Dear Readers, did you know that one of the ways you can most help an author is by creating buzz during a book's release?
Buzz is exactly what it sounds like–reverberating noise. In the book world, buzz is that excited chatter that readers make about books they anticipate or that they're reading.
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Time and time again, I run across comments from readers of my books who say something like, "I've heard so many good things about your book" or "I saw your book recommended by lots of people, so I finally had to read it."
Those are classic examples of book buzz and how it can be incredibly helpful.
There are several things that are true about book buzz:
1. Buzz has a rippling effect.
If a handful of people start chattering about a book and sharing their enthusiasm, then the excitement ripples to their friends. Those friends have the potential to share the buzz with their followers and so on.
Because of the rippling effect, buzz has the ability to move a book outside our own circles of influence and introduce books to people we've never met.
2. Buzz often has to reverberate before the listener hears it.
When it comes to trying new books and authors outside of my select favorites, I usually have to hear the buzz about a book several times before it perks my attention. The first couple of times the book crosses my radar, it doesn't stick. But after about the third time of hearing excitement about it, I'm more likely to pay attention and start investigating the book for myself.
3. Buzz is most effective when it comes from others (not the author).
Anyone can toot his or her own horn. That's easy.
But who are people more likely to notice, an author who sings her own praise? Or a reader who's bragging about a book she's enjoyed?
I like a recent article by Jane Friedman on Writer Unboxed in which she says: "Authors continue to use social media—and their online networks—as blunt instruments, posting things that beg people to pay attention and become a buyer or follower. Unfortunately, asking for such attention on a social media network is likely to ensure you won’t be getting any, except for those who already adore you or feel obligated to support you."
She suggests privately appealing to a trusted circle of supports or influencers and "ask these people for specific types of help during your book marketing campaign, based on their own strengths or connections."
In other words, authors shouldn't generally make it a practice to ask complete strangers for help. We don't want to impose on others or make them feel used. After all, buzz is much more effective when it flows out of excitement rather than coercion.
First and foremost the momentum has to come from the author giving readers stories and characters they can fall in love with.
And second, authors need to give fans specific ways they can help spread the buzz.
When I compile my list of influencers, like I did recently for my newest release, Rebellious Heart, I sent out an email to everyone who signed up, and I offered suggestions for ways they can help start buzz, like participating in my "Rebellious Heart 20 Book Giveaway."
From time to time I also post simple ideas on my blog about how readers can help spread the book love. Take a look at my post "20 Easy Ways Readers Can Support Authors They Love."
Whatever readers do to spread the buzz, authors appreciate it all! So thank you dear readers for all you do!
Readers, did you know book buzz was important in helping a book achieve popularity? What are some specific ways you "buzz" about books you love?
Writers, are you tooting your own horn too much? Or are you relying on others to help start the buzz? What frustrates you most about starting buzz about your books?