If you want to develop a loyal readership, you need persistence and strong researcher skills along with storytelling talent according to Darlene Quinn, an award-winning indie author (www.darlenequinn.net)
Darlene should know: She’s a 75-year old novelist who left a lucrative corporate career in retailing to pursue her passion for writing. She’s the author of Unpredictable Webs the newest in her stand-alone series of suspense-filled dramatic novels. In an article for the online marketing site “Where Writers Win” (wherewriterswin.com), Darlene offered some tips on building a readership:
Pay your dues: Darlene came to writing late, and when she did, she brought great perseverance to achieving her new dream. She paid her dues by penning articles for trade journals and magazines and then branched out into novel writing.
Commit to high quality: Today, aspiring authors have many indie publishing options to choose from and can pursue their writing dreams digitally as well — and self-publishing can lead to a contract with a major publishing house. Whatever route you go, be sure that your final product is top drawer on every from, from your characters and plot to cover art and production. If you’re self-publishing, then be sure to have your book edited by a professional — it will have a definite impact on your overall image.
Enter book award contests: You can gain exposure for your book simply by entering it in well-established contests. Be sure to do your homework: Darlene advises against contests with high entry fees or that lack clear criteria. If you can, research the judges for the contest. If you win an award, it can give definitely give you valuable exposure and open doors. You can add an award sticker or seals to your book cover; this will help persuade book stores to carry it. Publicity announcing winners of local, national or international book awards can also trigger Google Alerts and attract attention from both industry pros and readers. Indie Book Awards, Writers Digest Book Awards, USA Best Book Awards Reader’s Favorites, and International Best Book Award (sponsored by USA Book News) are a few major contests that have prestige value. There are also legitimate regional and local book contests.
Bravo, Darlene for fulfilling your dream! And write on!