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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you know, there have been a number of threads recently discussing various issues related to authors posting here on KB, sort of a "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" kind of thing. I'm not going to claim I've got a solution for everything, but here's something I plan on doing myself, and I urge other authors to at least consider it. You may or may not agree, but it's at least something to think about.

So: I've decided that instead of having a separate thread to try and promote each of my books separately, I'm going to set up an author thread (called something like "Books by Author Michael R. Hicks" or something equally creative <cough, cough>) that is intended to help readers find my books and give them a bit of info to see if they'd like to know more without deluging the boards with a bunch of "ads."

The first post is going to contain all my books and anything I want people to know about them up front, and maybe a little bit about me if they care (or maybe something about our Siberian cats, just because people seem to be drawn to the furry critters and the thread will get more exposure that way - LOL!). Then I plan to have at least one link in my signature point back to this thread, and I'm going to ask the mods to lock all the other book-specific threads of mine except for the ones to the book klub (which I consider sort of a separate thing). The existing content will still be available for people to view, but they won't be able to post to those threads (and so can't bump them up). So my "promotional existence" on the board will mainly be contained in a single thread (I'd like to point out that this is pretty much what Boyd Morrison did, and his thread has gotten a lot of views).

While it technically gives less potential exposure (one thread total vs. one for each of however many books), I think something like this would go a long way toward reducing the annoyance factor that authors have been injecting into the KB community experience. And, as Greg Banks pointed out in another thread, managing the volume of promotional threads is an issue, and this would be an effective way to help deal with it. Consider: I think the KB community might appreciate having 100 authors = 100 threads, rather than 100 authors = 100 x however many books, with everybody watching the clock to bump their threads every 7 days (which I personally really hate doing).

Now, sure, if a reader wants to start a thread on a book and tell everybody that they thought it was the greatest thing (or, heaven forbid, the worst), that's different, because it's reader-driven. And the same goes for the revised rules for the bargain books and so on: we, as authors, shouldn't be in there plugging our stuff, anyway - those should be books that readers are recommending to other. Of course, we, as authors, are also readers: if you want to plug a favorite bargain book, as long as it's not your own, you're more than welcome to. Most of us originally came here first as readers, not as authors. I think if we keep that distinction in mind, things will go a lot easier.

Anyway, that's what I plan to do. That will also make things easier in a way for me, because that means I'll only have one thread to keep track of for updating information on new or revised titles and so on (although I plan to minimize gratuitous bumps, regardless - I'm hoping that interested readers will help do that for me)...
 

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I am not an author, but it appears to be a very good idea to me.
 

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kreelanwarrior said:
I've decided that instead of having a separate thread to try and promote each of my books separately, I'm going to set up an author thread (called something like "Books by Author Michael R. Hicks" or something equally creative <cough, cough>) that is intended to help readers find my books and give them a bit of info to see if they'd like to know more without deluging the boards with a bunch of "ads."
I've been doing that all along, out of simple courtesy to others here. The KB powers have been kind to authors in ways other forums seldom if ever are, and I'd like to ensure it continues.

As my own single thread notes, I'm running a sale that ends tomorrow, so I might bump it ONLY today if it gets pushed to the second page, and ONLY once, unless some kind fan saves me the trouble. :D

CK
 

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I think I only have one thread for all my books, other than ones someone else has started. I'm very uneasy about shoving my stuff down peoples' throats, but I don't have a problem with "Hey, I wrote these, please don't tell me they're horrible or I WILL CRY." I don't think I've even bumped it...perhaps I should? :::shrugs:::

The only problem I see with having only one thread per author is that there are some writes who have a huge personal catalog of their works, and some of their work might get lost or overlooked when it's all thrown together.

It works for me, though. I have no desire to keep track of eight different threads for my books; I barely keep track of one.
 

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I think it's a good idea.  I would like to try it for my works, although I'm not sure how to start.  Do I take one thread and keep it, merging the others into it?  How would you do that?  Or do I start a whole new thread and discard the others?
 

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I think it's an excellent idea! I would suggest a couple of things to get it started.

1. Each author with more than one Kindle book currently starts a new thread. For authors with only one book currently, I don't see the point in starting a new thread right now. They can do that later, if and when they publish a second book.

2. Each author's thread have a specific subject format, such as: "The Works of Author Greg Banks", or however people think it's best phrased.

3. Each author starts off the thread with the books they have published now, but they are free to post to the thread when they have updates or new books to offer, using the same guidelines already in place now. The author could edit the original post to add the new book to the list or make price changes, etc., but still allow authors to add a new post to the thread now and then.
 

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In case you did not see it, Mike, I took your idea and ran with it soon after you mentioned it to me yesterday, although it looks as if I should have titled the post with my name instead of my tagline. I think it's one of the best ideas I have seen on this board!

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,9245.0.html
 

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I wish I had read that about twenty minutes ago! I just signed up to promote one of my stories, and have four others to do the same with. I'll let my first promotion get lost in the boards after a day or two and then go with your system. Great plan!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey, all -

Great ideas (and I was glad to contribute something useful - ;D  ). Here are a couple others, spinning off of some that y'all  already came up with:

- If you only have one book/promo thread already, you can just rename the thread and revise the first post (maybe just add in your "bibliography" at the top of the original post or something). You don't have to, but it's an option. And if you just want to start completely fresh, I don't think anyone will complain!

- I agree with Greg that it would probably be nice to have a semi-standard format for the thread title. They don't have to be cookie cutter, but obviously include your name, specify that you're an author, and also I think it would be smart to mention the genre(s) that you specialize in. That will help readers browsing the boards focus on authors that write the sorts of books they enjoy most.

- For existing threads, you can either just let them go stale or have the mods lock them. I think I'm going to do the latter, because I'd like to be able to point folks visiting my "author thread" to some of the existing content in the other threads, but don't want people to post to them and bump them anymore.

- For the authors who have a lot of books, well, I think the trick there - like with the rest of us - is to be actively engaged in the KB community. Make sure to put a link in your signature back to your author thread so people can find your KB bibliography, and people will. And once they're there, the first post will have all your works listed, so everything will be at the readers' fingertips!

- I'm hoping that what we might see out of this is *more* reader interest, because we'll make it a lot easier for readers to find out more about us as authors, not just about our current book sale. And as readers find authors they like, they'll know how to find their threads to check for any updates and get involved in discussions of current projects, etc.  ;D
 

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I know this is really for the writers on the board, but I just have to say you guys are great. Wonderful ideas and great suggestions. I for one will be watching the Book Bazaar much more and when looking for a new book it will be the first place I go.
 

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As an author who, up until a month ago, only had one book for sale, I had been pondering exactly the best strategy to introduce my new books to other members on this site without having to create individual threads for every one of them. The solution I came up with was very similar to Kreelan's. I figured when my sale on The Legend of Witch Bane had ended, I would change the title of my thread and introduce my new books there. However, the thread has already shaped itself into one that does not necessarily favor this strategy. And so, I too, have decided that I would wait until the last day of my book promotion and then create a second thread that will feature all of my books. Not only is it easier to keep track of than multiple threads. It will also make it easier for readers to sort through The Book Bazaar without having to wonder how many threads feature my books.

However, there is one thing no one yet has mentioned. If all of the authors on KindleBoards decide to adopt this technique, the "one bump a week" posting rule will mostly become null and void. There is absolutely no way that an author who has more than one book available will be able to obey that rule when he/she will likely have multiple updates for their books each and every week. By consolidating every book onto one thread, it will force authors to post information on their threads more often than they would if they had separate threads.  With that said, I do believe that this is probably better than the alternative which will inundate this forum with too many threads, especially given the fact that many more authors are likely to swarm to the Boards in the next few months.

One last point, I am not sure it's necessarily a good idea to enforce the one thread rule on every author. In some ways, it could possibly backfire on certain authors especially the ones who have published many books. But even so, I think it is a good idea that many authors should consider for its simplicity, if not practicality.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kevis Hendrickson said:
However, there is one thing no one yet has mentioned. If all of the authors on KindleBoards decide to adopt this technique, the "one bump a week" posting rule will mostly become null and void. There is absolutely no way that an author who has more than one book available will be able to obey that rule when he/she will likely have multiple updates for their books each and every week. By consolidating every book onto one thread, it will force authors to post information on their threads more often than they would if they had separate threads. With that said, I do believe that this is probably better than the alternative which will inundate this forum with too many threads, especially given the fact that many more authors are likely to swarm to the Boards in the next few months.
Kevis -

This is something I think - for now - we can play by ear a bit. I strongly suspect that the KB community at large will be much more tolerant of individual author threads (vice book promo threads) bumping up, particularly when there are reader-author exchanges going on in the thread (which is what we *really* want!). Again, however, we need to be careful not to abuse the privileges we are given here: saying there's "no way" that someone will be able to abide by a rule isn't a route we want to take. Harvey and the mods have consistently demonstrated their willingness to adjust the rules, so if we act responsibly I'm sure they'll be happy to consider changing things. The 7-day rule was put in place because abuses were made; if we prove that there's a good reason to remove it (or put something different in its place), I'm sure they'll be more than happy to do that.

One last point, I am not sure it's necessarily a good idea to enforce the one thread rule on every author. In some ways, it could possibly backfire on certain authors especially the ones who have published many books. But even so, I think it is a good idea that many authors should consider for its simplicity, if not practicality.
Right now this isn't a "rule" - it's something that at least a number of us have decided to do to improve (hopefully!) the author-reader relationship here on KB and make it a richer experience for everyone. I believe that it may, if it works out, become a rule, but for now it's just us chickens trying a new way of doing things (well, some folks have already been doing it, but this is the first time I know of that we've collectively discussed it). I actually don't believe that this approach will hurt anybody, even those with a lot of books. In fact, I believe it will help at least some of them, because having lots of books and individual book threads, and bumping them up once a week, is contributing to the overall problem that's brought us to where we are today.

And here's another idea for Harvey and the mods: it would be a bit of a chore, but perhaps over time it might be possible to add links from the KB authors thread (where Leslie's been keeping a list of all the authors here) to their individual KB bibliography threads. So people browsing there could go direct to the author's biblio thread without hunting around...

Oh, and for what it may be worth, I just added my author thread thingy... 8)
 

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kreelanwarrior said:
And here's another idea for Harvey and the mods: it would be a bit of a chore, but perhaps over time it might be possible to add links from the KB authors thread (where Leslie's been keeping a list of all the authors here) to their individual KB bibliography threads. So people browsing there could go direct to the author's biblio thread without hunting around...
That is a terrific idea. Simple, but effective. I like it!
 

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A lot of good thoughts here that I like.  I only have one book at the moment, but when that changes, I will definitely follow the suggested format. 

Well done, Mike.  :)
 
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