It’s Tuesday again, and I’ve managed to momentarily tear myself away from the lobster et al to pen this column. Hope everyone had been faring well!
Ever since my first novel was published a few years ago now, I’ve belonged to several forums and Facebook groups, both in the UK and the US. While they’re undoubtedly chock full of great information (Kindleboards, in particular) and lots of lovely, friendly people who are great fun to connect with, I often wonder . . . does posting there – bumping my novel threads, etcetera – really help boost sales?
In the beginning, I religiously frequented these forums and groups, trying my best to not only bump my threads when allowed (some forums, like KIndleboards, only allow you do so within certain time-frames) but also to interact and show a consistent presence. However, I became rapidly discouraged as my meagre attempts were buried in the avalanche of other authors attempting the same thing. The one place I did seem to have success was the relatively newly formed Kindle Users’ Forum (UK), whose members hadn’t quite reached saturation point with author promo and who were genuinely interested in reading and reviewing my books.
Like anything when it comes to promotion, I believe forums and groups work best when interactions are genuine and not purely promotional shout-outs. But are forums really the ideal place for authors to do this? How do we find the readers, and not just get lumped in with the multitudes of writers frequenting the site? Are these sites too big now to really make an impact?
Have you found forums helpful in helping to drive sales and connect with readers? If so, what strategies and techniques have you used?