers

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While Jim spent all day recording videos for a college course, Bryan and guest co-host Shelley Hitz from TrainingAuthors.com stepped in to deliver this week’s news. There was a big focus this episode on forging a personal connection with your readers whether it be through encouraging fans to email you, using social media or contacting librarians to get your books in the stacks. Other topics included using Microsoft Word to create book covers, Google Alerts, the news analysts are missing about the publishing industry, getting featured on BookBub and the myth that authors have missed the indie publishing boat. We also debuted a new feature: The Question of the Week. How do you connect personally with your readers? Let us know via email or through the comments on our website.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • The secret sauce behind March to a Bestseller’s success
  • How some authors are creating covers in Microsoft Word
  • One way to keep up with your book whenever it’s mentioned online
  • How to encourage emails to find true fans
  • Why it helps to be friends with librarians
  • What big companies are focusing on with social media
  • How analysts are leaving out part of the picture
  • The formula BookBub uses to select its books
  • Why you should create a 10-year plan instead of giving up



Question of the Week: 
How do you personally connect with your readers? What plans do you have for personal connection going forward? Please leave your comments below.

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  • Thank you for having me on the show! It was a fun time 🙂 My plan to personally connect with my readers this week is to publish a couple “talking head” videos. This allows my readers/followers to see me, hear my voice, and learn from me all at the same time. I’ve already recorded them via a G+ hangout as this automatically uploads it to my YouTube channel and helps me save a ton of time. I published the first one and the second one will go live next week.

    I’m excited to hear how other authors are planning to personally connect with their audience.

    • Thanks for filling in Shelley, you did a great job.

    • disqus_IEdgLGcTVF

      Great job Shelley!
      Bryan asked me at #11 about my 5 year plan—
      I have 3 long novels out now— one the start of a qudrilogy, 2 novellas, some short stories and one short story colection–all in Gothic Fiction—be it Romance, Horror, Suspense, Mystery or Fantasy.
      Vampires and werewolves and faery tales lurking in the Dark Forest.

      I wanted to put 3 more novels out this year, two of which are already screenplays,
      which amount to a first drafts, and one novel, Dark Reliquary Prequel to Roses of the Moon, the first book in that quadrilogy, making it a quintilogy—lol! Dark Epic Fantasy — it’s to be the start of a funnel at 99 cents.
      One of screenplays won’t make it this year because its too research intensive,
      The other is a Gothic Thriller called The Shadows.
      The third is a collection of short pieces called Dominion of Dreams.

      I always want to do more than I can—but I want to write Book 2 of Dark Reliquary and
      the screenplay ,Infernal Muses, because its a Victorian Gothc Romance like my best seller,The Lady in Yellow. That will be 2 long novels in 2015—plus the beginning of my Rosewolf series. Also another novella/sequel to The Vampire’s Mirror that I have out now.
      I have found I can write a novella in 2 weeks to a month–so they are a nice break, even though readers complain they are too short.

      I want to put out 3 books a year. I can’t decide income because I try different price points and
      want to see what will sell and “plan” for that big hit that will raise them all. lol!
      I like the idea of having enough books up there—I have lots of short stories now as well but they don’t count—to do a rolling countdown fueld by a Book Bub ad. I also need more reviews.

      So its fast and loose because the backlog of projects I have are all hollering for attention.
      I can only do so much…. (tongue hangs out of mouth, panting…)

      You guys talking about Book Bub was helpful because it lets us know what to expect. I found after my initial marketing faux pas with the free promo of Roses of the Moon–that its better to have some stock up there so they all get raised above the waterline, than just flogging one book.

      Alyne de Winter

      • Bryan

        Thanks for sharing, Alyne!

        I think it’s smart to keep things fast and loose, you’ve got to be ready to change directions if necessary.

        I’m interested to hear what you plan to do with the screenplays. Have you been shopping those at all?

        Glad the BookBub chat was helpful!

        • disqus_IEdgLGcTVF

          I know very few people in the film industry and they say to enter them in contests. Contest entry fees are too high for me, so I decided I can publish a book easier than I can sell a screenplay, so I would do that. If the book is a hit, I already have the screenplay! Hey! 🙂

          • Bryan

            Very smart :).

    • Bryan

      I second, Jim. Great job!

      That’s a great plan. I’d really love to do more video as well. You’ll have to let us know what kind of response you get.