New Blog Feature–Fridays with Friends
To get more input on my blog, I am starting a new feature this year that I am calling “Fridays with Friends.” Each Friday of the year I will be scheduling a blog by a friend of mine (some I’ve met in person, some cyber-friends!), and I hope this will encourage other friends to post to these new friends, so we all make more friends. It’s like the Girl Scout song–“Make new friends, but keep the old…” And, if you would like to do a guest blog, please let me know and I will add you to the schedule.
Our first Friday Friend Blog is by Jennifer Slattery with info on COTT–Clash Of The Titles! I was very interested as a writer and as a reader in this new site, so hope you will be, too. And hope you will visit that site and her others listed at the end of the email, and if you leave a post for her or me either one and you will be entered in my monthly book drawing.
Clash of the Titles by Jennifer Slattery
About a month ago, I met a local author while Christmas shopping. He and another writer had set up a booth in the middle of a sporting goods store. I always love to connect with other authors, so I stopped to chat and to tell them a bit about Clash of the Titles. It didn’t take long for the man to share his frustrations with the writing industry. Like many new authors, he’d dreamt his first book would hit it big, earning high royalties. It hadn’t, and he blamed his publishing company, saying they’d promoted it for a while, then dropped it flat.
Sadly, that’s reality. Publishers have to make money, and new books sell. Old titles, not so much. And even new books have to share the lime light with dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of other newly released titles. Which means, to be successful, authors need to learn how to generate their own sales.
Clash of the Titles, a literary website designed to connect readers with new, and often, emerging, authors, is here to help. Every month, we highlight four competing writers through fun, reader-led contests. This provides two week’s worth of continual exposure for our competitors and allows readers to nibble on a wide variety of books and genres.
Here’s how it works. On the first Monday of a new clash, two anonymous excerpts are posted on our site. Then, readers are given an opportunity to vote for their favorite. Once voting closes, the authors are revealed and winners are announced. The rest of the clash is spent chatting with the authors as we get to know more about them and their books. At the end of the two weeks, two readers are randomly selected to receive a free book. It has been a lot of fun to see readers and authors connect through fun competitions and interactive interviews. Our authors have been greatly encouraged by reader comments.
I have to admit, our success has far exceeded our expectations. Numerous authors have commented on the tremendous amount of publicity Clash of the Titles participation has generated. Obviously this publicity is partially due to the cyber-exposure, but I believe the uniqueness of our site plays a huge role. We are unlike any other contest authors might participate in because winners are selected not based on sales (which is largely due to shelf placement and an effective publicity team) or technical writing rules, but instead, on reader opinion. And it’s more than the results of an impersonal survey. It’s a close, interactive time of literary celebration. One of our authors said she felt COTT was like a family. Increased reader-author closeness is exactly what we aim for! We connect readers and authors on a deeper level than many other author-highlighting sites because we encourage two-way dialogue. Readers ask authors questions and provide comments, and authors ask readers questions. It’s really a lot of fun!
And yet, it’s so much more! Entertainment is great, but eternally impacting entertainment is even better. Each Clash of the Titles staff member is very passionate about Christian fiction and we do all we can to help expand the Christian fiction market. To us, it’s a ministry and a mission. Because Christian fiction points readers to the Divine Author, we believe our efforts have an eternal impact.
Next Friday Assistant Editor, Michelle Massaro will talk more about this when she shares her passion for Christian fiction with you. In the meantime, come visit us at http://www.clashofthetitles.com. There’s still time to vote, and win a free book!
My bio: Jennifer Slattery is a novelist, columnist and freelance writer living in Kansas City, MO with her husband of 15 years and their 13 year old daughter. Visit http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com to read great devotions that inspire, challenge and equip and follow her weekly column, Heart and Home, at http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com