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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Desire Paths, Part II—Getting People to Follow You in a Digital Age

Last week I wrote about Desire Paths, those pathways that people create to get to what they love. I suggest you view the excellent presentation by Mike Arauz on this idea:

The big question for authors is how can we create Desire Paths in a digital media age? How do we influence readers to beat a path to our door? We must develop promotional activities which attract those readers who would love/enjoy/need/want our books.

1. We must focus on our readers not on ourselves.

It’s not about talking about ourselves! Leonard Pitts wrote this article suggesting that Twitter was a tool for the self-interested, self-absorbed few:

And he got it wrong, because he misunderstands the way most of us are using Twitter. It’s not all about me—and I know it. I “tweet” and give my followers “journaling prompts” which is a term I created years ago to help scrapbookers write more in their memory albums. Essentially a journaling prompt is a sentence stem which encourages a writer to blast through dreaded “writer’s block” by finishing the thought!

How can you give your readers what they want? First, you have to know who your readers are and then you have to…LISTEN. Yep. Amazing. Let me give you an example. A month ago, I was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio by Circle of Seven’s David Ewen. I was at a scrapbook crop during the interview, so David and I decided we should let my readers talk about my book. You know what my readers said? “Kiki Lowenstein is just like ME.” This wasn’t surprising because fans had written me to say the same.

So what do my readers want? I asked them. They loved the fact Kiki wasn’t perfect. They loved that she was slightly overweight. That she had problems with her child and her in-laws. They adored her women friends and her dog. And of course, many of my readers loved it that she scrapbooks.

2. We must get noticed.

In my next blog post next Monday, I’ll talk about how you can get noticed—and I’ll point out easy ways to make sure you do!

PS Make sure you are following me because you won't want to miss this post.

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