What tools are an author’s best friend when it comes to reaching readers?
As a reader, a website is what draws me in first and foremost. If I read a new author and enjoy their work, the first thing I do is go on a website hunt. I love to learn about authors and their journeys, both to publication and the day-to-day, as much as their books. When I am at the site, I will often sign up for a newsletter. I may also visit a blog, but am not all that likely to revisit.
Newsletters tend to be my big draw as they come directly to my inbox, no searching or clicking required. I can easily save them for whenever I have time to read them. Whereas, blogs require remembering to revisit a site and check it frequently for updates. If I had more time, this wouldn’t be a big thing, but with such little time, I generally forget to check them. As for content, excerpts and contests are both a big plus. Combining the two works great, as it requires a reader to check out an author’s new work with the incentive of a reward for doing so. I know many readers enjoy bookmarks, but I tend to lose them or my children end up swiping them as toys, so I don’t pick them up all that often.
As an author, I maintain both a newsletter and contests. You can join my newsletter, Passion Press, by sending a blank email to: PassionPress-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com. I both run separate contests through the newsletter, then also do individual web ones each month at: www.jodilynncopeland.com/contests.html. In addition, I send out bookmarks, signed cover flats, etc. through periodic goodie mailings. Readers can sign up for the goodie list by sending an email with your snail mail address to: Readers@jodilynncopeland.com.