Here are the most read stories from the last week in Critical Linking…
What’s interesting—to me—here is that while “word of mouth” tied for the top answer in my poll, what it tied with was the book’s cover, and the next highest answer was the book’s synopsis or an excerpt from it. Clearly, then, the book itself (both the outside and the inside) needs to make a good impression on a reader before they buy it.
This sort of data about how people find out about books assumes that people actually know how they came to be interested in a book. In my own experience, this is very difficult to pin down in a multiple choice response.
I have been reading books with a grandnephew over the last several months. We call it the Family Almost Book Club. He is in 9th grade and a voracious reader. Most of the titles we have read are YA, a genre that was almost unknown to me.
A book club just for family members. I kinda love this.
Reviews, awards, and nods from important people in your industry are fantastic, but like a tree falling in the forest if you don’t tell folks about it, no one will know. Yes, you do often have to hit readers over the head with things if for no other reason than people are busy. Got an award? Shout it from the rooftops. Got tons of great reviews? Let’s see if that can be a stepping stone to something else.
I can’t even with this “hitting readers over the head” about how many great reviews you got.
Schrefer described how, when writing books that are educational and may carry a message, it’s crucial that “the seams aren’t showing,” and that readers are primarily moved by the story, characters, and action. It’s just that they may also learn something significant along the way.
Don’t tell them what the lesson is supposed to be. Just let them learn it.