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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Building readership at a walking pace

Sybil's comment and Julie's reply in my blog about Latest Romance stats made me going looking to find out more about Debbie Macomber and her publishing history.
This year she celebrates 25 years of being published and all with Harlequin. However, it is only within the last few years that she has become the household name that she is.
In June 2006, Publishers' Weekly did an article on the selling of Debbie Macomber and it makes for interesting reading. It was quite clear in my mind when I read that article that the vast majority of the Reader Outreach programme had come from Debbie and from her heart. She believes that a readership is built reader by reader. Harlequin in the aritcle estimated that Debbie has a core readership of 200,000 who can be counted on to buy everything she writes.
Things Debbie does to reach out to readers include a regular newsletter, an annual posted newsletter, maintaining a blog and a website. She has also created several knitting pattern books. But when she first started, she was not tipped as a star. She was simply a Silhouette series writer. It all came from her and her desire to reach out to readers. And if you visit her website, it does show.


The other key consistent is that she has kept the quality of her writing up. Paula Eykelhof has been her editor for over 20 years and I would assume has given her quality editing.


Personally I like the term -- Reader Outreach rather than PR. It is the readers who are important, in particular that special subset of readers that love and adore an author's work.


On that note, A Christmas Wedding Wager has gone on sale at eharlequin both in print and as an ebook. In my November and December newsletters, there will be some of the recipes from the book including the recipe for Mrs Charlton's Lambswool Punch and Emma Harrison's mincemeat pies.

1 comment:

Donna Alward said...

Did you write this post just for me?

LOL

Thanks...and definitely something I needed to hear today.