What Role Do Influencers Play?

 

One of the services a traditional publisher provides is working with authors in regard to getting publicity about books through word of mouth. This piece of the publicity puzzle is more important for trade books than for mass market books because they fit into an established line and are less author-focused than trade books. Trade books rely more on author identity and brand recognition to be successful. This is why traditional publishers ask writers to provide lists of influencers for their books.

Who Might Be Influencers?

Often after you are contracted, the publisher will ask the author for a list of influencers. In return for spreading the word about your book, many publishers will provide a copy to the influencer free of charge. Already your agent has insisted that you include a list of potential endorsers in your proposal. Chances are good that not all of your potential endorsers were asked for formal endorsements, so begin with the remaining friends who already know you, like your writing, and support you in your career. When asked for a larger list, choose wisely. Most likely you’re a member of a writers’ organization such as The American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, Romance Writers of America, or other organizations that offer you a network of potential readers. Choose people who will be willing to post reviews on Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Barnes and Noble, and other sites to get visitors excited about your book. Also consider popular bloggers and book reviewers who have demonstrated an interest in and love for the type of book you write and include them as well.

What If I Am Asked to Be An Influencer?

If an author asks you to be an influencer, don’t accept unless you have a proclivity to like the type of story the author writes and you can really get behind the author’s work. One author I know asked people not to post a review of her work unless they could give it five stars. Sometimes this is not an option and you are asked to review the book regardless. If you must review a book you thought you would love, but turned out to be disappointing, be sure not to trash the book, the editor, the publisher, or the author. Even if you never intend to write books yourself or ask a return of favor, trashing anyone’s work is simply bad form. Every book is published because a group of people found the work meritorious. Do your best to find something positive to say about the book. But don’t lie!

In our publishing industry, we are all striving to serve the Lord with our best. By agreeing to be inflluencers for the work of others, and by taking the responsibility seriously and with kindness, God’s kingdom will be glorified. Happy reading!

Your Turn:

Did a negative review ever keep you from buying a book? Have you ever been an influencer?

Leave a Comment

Threads in the Fabric (Part three)

Wednesday again! The days go by so fast this time of year! Well, my office Corgi, Mr. Kirby, and I are happy to welcome you inside once again.

Last week we visited the kitchen. Today, let’s meander into the main office, where, no surprise, you’ll see bookcase after bookcase, all overflowing. Oh, I try to decorate and straighten, but more and more I’m embracing the chaos. I’m persuaded true bibliophiles are seldom organized because there are always more books than shelves! And when you consider that I’ve been in publishing for more than 30 years, you KNOW I’ve got an abundance of books. And what a happy abundance that is!

Read More

News You Can Use – Dec. 13, 2011

Paying Authors More Might be in the Best Interest of Publishers – Mike Shatzkin is a really smart guy and every published writer will want to read every part of this 2,300 word article. Brilliant.

The Twelve Most Dangerous Words for Writers – A provocative title. Worth reading and thinking it through.

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity – I know I shouldn’t have enjoyed this article but I did!

When You Have to Choose a Pen Name – This author was told by her publisher it was in her best interest.

20 Reasons Why You Should NOT Use Social Media – Clever article by Jeff Bullas

An 8-year-old Teaches Persuasive Writing – Inspired by the movie “Miracle on 34th Street”

Behind the Numbers at Google – Infographic from BusinessMBA.org

Read More

The Superiority of Christian Romance Novels

A dedicated reader of the blog (Thank you!) posed an excellent question in response to a recent post:

 Recently, I heard a female Christian marriage counselor/speaker say that women should avoid Christian romance books. She stated there was no such thing as Christian romance. Since she was speaking on the topic of pornography, I assumed she was referring to fiction that leads the reader’s mind where it ought not to go. In my opinion, most romantic Christian fiction does not fall into that category.

My question for you: How would you respond if someone told you Christian romance was sinful, or that there was no such thing? Has that happened to you before?

Last week I responded to the idea that there is no such thing as Christian romance. “Christian Romance – Fact or Fiction?

Read More

Threads in the Fabric (Part Two)

As promised last week, during this Christmas season, I want to share with you all the immeasurable gifts I’ve found in the wondrous world of words. So…

Welcome to my office!

The entrance is, as you can see, humble. But what delights I find inside! So let’s slip past my four-legged greeters (Kirby, our Corgi is welcoming you in today), to the first room, which holds not only a table for work and conversation, fellowship and study, but one of the most important elements of my office: the coffee corner! I start each day here, brewing some special creation that will not only energize me for work but fills my office with the delectable fragrance of dark-roasted coffee.

Read More

News You Can Use – Dec. 6, 2011

Is Amazon a “Ruthless Money-Making Devil”? – James Daunt, UK bookseller extraordinaire, makes a bold claim

Five Tips on Writing…from the Grinch – Fun article for the Christmas Season

EMI is sold! – Music giant will be split in half and sold to Universal and Sony. Yes it is the music industry but it would have the same impact if one of the Big Six were split up and sold. Further consolidation in the media world. The sale includes their Christian label which includes Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman.

23 Questions to Ask Your Novel – A fantastic exercise to go through after you’ve typed “The End.”

How Many Christmases Until We See a Whole New Industry? – Mike Shatzkin asks some great questions about the future of Publishing

An Excuse for Plagerism? – Quentin Rowan blames his plagerism on his addiction. Personal responsibility never crosses his mind. “I lost my job in the Brooklyn bookstore where I was a part-owner, my beautiful girlfriend left me (and the apartment we were going to share), and my future in the only field I know anything about, books, came to ignominious end.”

On the Future Partnership of Thomas Nelson with HarperCollins – A great interview with Mark Schoenwald, CEO of Thomas Nelson

Read More

Author Accolades – Dec. 5, 2011

We are very pleased to announce that we have two client’s whose books have been named as “The Best Christian Fiction of 2011” by The Library Journal.

Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee’s Forbidden (Center Street) – we represent Tosca

Tracy Higley’s Pompeii: City on Fire (B&H Publishing Group)

Also Debbie Ulrick and Liz Tolsma are part of the Log Cabin Christmas collection of novellas which is #7 on the ECPA Fiction bestseller list for December.

Congratulations to all!

Read More

Christian Romance — Fact or Fiction?

In response to a recent blog post, “A Matter of Taste,”  a reader asked what I would say if someone claimed there is no such thing as Christian romance.

In fact, I have been confronted with this question before. At a Christian writers’ conference a few years ago, a woman told me in a snide manner that romance is a “fantasy” and walked away before I could respond. I felt especially sad that the woman was no doubt a fellow Christian, but it sounded like it had come from a jaded secularist. I believe this woman’s attitude reflects her own experience rather than the state of Christian publishing. True, not all real life endings are happy, and Christian romance novels traditionally end with the premise that the couple will enjoy a bright future. That is the hope and promise these books offer. Indeed, isn’t that the hope and promise of weddings in real life?

The Lord never promised Christians perfect unions. My heart aches for anyone in a miserable marriage. Hurt people hurt people, so no amount of convincing will change some minds about romance. But God is bigger than any situation, and He heals willing hearts.

Read More