As I have said countless times before, one of the hardest things about being an author today is getting your books noticed in a very crowded, very busy, very diverse marketplace. In the old days, an author handed their manuscript over to a publisher, who distributed it to bookshops which sold it to readers. Nowadays, with e-books and self-publishing, books sold in supermarkets and via Amazon, it is all but impossible for the individual author to know where to direct her marketing time – for yes, reader, that befuddled author is me.
Thankfully I am not alone in my befuddlement. MK Tod is another writer of historical fiction, and for the fourth time she has put together a survey into readers. It takes about ten minutes to complete, and will help authors like me to better understand what sort of books modern readers like to read and in what format, and how readers want to hear about books, communicate with authors, get updates, etc. So if you could spare the time to take part, that would be marvellous. Here’s the link.
Armed with the results, I will be able to decide whether it’s worth continuing with Twitter, and/or this blog, and/or the proposed monthly Sam updates (which only a dozen people have signed up for, including my own husband because he values a quiet life). I’m very keen to avoid the approach of several authors and publishers, which is to put “BUY THIS BOOK!” on Twitter every sixty seconds – I’m much happier with the idea of building interest in Sam and the Regency period. But how to do that? I’m hoping the results to this survey will help, so please do take part and distribute it as widely as you can.
Graham Thomas said:
As requested, I’ve taken part in the survey.
I see there have been around 1,650 responses already and that over 50% of these are reading 30 or more books per year (I obviously need to speed up)!
I know, Graham – I can only assume that they are full-time readers, or insomniacs! I’m looking forward to seeing what the results say about whether readers give a fig about social media – I have my doubts… But then I am getting on a bit, and perhaps modern readers are all about the Tweets! We shall see. Thank you so much for taking the survey – I know that Mary (MK) wants to get as broad a response as possible.
Incidentally, you can see links to the results from the three previous historical fiction surveys on the front page of her blog: https://awriterofhistory.com/about-this-blog/
Best wishes from Susan