In this changing world of book marketing and the rise of social media I think author interaction is so important to the selling of books. Not all authors realize this (yet), but for those who do it can make an important difference. Let’s take a look at some of my author interactions and consider the effect they’ve had.
1. Peter James. James is a writer of crime thrillers. Not my usual cup of tea. However, back in 2011 I was working at his Canadian publisher and had the opportunity to meet him. He was such an engaging man and brilliant storyteller that I immediately went out and read all the books in his Roy Grace series. It was that simple. He converted me. It was also in working on some Twitter chats with him that I saw first hand how important Twitter is to authors as a marketing tool. (Find him @PeterJamesUK)
2. That brings me to Twitter and great author interactions. We all have our favorites. Canadian satirical writer Terry Fallis (@TerryFallis) is a hoot on Twitter. Eve Harris (@ChaniKaufman), author of The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, was instrumental in spreading the word about my review of her book. But my favorite author interaction on Twitter has to be with Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project. Actually, the interactions aren’t with him at all, but with the protagonist of his book @ProfDonTillman. And yes, they are just as entertaining as his book.
3. Emailing an author directly is something I find to be quite daunting. I don’t know why. They’re just people like us. Anyways, after reading The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan I emailed the author. I had a personal connection to the story and felt her telling of it to be very brave. I wanted her to know that I knew it was a difficult book to write. What resulted was a great conversation that went on over several emails and I encouraged my friends in Canada to go see her talk. And yes, they bought her book.
4. Cathy Marie Buchanan is the best selling author of The Painted Girls. It is a great book and deserves to be a best selling, but she works hard to make it one. She is a publisher’s dream. She is out there engaging with her reading public in every way possible – on Twitter (@CathyMBuchanan), FaceBook, visiting high school English classes, going to book clubs in person and on Skype. She works hard to market her books and it is working.
These are just a few examples of how important author interaction can be to selling books. Don’t even get me started on great events like Book festivals and book store readings.