Today I’d like to talk about getting your name out there. How and where do you find the readers? Trust me when I say this is the million dollar question. Readers are everywhere on the net, at reader’s conferences and bookstores and the trick is to figure out how to find the bulk of them without having a person get sick of seeing you before they take a look at your book. The true marketing fact is that the average reader needs to see your name TEN times before it strikes a chord. When I worked in sales it was the “nine nos=one yes” rule.

That certainly seems daunting.

I can only share with you the things I have done to get my name out there. I don’t think there’s any silver bullet answer here so I live by the shotgun method, shoot so it sort of spreads everywhere and hopefully hits something that works.

Besides blogging here I also do a lot of guest blogging. That is, I visit other sites sometimes doing an interview with the owner, sometimes writing a blog post that I hope readers of that particular blog will enjoy. The benefit of doing this of course is tapping into the reader base of that blog. Hopefully they will interact with you, comment on your post and perhaps learn a little bit about you and in turn become interested in your books. How do I find these opportunities? Author and reader loops. There are always authors out there looking for guest bloggers. I host authors here on the Writer’s Block (anyone interested?). It’s a benefit to the owner who hopes the guest will also carry some readers over to their site.

Now, don’t get me wrong, these posts also have their downside. Too many interviews means the readers hopping from blog to blog with you may keep reading the same information and that becomes a drag no matter how pithy and humorous you make your answers. I mean there’s only so many times you can share with the world that your Aunt Joan was actually your Uncle Jim before the outhouse accident and even the most devoted reader is going to lose interest. There’s also the question of whether you have enough interesting things to say about varying topics that relate to your newest release. Can you continue to make it new and fresh so that each blog encourages readers to comment?

I gotta tell you, when I started blogging three years ago, my first book had just been contracted and the whole process was new to me and I could share all that with fresh eyes. I just kept chatting for nearly a year with no slowing down. But blogging has become difficult for me. I feel like I don’t have as much to say. So I do try to keep my guest blogging down to once a week for a month or so after a new release and then no more than twice a month when I’m not pimping a new book.

The other type of blogging that can be very successful is group blogs. The benefit of course is having readers from many authors visiting a group blog. I’m still in search of a successful blog that I can also participate in. I tried a couple of group blogs, but the readers weren’t there and I found myself ignoring this blog to be sure I posted other places where it seemed no one was hanging out anyway. I politely bowed out after sticking with it for six months or so.

Another very successful way to have readers find you is offering a contest. These vary as much as the romance genre itself. I’ve offered contests where readers read an excerpt on my website, answer a question and their name goes into the hat. I’ve seen great contests where readers get one entry for signing up for your newsletter or friending you on facebook, another entry for commenting on blog posts and so on and so forth. Contests can also be run on your blog post or on a loop chat that you participate in. Who doesn’t love a contest? I love sending out little prize packets to winners of my contests. I fill them with all kinds of “Nina Pierce” goodies. And on Friday I’ll talk a little bit about where I get my goodies.

Unitl then, let me know what kind of contest you like to participate in or run.

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