Readers' Favorite

March 29, 2012

Tips on Thursday: Act Locally

If you have been blogging for a while you may be looking for ways to expand your blog, either to add new content, increase your exposure, your promote books/authors in more ways. When I first started Girl Who Reads it was mostly as an experiment since I am a participatory learner. I needed to make contact in the blogging world for the books I was promoting at the publishing house and I also needed to advise the authors I was working with how to blog better. I also had recently read a book I loved and wanted another way to tell others about it. I knew I didn't have a lot of time to blog, so I decided on a very focused topic for my blog - reviews only. I wasn't going to post about publishing news (that was what Twitter was for) and I didn't have time to go out looking for authors to interview/guest post. The problem with only writing book reviews, I'm a slow reader. When I'm on a reading roll, I average about 1 - 1.5 books a week. Last year I read 54 books according to my Goodreads Challenge. I read maybe 1 or 2 more books than that because I re-read a few Harry Potter books.

With maybe getting 1 book read a week, I only had 1 post a week. Anyone who has been blogging for any length of time knows you need to be adding new posts 3 - 5 times a week. So I went looking for other avenues of content. Memes helped fill in some of the dead space, but I wasn't real keen on doing too many. I started offering authors guest post spaces on my blog, which helped in providing new content and satisfied my need to help authors get exposure. I know many bloggers regularly have guest posts and interviews, so that is not the focus of this post. What I want to suggest to you is to get involved in your local community and help spread the word about books among your neighbors, friends, and family.

With marketing dollars dwindling and the increase in self & indie publishing, authors aren't having big city tours, but that doesn't mean literary events can't happen in your town. Actually because of the rise in self and indie publishing, there might be authors closer to you than you think. I live near a small college town (the town is small, not the university) and we have an active writing group. It's likely your town does, too (or at least in reasonable driving distance). If you live in a large market (Seattle, Austin, NYC, etc.), you will have access to bigger names. But then again not all big name writers live in these big name cities. Check with your local bookstore, library, university/college to find out about writing groups, area authors, and venues.

If you can't get an author to your event, don't worry. There are plenty of activities that can make a great book event. A monthly book club or book swap is a great way to bring book lovers together. I've known authors who have done video chats with book clubs. I had an author be the featured guest at Ladies Night a local winery hosted. I know another author who did a book signing at a Mary Kay cosmetic party. Remember a couple of months ago I hosted a Girls Night with The Kama Sutra, which was a lot of fun. Find a book theme and plan a party around it.

Venues for book events are endless: Coffee Shops, pubs and wine bars, civic organization meetings, as well as your typical places like bookstores and libraries.

The options are limitless with a little creativity and perhaps a bit of work. But the pay off is great. You will gain local exposure and credibility, which will lead to a greater network of readers to your blog. Remember to do a write up of whatever event you attend (there may already be book related activities going on in your community). The word of mouth exposure an author and book receives will be greatly appreciated and who knows you might just launch the next bestseller.

If you have a blogging or book related tip to share please post a link to your post below. A link back to this blog would be greatly appreciated

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