However, the publishers said these covers sell. So it seems the old maxim of ‘sex sells’ is still true.
- The panel discussed the importance of the cover representing the book you’ve written, so you don’t mislead the reader.
- The importance of how the cover displays as a 1” square image on a computer screen.
- Sometimes the cover the author likes, won’t be the right one to sell the book. It’s that old chestnut of art versus marketing.
- The reader has to first actually pick up the book (or click on it) before they read the blurb. A bad cover will prevent them doing so.
The main points for me were how it’s important to think about how much time and effort I want to put into social media. It’s better to have two well used social media accounts, than 5-6 which are mainly dead.
The importance of thinking about the messages you want to send through social media. Is it all about pictures of hot men, or all just cats, or your holiday pictures, or stuff about writing, or a mix of them all.
How Good Reads was described didn’t encourage me to dive in: Susan gave an example of a writer who’d jumped into a group criticising his/her book, to make the whole thing worse.
Elin Gregory made a very good point that if you’re uncomfortable on social media, it shows. Constant streams of ‘buy my book’ on social media are annoying. It’s important to stick to what you’re comfortable with. I use Twitter and my blog. My blog feels like my own party, I’m in control of it more than, say facebook, where it’s their party. If you want to go to the FB party, that’s fine, crack on, but me, I’m sticking with my little party over here.
Beau Schemery explained he prefers pictures, to blogging. He said, ‘Who cares what I say, if I blog? Beau explained the importance of having a focussed social media voice, (so what’s your main focus of the blog?) as this increases reach as followers retweet or repost your posts.
The 50 Shades of Grey panel was surprisingly well attended. When I found out it was in the main room, I grabbed Anna Martin and had a minor panic. Only a minor one though. We talked about whether other authors would want the fame of E L James, where you’re interviewed all the time, your name is in all papers. Ok, so it’s pressure, but I suppose she’s crying all the way to the bank.
RJ Scott has her blog and website together – some people do, some people have them separate. Mine are together, because I can’t be faffed to ‘do’ two websites. She talked about what she blogs about: news round up for each week; reviews of books she likes; launches of her own books. Staying positive and inspirational stuck with me, who wants to read a blog which is only moaning and whingeing about things? I get enough of that elsewhere without having to read it! And importantly to be you, on your blog. I think I’m already me, anyone who’s actually spoken to me often says I write like I speak, so hopefully I’m me here.
Augusta Li showed her beautiful pictures on her blog, which get many more hits than only words. Not receiving comments isn’t necessarily a bad thing, many people just lurk and read and don’t comment. That’s you, I’m talking to, yes you!
In the Leave my OU alone session it soon became clear there’s a balance between retaining a Britishness to the writing, and confusing the reader so much they find themselves leaving the book to quickly google something. Although you don’t have to crank up the steam punk internet machine in the garden, it does still take you away from the world of the book, and that’s a bad thing.
Elisa Rolle ended the day with a great talk about how she got into MM fiction. She stumbled across it by reading Maurice, a beautiful love story, which was written in 1913. I’ve watched the film, but haven’t yet read the book. I know, a poor substitute, I will read it, I promise. She also said that it’s important to be open to new types of books to read as you can like a variety of things.
Tune in next time to hear about Saturday night, and the panels on Sunday.
How was your Saturday of the UK Meet? Did you go to different panels? Or maybe you couldn't attend, and this has whetted your appetite for 2014, I'd love to hear from you.