Where Have All The Readers Gone?

Ever notice that there’s no category for “readers” in Twitter? You can find writers in abundance. I suspect it is because virtually any topic can be associated with readers.

As an author, if you want to reach readers you need to go where they hang out. Virtually, that would be places like libraryThing, Shelfari, and Goodreads.  In real life, the bookstores and Amazon.com.

But it seems somehow sinful to go Rich Sellingfull-bore advertising your book in these locations.  It’s a turnoff to the patrons, to say the least.

What to do? Is it permissible to nominate one’s own book for various lists?  To rate one’s own book (and what author would rate it less than five?)? To enter discussion  groups and raise one’s book as a topic of discussion? Other than listing the book, how does an author take advantage of these sites?

Some marketing gurus say go ahead and nominate, discuss, and rate your book. But the self-marketing author needs to learn subtlety. How can you tout your book without seeming too self-serving?

On the other hand, if you are an entry-level author and you hope to reach the readers on these sites, you could wait forever for someone else to nominate your work.

The solution? Perhaps this is where authors need to help one another rather than compete. Find another author or two and nominate each other’s books. Rate each other’s books (favorably, I would hope) and help each other to get your work discussed. If  authors don’t team up, your will risk being ignored or being a boor.

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