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The Craft > Successful Q&A Groups

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message 1: by Patrick (last edited Mar 16, 2010 03:04PM) (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Has anybody hosted an Author Q&A group that they felt was particularly successful (either in attracting new readers to your work or in deepening your relationship with the readers you already had)? If so, what made it so successful? How did you promote it (on the site or off)?


message 2: by M. (new)

M. Kei (kujakupoet) | 5 comments I'd like to participate in a group Q & A. I think that several authors with similar works or on the same topic could make for some interesting discussions. Sort of a panel discussion online, as it were. It would also help expose readers to other authors they might find interesting, and hopefully pick up more readers for all of us.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd participate in a group Q&A because I enjoy the interaction. I don't know about the success rate. Just looking over the different group divisions and then individual groups here, it's a lot to wade through. And a lot of competition for attention.

The Q&A group can be promoted on the participating authors' websites with date and time, along with inviting people, but at GOODREADS only members can join discussions.

As for on site, keep talking and get ranked in the most active, I suppose.

I don't know if that helps, Patrick, but you know what, we three have started a Q&A group with this discussion. lol


message 4: by Louann (new)

Louann Carroll (louann_carroll) | 4 comments I think that's a fabulous idea. Count me in.


message 5: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments That's a terrific idea! I think each author would benefit from exposure to the other authors' friends and fans, too. That way you're not just talking to the people who have already read your book, but you're attracting new readers, as well.

The only hangups I see is how such a group would be initially organized. I guess one of the authors would have to take it upon his or herself to get the ball rolling and ask a few fellow authors to participate. Does anybody have further thoughts on this?


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Do you know about "Blog tours"? It's where reviewers read an author's book then post their reviews all on the same day. The author then visits each blog site and leaves a comment.

We could do something similar. Pick a date and topic and we each post a blog then the other authors can post comments. We each promote the others sites, blog, etc. Corporate world call it "Networking." :)

Mind you, I'm just starting since my book was just released in January so I only have a few followers on my blog.

http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.b...

As for Goodreads, we're keeping our Q&A going by just what we're doing.

So for starters, I write YA fantasy. Although I've written for children's tv in the past. What do you write?


message 7: by Louann (new)

Louann Carroll (louann_carroll) | 4 comments Hi, Shawn. I'm doing a blog tour now and my release date was just a few weeks ago. I just got notification from a reviewer that she LOVED MY BOOK. I am so excited! I would recommend this for everyone and yes, I like your idea.

Patrick, I will think about this over the weekend. Something might be hatching in my brain... I'm not sure if that's a scary thing or not.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Great, Louann!! My blog tour is scheduled for the end of April. Although I've gotten great reviews posted on Amazon and other sites. And it is exciting to hear how much people enjoy the book. I was nervous and wondered if anyone outside my daughter and her friends would like it. :)

Looking forward to hear what you come up with.


message 9: by Janice (new)

Janice Daugharty (goodreadscomjanice_daugharty) | 4 comments Will someone explain what a "blog tour" is. I've been published since 1994 and have done many book tours but never a "blog" tour. Curious, Janice Daugharty


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Blog tour is where a certain number of people who review books and have a blog, agree to read and post their review of a book on a certain day.

My publicist doesn't do YA blog tours very often and was surprised by the response to my book - 26 in less than 4 hours. The last time I heard it was over 40 bloggers who have agreed to read ALLON and post reviews on Friday, April 30th. During the day, I will visit each URL and leave a comment or answer any questions.


message 11: by Janice (new)

Janice Daugharty (goodreadscomjanice_daugharty) | 4 comments Thanks so much, Shawn. But where do you sign up for this? Janice


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

My publicist has arranged it through her contacts. There could be other resources online, I suppose.


message 13: by Janice (new)

Janice Daugharty (goodreadscomjanice_daugharty) | 4 comments Thanks, Shawn. I don't have a publicist but I will ask my publisher; she has a good understanding of how this works. Good luck with your book; my most recent is YA, my one and only. Janice


message 14: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardgtalbot) A blog tour can actually be way beyond just reviewers. The basic goal is to spread the word either all at once or over a short period of time. Really, anyone with a blog with an audience that might be interested in the book is a potential site for one stop on the blog tour. The most likely blogs for blog tours are often not reviewers but other authors. Often what you will do is guest blog on those sites. You probably want to write some blocks of content and use different combinations of them for each blog post so you don't have to write each one from scratch each time.

if you have a publicist, that of course can help, but if not, the concept is pretty simple. Find blogs you think are appropriate and contact the blogger. Obviously blogs with huge traffic may be more selective, but I think you'll find a lot of positive responses, especially from other authors. I know that I'd be more than happy to have just about any author blog at my site as part of their blog tour.


message 15: by Janice (new)

Janice Daugharty (goodreadscomjanice_daugharty) | 4 comments Thanks, Edward. I too would be willing for authors to blog on my website. www.janicedaugharty.com


message 16: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Rockwell (par2323) | 1 comments As far as blog tours go, I maintain two blogs (although not specifically book related) and if anyone is interested in making a stop on your tour by either one, please let me know. My blogs are:

http://subjectivesoup.blogspot.com
http://communicationexchange.blogspot...


message 17: by Ralph Gallagher (new)

Ralph Gallagher | 33 comments I have my book related blog, The Dancing Dove, and I'd be more than happy to host on author on a blog tour!

http://dancing-dove.blogspot.com/


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I had my blog tour last Friday - April 30th - and I'm not sure what to make of it. 40 were scheduled to participate. It's a lot to digest and process at one time. Not to mention it happened the SAME weekend we had all the rain and epic flooding here in Nashville.

The rain started while I was visiting the blogs and leaving comments and thank yous, but that soon took a back seat to the rain, tornadoes and flooding.

Noah's Ark, anyone? :)

Seriously, it got REALLY bad here and the clean-up is going to be massive. I don't know why the national media has been slow to report it. I did some update on my blog. Or if you're really interest go to Channel 4's website for GREAT coverage. Kudos to Nashville's Mayor and all government officials for a job well done.

http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.b...

http://www.wsmv.com/fatalfloods/index...


message 19: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 86 comments Many review sites and PR companies organize paid blog tours.

One of the least costly is run by
http://goddessfish.com (their promotions division).

For those tours, authors with active blogs sign up to host a guest that appeals to them/their following. The touring author offers a variety of interviews and entertaining/instructive topics.

One of the most professional and upmarket is run by Penny Sansevieri from her Author Marketing Expert site
http://amarketingexpert.com


message 20: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 86 comments Patrick wrote: "Has anybody hosted an Author Q&A group that they felt was particularly successful (either in attracting new readers to your work or in deepening your relationship with the readers you already had)?..."

I'd like to invite everyone to join the "Authors Without A Yacht" Q and A group.

We're not getting a lot of Qs from readers, but we have plenty of As from authors.

The group is intended to chat in a friendly, fascinating and peaceable manner about what copyright is, and how ebook piracy and ebook sharing is by no means a victimless activity.

From an author-author point of view, I'd like to say that it is successful, but maybe I can't see the wood for the trees.

Now, Patrick, that you've put the advertising program on my radar, I am seriously toying with the idea of advertising Authors Without A Yacht.


message 21: by Yz the Whyz (last edited Jun 08, 2010 07:25AM) (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 1 comments Hi! I'm not an author, but I'm the creator and moderator of an active Goodreads group called Romance Readers Reading Challenges group.

We have recently launched a new folder called Ask an Author, Win a Book, which is a combination Q&A and giveaway event. We are currently on a our second week, and so far both our author and our members are enjoying the interaction.

Just to give an idea on how it is done, here is a link to the one that is currently going on:
Example
Guidelines

Just thought I'll share. :)


message 22: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Doolittle I'm hosting a Q&A on Nov. 1 to 13. I've sent invitations to my email list, friends at GR and I'm inviting the readers who have my book on their To-Read shelf. Obviously we won't be just discussing my book but a range of topics related to mysteries. I have 10 participants so far.

Here is the link to join:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/invite...

Erin, could you tell us a bit more about your Q&A?


message 23: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (httpgoodreadscomelaine_chaika) I appreciate being included, mysteries and spy stories are two genres I never read. I did resd Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor because it was sent to me because I'm an Early Reviewer for Library Thing. I did like that a lot, and bought his famous Roth trilogy and I'm finding it unreadable. Perhaps when you have another topic.


message 24: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 9 comments Nadine wrote: "I'm hosting a Q&A on Nov. 1 to 13. I've sent invitations to my email list, friends at GR and I'm inviting the readers who have my book on their To-Read shelf. Obviously we won't be just discussing ..."
Nadine - how did you invite readers who have your book on their To-Read shelf? Did you contact each one individually? I've posted a Q&A on my site that is going nowhere but I feel many of the readers interested in my book would probably have something to add to it. Thanks!


message 25: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Doolittle Hi Patricia,

I visited each individual that added my book, and clicked on the link on their page that says Send Message. I invited all who were taking messages, some are not. Goodreads will alert you when you've sent enough for one day (to protect users from spam). Depending on how many people you want to reach, it may take you a few days. I added maybe 8 new participants to the Q&A.
Best of luck!
Nadine


message 26: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 9 comments Thanks a lot Nadine. I wasn't sure if that was allowed. I'll give it a go.


message 27: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments It's allowed, but not encouraged. Some users will dislike it and feel they are being spammed.


message 28: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Doolittle Oh that's interesting. Really? Because I received an invitation to attend a Q&A with Margaret Atwood. I assumed it was because I had read one of her books. I have no idea who was issuing the invitation. Was that spam? I accepted and the link did join me to the Q&A so it was a legitimate invitation.


message 29: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Nadine, I believe the invitation to join the Margaret Atwood group came from Goodreads, not the author.


message 30: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments . . . and GR gets some complaints about those messages, since some users view them as spam. ;)

Please note: I didn't say that Goodreads views either as spam, just that some users do so. So it is a cost-benefit question, like many thing.


message 31: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 9 comments Nadine wrote: "Hi Patricia,

I visited each individual that added my book, and clicked on the link on their page that says Send Message. I invited all who were taking messages, some are not. Goodreads will aler..."

Hello Nadine - Just to let you and others know that I took your advice and sent a brief thanks to each member who added my book to their shelf. I received many very pleasant responses in return and no complaints. It still didn't generate activity on my Q&A but c'est la vie! I think it was worthwhile communication and why not say thank you!?! I'm receiving great local feedback on The Bridge Club so I look forward to reviews from more distant readers. Cheers!


Petra in Cancun being tortured by a dentist (petra-x) I haven't seen posts from you before Patricia, but just now the title of your book (my late mother was a national bridge champion) intrigued me enough that I ordered it for my bookshop. It sounds really interesting.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

M. wrote: "I'd like to participate in a group Q & A. I think that several authors with similar works or on the same topic could make for some interesting discussions. Sort of a panel discussion online, as it ..."

As a thriller writer, I'm learning a lot from readers in the Mystery & Thriller group...what they like is what I want to keep writing!! Liam www.terminalpolicy.com


message 34: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 9 comments Petra X wrote: "I haven't seen posts from you before Patricia, but just now the title of your book (my late mother was a national bridge champion) intrigued me enough that I ordered it for my bookshop. It sounds ..."
Hi Petra
I'm a relatively new member of Goodreads so am just getting involved but love the site. The exchange of information between writers and readers is amazing. Finding the time to process it all is another story! In fact I was reading some exchanges of yours earlier this evening (just don't ask me exactly where ...). I'm going to send you a private message so I don't blather on about my book here. I'm in Florida right now as it being exhibited in the iUniverse Gallery at the Miami Book Fair this weekend. Very exciting! Cheers, Patricia
Cheers, Patricia


message 35: by Beth (new)

Beth | 11 comments I have a question. I'm reactivating my Q&A group that's been dormant since 2009, to publicize my March, 2011 release. I've posted a few discussion topics in the group lately, but on the "recent updates from your groups" page on my own Goodreads page, only old topics from 2009 are shown. Is that the case for all the people who are members of the group? Why don't my new discussion topics show up? What can I do to make them show up?

My group is: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...


message 36: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments Beth wrote: "Is that the case for all the people who are members of the group?"

No, just for you, because you posted them. You will only see OTHER people's posts as new activity.


message 37: by Beth (new)

Beth | 11 comments Ah, thanks Rivka! So hopefully when readers start posting to the group, I'll see the new discussions.


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