“If you like that, you’ll probably like this other book I read.” That seemed to be one of the most enjoyable things about my first book stall which I gave you feedback on last month. I thought I might talk about talking to people at the fair, as several people were convinced they’d be… not very good at it. 🙂
It’s IWSG day!
This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post, in which we share our successes and failures as writers, our insecurities, in fact. Anyone can join in, just sign up at the IWSG Sign-up page, write a blog post on the first Wednesday of the month, and go back to that sign up page to link with everyone else–or a goodly sample. Our host is Alex J Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for the month are:
I’ll get to the Question of the month later 🙂
If you like that… Book stall part 3
Several people commented in my last post about the problem of being yourself behind a book stall. Fear of interacting with other people is very real, especially for Insecure Writers!
I make myself smile and seem friendly (apparently I am one of those women who look scary). I ask “what do you like reading?”
I’ll ask everyone that. It’s just something more than ‘hello’ and ‘would you like to see my books’ to which the probable answer is, no.
Reactions vary, but you do usually get a reaction. One lady doesn’t read books. Another person only reads newspapers. Someone else doesn’t read. Try not to be judgmental here! Of course, I’m at a mixed craft and gift fair, I hope you wouldn’t get those answers at a book fair!
But… several like thrillers. Some liked scifi: one of those after we got talking took both of my scifi books home with her. Another I asked what he’d read recently, and he said ‘something with a very long title’, and I replied “Not the Long Way to a Small Angry Planet?” So that set us off talking about Becky Chambers and the rest of the series, and the Martian, and several other books. He bought two of my short story collections… Someone else said ‘Historical fiction, well, Tudor era.’ We talked about the Red Queen and the White Queen. I read the Red Queen and Bring Up the Bodies with my bookclub. Another liked odd crime stories. How odd? I ended up recommending Lindsey Davis’s Falco series to him.
My point is, you like reading books (I assume) as much as you like writing them. The chances are that people who like similar books to you might like your books. And because you read things they like, they are more likely to try yours.
And talking about other people’s books is a whole lot easier than talking about your own!
Question of the Month
What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?
For me, writing the blurb is always hardest. I probably don’t write them very well, either. There are things, words to be used, in blurbs that specifically draw readers in, and I don’t use them. But there are plenty of blog posts about to help me write better ones.
Here’s one from the very useful blogger Anne R Allen:
Google ‘writing blurbs’ and you’ll probably come up with loads. But its always worth checking who the person is who’s blogging. Don’t take advice seriously if they’ve been blogging less time than you have–unless, like Ruth Harris, they have a demonstrable background.
But… writing titles isn’t easy. I confess I find it hard to start writing a story without the title first. The only one of mine that probably didn’t have at least an inkling of a title was Curved Space to Corsair. That was one of the few I’ve written where I really knew what was happening in the plot: it was a sequel, and the plot was pretty well set up by the first. A working title will do: The Talent Seekers started as The Way West, until I discovered just before I published that there were loads of books of that name already. I’ve written about books with the same name before. I hate that.
Talking of book blurbs, I need to check Zanzibar’s Rings’ against the advice given in the BAM article. Next month I’ll be doing the cover reveal. If you’ve said you’d help and you haven’t had an email about it, please tell me below. And if you’d like to join in the cover reveal, please tell me in the comments!"If you like that, you'll like this" | #IWSG November 21… On talking to people at book fairs, writing blurbs, and more #marketing #amwriting Click To Tweet
And if you’re doing NaNoWriMo this month — GOOD LUCK!