Connecting Authors & Readers (It’s Not Easy)

One of the first things impressed upon new authors is the importance of connecting with readers. Traditionally, we do that by establishing a social media presence, participating in conferences, appearing at book club events, holding book signings, starting a blog, and most importantly, compiling a list of emails for a newsletter. This all takes time, of course, and it isn’t easy or automatic. If no one knows your book exists, they won’t read it. If they don’t read it, they can’t love it and recommend it to others.
Fortunately, there are new ways of getting your book and your name out there. A new website called Shepherd.com exists to do just that.

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Oh, to be a Unicorn

 I’m sharing  Kellye Garrett’s Facebook post as my guest post today. Hop over to her Facebook page (or  Missdemeanors’ Facebook page) to join the discussion. Graphic design by Leslie Lipps. She’s awesome. “Alexia had this made. My original plan was to post it with one of my trademark smart aleck comments like “my crew is more talented than yours.” But then I took another look at this ad and realized what it represents:

Seven extremely talented black women who love mystery novels enough to say “I’m going to write one and do everything I can to get it published in an industry that often refuses to acknowledge my existence besides being a victim or a sassy best friend.”

And somehow, some way, there is a little black girl out there right now who is going to see this and it’s going to make her write a book.

#blackgirlmagic for real.

I love my fellow unicorns.

P.S. My crew is more talented than yours.”   https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156064468627945&id=546517944 

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Authors and Books and Readers, Oh My

 Crime conference season is still in full swing. Thrillerfest takes place in New York City in a couple of weeks. (Yes, I’ll be there!) Bouchercon happens in Florida in September. Dozens of other events are scheduled worldwide between now and November. I counted 17 on Sisters in Crime’s upcoming events calendar. Libraries also kick off their summer reading programs this time of year. They host author events in conjunction with their efforts to encourage people to get out and read. This Saturday, June 30, from 1-3pm, I’ll be at the Dixon Public Library in Dixon, IL as part of their Summer Author Series. Author events and conferences have several things in common—authors, books, and readers. Beyond that, they’re as different as, well, authors, books, and readers. Some feature moderated panels. Several authors answer questions they may or may not have received in advance. Some feature interviews. Someone, usually an author, interviews the featured guest author in front of an audience. Authors read from their works at some events and give prepared speeches at others. Sometimes an author hosts a table. Readers may spend the entire event seated with the table’s host or they may move from table to table and meet several. These events usually involve food. Yum. This weekend’s event at the Dixon Public Library is a meet and greet and Q and A. Readers will ask me questions and I’ll try to answer them. What’s your favorite format for author events?

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