June 23, 2012

Are You Listening, Judy Blume?

More Author Blog Challenge prompts for your Saturday amusement.

DAY 18 Who did/could you ask to write a blurb for your book? Why that person/people? How did/will you go about reaching them?
For our novel, Depression Cookies, Mom asked two of her writer’s group friends while I asked a journalist friend. All three received advanced copies and helped us with editing both story and grammar.

In my dreams, I would want a blurb from Judy Blume. Her books so influenced my teen years, and I’ve often described Depression Cookies as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. with the mother’s perspective added.

Are you listening, Judy Blume?

DAY 19 What are the three most important things you are doing to grow your platform?
I don’t know. That’s sad to say, but it’s the most honest answer. I think I’m building an amazing author network, but I don’t know how to translate my blog and marketing efforts into building a reader network. As much as I love my writer friends, we can’t just buy each other’s books. We need to attract readers.

Prior to publishing, I never searched for author sites or attended author events or book signings. I’m the very reader authors don’t like. I love books and movies, but I never get wrapped up in the “celebrities” behind the works. I’m the mom who doesn’t get why my kids want to stand in line for an hour to get a signature from a 20-something college student dressed up as Mickey Mouse or a Disney Princess. I was always more enchanted by the work than the artist.

Now that I’ve published a book, I have a greater appreciation for writers (and artists). I would stand in line for hours to meet an author, so I could pick his/her brain on the process.

Although I loved Judy Blume books when I was growing up, I only researched her once I started writing my own novel. It was a special kind of thrill to follow her on Twitter.

What I hope is slowly building a platform: blogging consistently and honestly; being active on various social media; and attending conferences, book fairs, and book clubs.

As a reader, do you research authors you love? Especially with the popularity of online shopping, what attracts you to a new author's book?


D.E. Malone said...

Yes, I like the story behind the story, and am always interested to read about the author. I'm not sure how much that has to do with being a writer, though, since I've been both a reader/writer for as long as I can remember. That would be an interesting question to pose to one of the readers-only blogs.

ShaunaKelleyWrites said...

I think I am still a little old school-- I try new writers based on reviews (usually on blogs) or word of mouth. Judy Blume... weirdly enough, this is the third time this week I've encountered a Judy Blume reference. Judy must be making a come back. :-)

Callie Leuck said...

I know what you mean about connecting more with writers than readers.

That doesn't bother me very much, because other writers is what I need right now, mostly. However, I'm also trying to write posts that are not strictly directed at fellow writers. I've gotten good response from non-writers on those posts (and writers seem to like them too) so I'm going to keep trying to keep up a mix.

I'm probably going to start trying to incorporate more snippets and information (or funny facts) about science things that I'm writing about for my thesis writing project. Hopefully that will appeal to the various facets of my audience.

I remember enjoying Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret although today I couldn't tell you what it was about. It's always exciting to connect with writers whose work you admire, though.

Jo Michaels said...

I have been to a number of author websites. Probably the most alluring was Christopher Paolini's. 16 years old when he started. He was interesting beyond the book :)


Melissa said...

All the best getting Judy Blume to write your blurb.

I haven't researched authors, except a couple that my kids want to write to. Before kids, I went to the Melbourne Writers Festival and loved volunteering there, but I just don't have the time at the moment... I still love owning books that are signed, though.

Tia Bach said...

Dawn, Yes. The Author Blog Challenge inspired me to interview a reader, and I'm hoping to make it a series. I love picking readers' brains.

Shauna, I also go off recommendations (or my book club's picks). Yeah for Judy! Hope you get settled soon. Looking forward to lunch. I love meeting my writer friends in person!

Callie, I need writers, too. But as an avid reader and lover of words, I want to attract readers as well. Loved your post on Ps and Qs...

Jo, He's the Eragon writer, right? I thought his story was amazing, too. I read the first book, but my daughter (12) devoured the entire series.

Melissa, I loved signed books, too. Thanks for the best wishes on a Blume blurb... from your wishes to her ears!