I just recently discovered this excellent resource for readers as part of my ‘technology education’ related to the launch of Three Weeks Less a Day. You might like to check out Goodreads yourself with this link:
You’ll need to sign-up to get all the benefits but it’s very quick, and there is no cost to register. One of the nice attributes of the site is a link to social media platforms so you can let your friends know about books you’re reading or have read. You can also receive updates on your friends’ reading.
The best feature: You and your friends can rate and do reviews to share information about books you enjoy and avoid books that might not suit your tastes. It’s a great tool to be sure you’re buying books that you’re most likely to enjoy when you spend your hard-earned money!
You’ll find lots of other benefits. Based on your interests, Goodreads can make recommendations for books you might like to explore. There are book giveaway programs. You might like to keep up with new releases of your favorite authors. Or, perhaps read news about or interviews with writers. You can also join discussion groups and ask questions to authors directly.
If you decide to sign-up, please also take a moment to visit the page for Three Weeks Less a Day. It would be great if you can leave a rating and review if you’ve read my novel. Let people know it’s a book you’d like to read if you haven’t ordered yet. Or, start a dialog with me by asking some questions!
One last incentive to explore Goodreads: Between October 31 and November 10, you can enter a contest to win one of 10 free paperback copies of Three Weeks Less a Day! See the Goodreads site next week for details. I predict you’re going to become a Goodreads fan!
To achieve commercial success with a novel, writing a great story may actually be the easier part!
New, unknown authors have a great challenge attracting the attention and support of traditional bookstores. Regardless the book quality and appeal of the tale, traditional outlets prefer to stock and sell works of proven performers. So, new arrivals, like Three Weeks Less a Day, rely almost entirely on the digital world to promote and sell our stories.
First, we count on our network of family, friends and business associates to help us spread the word and let people know about our books. You help that cause every time you ‘share’ a story like this and ask your friends to share it with theirs. If you add a personal note to a blog article or update, it carries even more importance with your friends. As the number of posts and shares multiply, many people eventually become aware of books like Three Weeks Less a Day.
Next, we have to let people know where they can buy a book if it’s not in stores. I like to use this link to my website where buyers can read a synopsis and choose from 3 popular online retailers who sell and stock the book.
Buyers can also link directly from this site to ebook retailers. With just a couple additional clicks, a buyer can be reading Three Weeks Less a Day within minutes of receiving your ‘share’! Feel welcome to use this link anytime anyone asks you where they can buy a copy.
It also helps authors if you publicize your book purchase on Facebook or Instagram. You may have already seen some photos of buyers who show their purchase with a photo and comment to let their friends know. Authors appreciate every one!
Most important, some readers are understandably reluctant to invest their valuable time and hard-earned money unless they’re confident they’ll enjoy a story. If you read a novel like Three Weeks Less a Day, it really helps a new author if you let your friends know on social media and on the websites of book retailers. It’s free. You can rate books on a scale of 1-5 and leave a brief review that let’s others know your opinion.
I’ve used Three Weeks Less a Day as my example in this article, and I appreciate all the support I receive from my network. But, please keep this article in mind as you explore the works of all new authors. Every ‘share’ counts!
Who could have guessed that writing a novel would dramatically improve my technology skills?
When I started writing my first novel, Three Weeks Less a Day, I supposed that my two-finger keyboarding skills might improve and my vocabulary might expand with research and careful thought. But, it never occurred to me that I might become much more comfortable with technology during the process!
Fairly quickly, I learned more about formatting and word processing shortcuts than I had previously imagined. I discovered a software package that helped to check grammar, spelling and punctuation better than Word’s basic system. But these incremental improvements paled in comparison to my technology education after actually writing my story.
First, I learned that today editors and publishers do almost everything digitally. All versions of my book were up-and-downloaded numerous times using passwords to access revisions and marked up copies. Our 'conversations' seemed most often to take place with comments shared in the margins of pages, and the entire process worked quite well. However, the real technology education started as the book readied for publication.
I had realized before I started writing the novel that publishing today is in dire straits, even survival mode. First-time novelists without celebrity really get very little support from a publisher. Most help comes in the form of an extensive author to-do list and some coaching on strategies that might work to promote a book. As a result, over the past few weeks I’ve learned to do some interesting things to expand my technology universe!
To start, I followed coaching from Facebook to expand my social media presence from a purely social communication medium to create a page devoted entirely to Three Weeks Less a Day. Here, I work to stimulate and maintain interest in the novel. (If you haven’t already done so, please ‘like’ the author page so you’ll get messages like this one automatically in the future.) After a few weeks, I realized that I could also create a “button” on this new page.
Of course, a button needs to do something when a reader clicks it. So I had to learn how to design a website with patient coaching from the publisher and our seventeen-year-old grandson.
Now, what to do with this new web presence? Well, it seems every site needs a good blog. So, we now have Rendezvous Blog where I can have conversations readers and potential readers like you. And, you can communicate with me here by asking questions, sharing comments, or posting reviews about the book.
Then, a new dilemma. How can interested family, friends, and business associates around the world order copies personally signed by the author? Well, the answer is a “storefront”. So, I’ve learned how to incorporate a PayPal relationship into the website, so buyers can purchase signed books directly from me using their credit cards or PayPal account.
Like me, you probably think that with a great story and all this new technology I must now be fully equipped to become a New York Times best-selling author, right? Well, it seems the correct answer is no. Apparently, I now need to learn how to become an Amazon Author and a Good Reads Author so I can encourage reviews and ratings that encourage more people to buy my book. And, squeezed in among my writing for a second novel, that’s my mission for this week! Watch here for updates, or on Amazon or Good Reads soon!
Some people have asked how to get signed copies of my new novel Three Weeks Less a Day. Because this book is launching during the busy Christmas selling season, it might be difficult to arrange in-store signings immediately. Anticipating this, I’ve purchased copies that I will sign personally and mail to you.
You can place orders for either hard cover or paperback versions. Here’s a link you can use to place your order and also let me know if there is any particular name or inscription you would like to appear in the book.
Please be aware prices charged at this site are a little higher than those listed online or in retail stores because I include the costs of shipping and applicable Canadian taxes in the prices charged. Although prices on the site are shown in Canadian dollars, you can pay with a credit card through PayPal and your credit card company will automatically convert the CAD amount shown into the currency of your card at their normal rates.
If you’ve already ordered a book online and would like me to sign it, I’ll always be happy to oblige the next time we see each other.
Heartfelt thanks for all of your support with the launch of Three Weeks Less a Day!
Dictionaries might define the word ‘rendezvous’ as a meeting with someone that is arranged for a particular time and place (and that is often secret); or a place where people agree to meet at a particular time; or perhaps a place where many people go to spend time. Here, Rendezvous is a place where we can share information and get to know each other better.