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Saturday, 6 December 2014

PREPARING FOR READ TUESDAY: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.




This applies to any event.
   Yes, even to that episode. You know. Toads raining from the heavens. That one.
   READ TUESDAY began in 2013. Founder Chris McMullen wanted to run a sale day for books in December. But he wanted more than that. He wanted people to talk about reading and writing.
   My response?
   Count me in.
   It isn't enough to host a sale on the day. I blogged, and invited people along. Some were in the sale. Others couldn't make it on the day. At least one writer wasn't published at all.
   I put up posters, so the public could hunt down these scribblers. And I learned a great deal about contacting writers. It's the same thing I learned this year, when I contacted writers all over again.


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So. Scribblers. If you are going to involve yourselves in a writerly event, there are a few things to bear in mind. You may call on others. Others might call on you.
   Run a blog. Published or unpublished, run a blog.
   Or some kind of site.
   Published, run an author page on Amazon.
   In the biography on that Amazon page, list your blog's address - the URL, and mention the blog by name.
   If you publish e-books, put a link to your blog inside the start of your e-books. I mean inside the first 10% of your book, so Amazon's LOOK INSIDE! feature displays your link.
   On your blog, run a dedicated contact page with an e-mail address right there.
   Inside the fabric of your blog, put the same e-mail address under your blog's title. Or near your blog's title, depending on how your service is set up.
   You can throw on an e-mail sign-up widget, a membership form, a comment form, newsletter subscription, a contact gadget...any of those. All of those...
   When I run down a list of authors participating in READ TUESDAY, I want to get people talking about reading and writing. I want to do more than just run a sale, so I have to talk to other writers.
   Writers in the sale must be contactable.
   I'll delve down several layers of the rabbit-hole to reach you. If your Amazon page only lists your Twitter, and it takes that to find your blog, then your contact page, so be it. I'll make the time.
   Dud links don't work for me.
   And, once this year, once last year, suspicious links didn't work for me - my software blocked those.
   Make it easy. This year I had to join some contact service I'd never heard of, just to e-mail several writers. And yes, I'll make the time to join.
   But I want it done and dusted. I don't want to take so long finding you guys that it is done, dusted, and dusty again.
   Last year's slog of allocating five minutes to each author, contacting around 60 writers, was a slog for a reason. This year, once more unto the internet, I allocated another five minutes per scribbler. That's maximum.
   And there were more than 80 to contact this time around.


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Make yourselves readily contactable as authors. We are in the business of communicating information. That means spending as little time as possible in the throes of e-mail hassle, so there's more time for that writing stuff.

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