Welcome back to this third installment on Goodreads. You'll notice that it is now 201 instead of 101 because we're graduating to more advanced techniques. If you've not read the other two posts in this series you need to as it will get you setup before you take this next step.
So you have your profile setup, you've found some groups that are specific to your genre now it's time to start interacting. Almost every group has an "introduce yourself post". Read the guidelines of the post carefully then...well...introduce yourself. Some frown upon writers putting links to their books in their introductions so make sure you know the rules. Personally, I think your introduction should only "graze" the fact that you write - as you'll see as we go on there will be plenty of other opportunities to discuss that. So I usually recommend a recommendation such as this:
Hello my name is Michael, and I've been a fan of fantasy since I first read The Hobbit at age 12. Prior to that I had little interest in reading and it opened up a whole new world for me that I'm forever grateful for. I'm also a writer, I was originally self-published but recently was picked up by a big-six publisher (Orbit, the fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group). I'm really glad I found this group and I'm looking forward to finding a ton of new books to add to my tbr pile.If the group allows for links I'll make a signature like this (the text has links to the books):
Michael: Theft of Swords | Rise of Empire | Heir of Novron | The Viscount and the Witch
If they don't mind graphics (some will some wont then I make the signature two lines with my name on the first and the small thumbnails on the next line separated with a single space.
Now that you have officially announced yourself to the group its time for....well participation. And if you start by saying "buy my book, buy my book" in every interaction you have, I'm gonna have to slap you up the side of your head!! This is the biggest way to ruin what can be a valuable resource for you. If you haven't read my past threads on participation in social networks please do so now!
Okay, so how should you interact. Go out to the threads - make some comments. (We'll cover starting threads another day, you'll have enough to do just by responding to others) Again - don't mention your books strongly. You can hint about your writing for instance a post about the "size of fantasy novels" I might have Michael respond like this:
I know many fantasy reader love big, thick books. For whatever reason it seems like every time I sit down to write, they always come out to be about 100,000 words, which is 300 pages and relatively short by fantasy standards. My new publisher has released my six-book Riyria Revelations series as a trilogy so now each "book" has two of my stories and that puts them in the 600 - 900 page range!! I guess I get the best of both worlds.Notice the subtly. The post is:
- On point - and contributes to the topic at hand
- Mentions the title of Michael's series but no "buy me buy me"
- Let's those that read short works know he might be interesting to them, and those that read long works that they'll "get their moneys worth.
Now...for the big step....Sending direct messages to people in the group. This is where you can either totally blow it or be very successful. It's all in the approach. Here is my recommendations.
Start by sending introductions to people who just joined the group. I check the "introduction" post on a regular basis and send a direct (and private message) to people as they join. The process I go through is this:
- Click on their picture to get to their profile
- Do a "compare books" to see if they have any of your books on their shelves
- If they told you a bit about themselves in their intro post - be prepared to use it. If not check out their profile to see some tidbit.
- No books on the shelf
- Books on the shelf but not read
- Books on the shelf and read and reviewed
- Books on the shelf read and rated
- Starts with using their name: Hey Susan, blah blah blah
- Welcome them to the group
- Mention something personal about them. (Can comment on their avatar, a shared favorite author, a comment on where they live -- Oh I've always wanted to visit Australia, etc)
- Tell them you're a writer but not going to "pressure them to buy"
- Thank them if they already know about the books, introduce them if they have not
- Provide a link where they can read samples
- Tell them you're looking forward to seeing them "around the group