Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Goodreads 201: Part 4 - Introduction emails (content)




Okay, today I'm going to wrap up how to direct message people who have joined a group that you are also a member of. This presupposes a few things (covered in past posts)
  • You've updated your profile to make it look good

  • You've worked on your headline and short blurb

  • You've participated (in a friendly - not look at me look at me) way on the forum so you don't look like a drive buy shooter.

  • You have a place for people to read samples (preferably your website - so you can get them to it as well.

  • You have some nice covers and an image that you can put in the message (i.e. the images is on the internet somewhere such that you can get a URL link to it.
As I mentioned in Part 3 I have different messages in a file that I copy/paste from. Now...even though you are copy/pasting you still want to make it personal. At a minimum you should start by typing: Hey person's name, before the paste. But I like to go further and if possible mention something they said in their welcome post - usually they'll mention some authors they like so you can either a) agree that xyz is one of your favorites or b) say I've never tried xyz thanks for letting me know I'll check them out. Other topics that are could to use is comments on nice Avatars, or if they live somewhere you've always wanted to visit (my hot spot is Australia / New Zealand) you can work that in to.

The next important thing...don't sound needy...or desperate...don't beg...don't whimper. Here is what you have to think of as you are crafting your message. You are on a reader site. These people WANT to find new authors to fall in love with. Your attitude should be one of confidence (but not arrogance). You are here to help them. If you've come from the "query world" think about how you would approach an agent to look at your work.

Okay...so you are in the "welcome thread" you see someone introducing themselves - Click on their picture. Then click on "compare books" to see if they have any of your books on their shelves. You'll see one of 4 things:
  • No books - this will happen a lot in the beginning.
  • Books - unread (now's your chance to get them to "move it up on their TBR pile)
  • Books - read and rated (Respond to anyone with a 3 or better) 1's and 2's you can just move on - or try an advanced technique that I'll cover another day
  • Books - read, rated, and reviewed (3 or better)

NO BOOKS

A typical post I suggest for someone with no books on the shelf:

Hey Susan,
I saw your post in the fantasy group. It's always good to meet people who like reading fantasy! I'm glad you like Rothfuss, I've really enjoyed the first two books. I'm also an author, but don't worry I'm not here to pressure you to buy my books. I just wanted to introduce them and you can decide for yourself if you are interested in finding out more.Link
RIYRIA REVELATIONS: Unlikely Heroes...Classic Adventure
There's no ancient evil to destroy or orphan destined for greatness, just two thieves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn, a cynical thief, and his ex-mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a living performing dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they are framed for the murder of the king.





I've been very happy with the reception the series has received here on goodreads (2300+ ratings and 500+ reviews) and, if you do get a chance to "check them out", I would love to know what you think...good, bad, or indifferent any and all feedback is welcome (much preferable to the crickets chirp).

Well I've rambled enough. Again, welcome to the group - it's a great place to find new things to read.

Michael: [book:Theft of Swords|10790290] | [book:Rise of Empire|11773712] | [book:Heir of Novron|11100431] | [book:The Viscount and the Witch|12746970]
So let's break it down:
  • Personal introduction by name
  • Welcome to the group
  • Something personal about their post
  • A disclaimer about being an author - but no pressure
  • Book Section: Headline, Blurb, Covers, Sample button
  • Some form of "validation" - The idea here is to give people a reason to believe you are "worth their time.
  • Invitation for them to reach out to you - VERY important remember you want to make connections - make it two-way.
  • Closing bringing it back to your welcome
  • Signature that has links to your books in it. (I used the "no cover" version as the graphics are already in the message.

UNREAD BOOK

Goodreads people have HUGE TBR piles. But they are usually easily swayed by interaction to move your book up on the list - especially when in competition with some "big guy" that will never have that "personal touch" with them. Use this to your advantage.
Hey Susan,
I saw your post in the fantasy group. It's always good to meet people who like reading fantasy! I'm glad you like Rothfuss, I've really enjoyed the first two books. I hope you don't mind but I took a peek on your shelves and was happy to find out you already have my book listed--how cool is that! I'm not here to pressure you to buy my books (that's just not my style). I just wanted to thank you for your interest and to give you a link where you can read a sample.



If you're like me your TBR is large (and growing all the time but that's a good thing about goodreads) so here's a bit about my book as a reminder:

RIYRIA REVELATIONS: Unlikely Heroes...Classic Adventure
There's no ancient evil to destroy or orphan destined for greatness, just two thieves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn, a cynical thief, and his ex-mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a living performing dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they are framed for the murder of the king.

Well I've rambled enough if you do get a chance to "check them out", I would love to know what you think...good, bad, or indifferent any and all feedback is welcome (much preferable to the crickets chirp). Again, thanks for the interest in my book and welcome to the group - it's a great place to find new things to read.

Michael
[bookcover:Theft of Swords|10790290] [bookcover:Rise of Empire|11773712] [bookcover:Heir of Novron|11100431] [bookcover:The Viscount and the Witch|12746970]

READ BOOK - RATING BUT NO REVIEW

You've found someone you want to keep a hold of and get a direct connection with them. I would send them a message and immediately after do a "friend request" and in the message of the friend request say something like:I'm so glad you read and liked my book, Theft of Swords.

If they friend you back (which they usually will) you'll have their email address (if they have made it public) - PURE GOLD. Respond back when you see the "friend accepted" notice and ask them if you could add them to your email distribution list to notify them of upcoming releases or giveaways. Again they'll usually say yes - now you have a way to connect them and as long as you keep writing well, they'll buy each time you come out with a new book. -- Plus you can get them to buy direct from you where you get to keep most of the profit. Okay this whole email and direct buying is a whole post in and of itself, which we'll cover more later but getting back to the intro email: Here's how I word it:

Hey Susan,
I saw your post in the fantasy group. It's always good to meet people who like reading fantasy! I'm glad you like Rothfuss, I've really enjoyed the first two books. I hope you don't mind but I took a peek on your shelves and was happy to find that you read my book, Theft of Swords--how cool is that!

I'm dying for a little detail about your impressions. Would you mind adding a little review to your rating to let me know what you thought? It doesn't have to be a full blown review just a few sentences would be great. And feel free to tell me the good and the bad (this business makes tough skins and all I ask if is honest feedback). Writing can be such solitary work sometimes so hearing from people is what I live for. If you are uncomfortable doing this publicly, then just send me a message.

Well I've rambled enough. Again, thanks for the interest in my book and welcome to the group - it's a great place to find new things to read.

Michael
[bookcover:Theft of Swords|10790290] [bookcover:Rise of Empire|11773712] [bookcover:Heir of Novron|11100431] [bookcover:The Viscount and the Witch|12746970]

P.S. As you can see from my signature I've written some other books as well. If you would like to learn more about any of them and/or read a sample you can from here.
I think about goodreads as levels. First you want them to shelve you, then read, then rate, and finally review. The more reviews you have the more credibility you'll get so this is a way to turn a rate into a review. Not to mention...many readers will be so thrilled that an author took time to reach out to them that they'll talk about you with their other goodreads friends = word of mouth which is the end game.

The P.S. at the bottom is optional of course depending on whether they know (as evidence by their shelf) you can personalize this a bit as well. Such as...I saw that you read the first two books in the Riyria Revelations did you know I've released another 3? You can find out more..blah blah blah.


READ BOOK - RATING AND REVIEW
Okay this is the mother load. You don't have to sell this person anything. What you need to do is make a good impression on them and hope to turn them into a word-of-mouth generating machine. This is a time to express gratitude and let them get to know you a bit.

Goodreads has an ability for people to post on other's reviews so the first thing you should do is go out and thank them for the review. Also, just as before be sure to send them a friend request after you send the intro email.

Hey Susan,
I saw your post in the fantasy group. It's always good to meet people who like reading fantasy! I'm glad you like Rothfuss, I've really enjoyed the first two books. I hope you don't mind but I took a peek on your shelves and was happy to find that you reviewed my book, Theft of Swords.

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this. It's difficult sometimes when you are like me and just starting out and no one knows who I am, so by providing some independent feedback, others will be more likely to take a chance.

Writing is not something I do for the money...I do it because I can't stop the stories from filling my head and sharing them with others is how I get rewarded. I don't know if readers really know just how much of a kick we get out of reading reviews. It makes the long nights worth it and can take the sting off of the inevitable bad review.

Well I've rambled enough. Again, thank you for letting me know that my writing is not going out to a vacuum. I'm glad you've found he group - it's a great place to find new things to read.

Michael
[bookcover:Theft of Swords|10790290] [bookcover:Rise of Empire|11773712] [bookcover:Heir of Novron|11100431] [bookcover:The Viscount and the Witch|12746970]

P.S. If you'd like to be added to my email distribution list to be notified of future releases and/or giveaways please send me your email.
Something I should note about all of these messages. My goal is to turn these people from a casual reader into a fan - and the way you know you've done this is that they have provided you their email (for future notifications) and by having ongoing dialogs with them (both personally and through the group). Again I'll discuss this more in future posts - we've already covered a lot today.

Whew, this is a long post but I think you'll find it helpful.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Robin,

Good post! I find that Goodreads is a great place to interact with readers and get feedback. And you're right, they do like it when they hear from authors.

Cheers!

Splitter's Blog said...

It never ceases to amaze me when readers say, "I can't believe you responded!" Of course I did, they are my best advertisement.

I have been known to be totally honest and tell them that I hoped they wrote a review or told a hundred internet friends about the books. They usually get a kick out of that.

The most important point in your post is in the last paragraph. It's all about turning readers into fans.

Splitter

Terra Harmony said...

Hi Robin - is it ok to keep a list of e-mails from goodreads friends/fans, giveways, etc. to send out mass e-mail announcements about your books? Or would they get annoyed and consider it to be spamming? I would almost feel like a solicitor knocking on a door with a sign 'No Solicitors Allowed'...

Terra

Anonymous said...

lol "drive buy shooter"

freudian

Anonymous said...

Great post! I have a question about ratings, though. What do you do with the people that rated your book low? I have mostly four and five star ratings so the above will work well, but the occassional 2 or 3 ratings don't help and may not even be my "reader." Do I even bother emailing these people, and if so, how do I go about it? I certainly don't want their 2 star rating to turn into a 2 star review?

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clinton said...

Hey, Ive interacted with your husband on GR (His books are awesome) and now I see where he may have gotten his great people skills from. Keep up the good work!