One of the nice things about social media is that even though we writers are supposed to be selling ourselves — or at least our books — all the time, it’s actually nice to be surprised that it works without trying sometimes.
I had a couple of unexpected nice moments this week: someone who read one of my releases, liked it and now wants to interview me. Yay! That’s easy enough to do and I’m always happy to be interviewed and of course, to hear pleasant things about my writing.
More difficult was someone who DM’d me on Twitter, said she wanted to read something of mine (presumably having liked what I had to say online) so what should she read.
Argh — I don’t know!
It depends. This was actually someone responding to my given name as a writer, so I had to say, “Well, what do you like? I write in a lot of genres.” Because I do — I now write under four completely different names largely to distinguish genres (crime, historical romance, erotic romance and then everything-under-the-sun genre-hopping craziness).
There’s a lot to choose from, so I didn’t know what to say. I pointed her to my handy bibliography with pull down, genre-specific menus, but thinking about it in retrospect I wonder if I shouldn’t have been — as they say in the business — more “pro-active” and asked her more useful questions. Like what? “What sort of genres do you like?” just gave me a similarly general answer of pretty much everything but “chick lit” which didn’t narrow things down much.
What would be good questions to ask? If someone wants recommendations from “Margery” then I just mention my latest couple of releases, but even among erotic romance fans there are lots of sub genres. So how best to identify what a reader might like? Have you had good luck with pinpointing tastes? I don’t want to disappoint people on the first try!
I guess I’m just not good at selling myself.