In response to my post last week, The Readers Are Coming, people have asked if I have any ideas on how to get to the readers that are there now.
That’s a tough question, since there are different things that work for different folk. But I do have a couple of ideas that I plan to implement–one in the hopefully near future, and the other whenever I get published. Maybe these aren’t new, but I’ve never personally seen anyone else talking about them.
The first one is one I’ve had experience with already. As a teen, I posted my writing (and my first full, decently written novel, Half Blood), on a home-school website for writers, Apricotpie.com. Other home-schoolers read and critiqued my work, and I gained some of my first readers on that site.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of joining a site like that again. I’ve made accounts on Figment and Wattpad, but haven’t done much else. I read an article last week about Wattpad beginning a fundraising option, similar to Kickstarter. This is a great opportunity for authors! It would most likely take a while to build a good-sized following, but I definitely think its something worth pursuing. Wattpad’s crowdfunding makes more sense to me because, especially if you’re a first-time or little-known author, you can post your story for free on Wattpad so people can get a sense of whether or not they like your style/story before funding you.
Another option would be pricier, but definitely worth it in my opinion. A lot of home-schoolers I’ve met read fantasy or science fiction and love it. At the home-schooling convention my family helped at in Springfield every year, there were always a couple of authors. Some even gave lectures, and their booths always had people browsing around them.
This may seem like your typical “go to conferences” advice, but the thing is that the home-school conventions are don’t usually have tons of vendors–the Springfield one, SHEM, had somewhere between around 50-100, but there were always hundreds of families who visited during the two days of the convention. You will probably get a lot of exposure and not get lost in a crowd. Besides that, the kids will love you purely for the fact that you provide a break from the many textbook-selling booths their parents are looking at! 😉
Blogging. Now, hopefully I won’t step on any toes here…but I think the web is overfull of blogs by writers that offer ‘writing advice’. I don’t see many authors trying to reach readers with their blogs. Try posting short stories, or write about interests that you have other than writing. I love reading about my favorite authors and seeing if we have a hobby in common, or are both dog lovers, or…you get the idea. Talk about your life. Post pictures of characters, or if you’re a music person, make playlists that inspired your recent book so your readers can listen to them. Don’t just get stuck writing to aspiring authors.
(And yes, I realize the irony of what I’m writing and where I’m posting it. NAF provides such a variety of articles that I’d hesitate to categorize it as only a ‘writing blog’.)
Now, realize that I’m basically unpublished (no novels of my own are out), so these aren’t “tried-and-true” ideas to reach readers. They’re just my ideas that I don’t see a lot of other people doing. Let’s brainstorm…what are some of your ideas to reach readers?