Spotlight: 7 easy places your readers can discover you

I interviewed my book club last night. All are women 50 years old or more, and very much part of my reader demographic. They all read at least a book a week. They rarely if ever read romance or science fiction, and read memoirs sparingly. They like literary fiction, biographies, historical fiction and classics.

As a writer, I want to reach them. So do so many of my writer-friends. What to do? So I asked!

I asked, “How do you find books to read?”

Their answers, in order of frequency, were a little bit of a surprise.
1. Recommendations from friends.
2. Visits to indie bookstores, where the covers are turned to face the room.
3. Staff picks at indie bookstores.
4. Amazon “people who bought this book also bought…”
5. NPR book reviews.
6. New York Times book reviews.
7. Oprah and New Yorker.

Hmmm… I was noticing a trend. Are we the only ones still haunting the bookstores? No, it turns out that indie bookstores have grown in the last year. And they influence our generation of reader. This could pose a problem, though, for indie-published authors with no reach into bookstores. But indie bookstores are far more open to hand-selling, or visits from a local author. Hope kindled!

Indie-published writers aren’t likely to get on NPR, NYT, or Oprah, but we can get on our local radio stations, get featured in our home-town papers, and give talks at our community libraries. It’s a matter of scale.

I asked, “Do you ever buy a book because you heard about it on Facebook or other social media?” The answers were again interesting, in part because I asked this as an open question.

1. No, but if I like an author will follow him/her on Facebook.
2. No, but if I see the cover on Pinterest I might look the book up. (That’s a “yes” to me, but I was interviewing, not arguing.)
3. No, but if I like a book I will read the other books, and tell my friends, sometimes on Facebook and maybe post the cover on Pinterest. (another covert yes.)

So, if you belong to a few groups on Facebook, and you’re talking about books, your Facebook friends are listening!

I asked what social media they were on. Again, the answers reflected my demographic. Studies show that women over 50 are all over Facebook! Our results:
1. Facebook. All but 1 member use Facebook, and most visited it at least once daily. Sure, we all started out using it to stalk our kids, but now that they’re grown, we use it for fun, family and entertainment.
2. Pinterest. Half of us enjoy Pinterest, mostly for fun.

I was the only one on Twitter, a couple of us were on Instagram but limited only to closest friends and family. 
So, that’s my book club for you. Maybe interesting… and maybe not.

Readers vary by genre, age, gender, location, and taste. Again, my book club readers may be different from yours. I’m sure there’s a scientist can say this better, but I want to point out that this is a small sampling, and the questions I asked were open ended, so maybe they use Goodreads and no one thought to mention it, maybe because we’re older we’re more likely to rely on brick-and-mortar indie bookstores, maybe the fact that there are no big bookstores in our community right now skews things…

So perhaps you can poll your own book clubs and see where they find their books and share this info here as a comment!

Living By Ear

I am delighted to present a book by the mighty fine author, Mary Rowen!

Launching on September 16—LIVING BY EAR

Living by Ear, a women’s novel by Booktrope author Mary Rowen, is being released on September 16, 2014.

Living by Ear is the story of a forty-six year old Boston musician named Christine Daley, who took a “short” break from music sixteen years ago, in order to marry and raise a family. Now, however, she’s rethinking everything. Chris adores her two teenage children, but her marriage has become a sham, and she longs to perform again.

So after filing for divorce, she does her best to reestablish her own rhythms—both in music and love—but quickly discovers she’s up against much more than she’d anticipated. Her kids seem to need her more than ever, and her soon-to-be-ex-husband is throwing every obstacle he can find into her way. Adding to the dilemma is the astounding progress in technology, which has made huge changes in both the music industry and the dating world. Is there room in the mix for Chris?

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Living By EarMary Rowen is a Boston area mom with a wonderful family that allows her time to write almost every day. She grew up in the Massachusetts Merrimack Valley and is a graduate of Providence College. She has worked as a teacher, writer, salesperson, and political canvasser. Her two music-inspired novels, Leaving the Beach and Living by Ear, are both available on Amazon, BarnesAndNoble.com, and other places where books are sold.

Please visit Mary online at: http://www.maryrowen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Rowen-Author/128709923953918

Twitter: @maryjrowen

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6925267.Mary_Rowen

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for something out of the ordinary?

This is an ode to the unusual! Much as we all love the tried-and-true #regencyromances, and the #dystopian #zombie #newbooks, there are some unusual stories being written out there that are worth stepping out of our usual rut for. The #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement captures those stories about places we don’t usually see in current literature, or books by writers who are a bit more diverse than the usual crowd.

The #WeNeedDiverseBooks blog relay allows us to do just that. So with great thanks to Ekaterine Xia www.ekaterinexia.com, aspiring world tyrant and dominatrix , who “tagged” me to be the next diverse blogger, here I go!

Q: What are you working on?

A: My new book, The Duel for Consuelo, comes out in 4 weeks! So I am working on the final touches on my big announcement. And then, I will be working on the next book in the Castillo family series… more on that another day!

Q: How does your work differ from others of its genre?

A: Can you name another book about Colonial Mexico in 1690-1720? I didn’t think so. Historical fiction tends to cling to England from 1700-1924. There are a few brave souls who write about the same time frame in America. To dip into Mexico, at that mysterious time before the Industrial Revolution, when Mexico was still ruled by distant Spain and its local Viceroy, is really out of the ordinary.

Q: Why do you write what you do?

A: I grew up in Mexico City, and fell in love with the famous poetess of the late 1600s, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz when I was a young feminist in college, so my fascination couldn’t help but lead to my first main-stream fiction novel, Josefina’s Sin (Atria/Simon & Schuster 2011.) As the Enlightenment crept in illuminating the darkest corners of Spain and eventually Mexico, the Inquisition’s targets, Jews and Spaniards of Jewish blood, were absorbed more and more into the mainstream. But they never completely disappeared, guarding their secrets and identity in the face of certain death. That’s the core of The Duel for Consuelo.

Q: How does your writing process work?

A: It’s very strange. I think, and think, and think. I research and think some more. I scribble an outline. I refine it and think. I walk and think. And then, by miracle, all at once, I sit down and write for a couple of months!

Interested in seeing more about my books? Click on the tabs above for my website, and for the books themselves! Sign up to get updates, and be the first to read The Duel for Consuelo!

Next week, be sure to visit the blogs of the next three bloggers in the relay:

Sandra Ramos O’Briant, www.bloodmother.com , is the amazing author of the Sandoval Sisters’ Secret of Old Blood. It is a riveting story of New Mexico, harrowing and beautiful, a book like no other!

Eleanor Parker Sapia, Latina Author, www.elliesbookz.wordpress.com, writes of Puerto Rico. Her eagerly awaited debut novel of a midwife in Puerto Rico, A Decent Woman, comes out this summer.

Lisa J. Yarde writes fiction inspired by the Middle Ages in Europe. She is the author of six historical novels, which take place during Europe’s medieval period, including two works set in England and France, and a series about the last Muslim rulers of Spain.
Her novel Sultana: The Bride Price takes place in fourteenth-century Moorish Spain.
thebrooklynscribbler.blogspot.com/

Happy Diverse Reading!