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My First Literary Festival

By marilynbennett, May 1 2017 06:58PM

I went to my first Literary Festival last week and I really enjoyed it. It was great to see and hear from authors that I'd heard of and whose work I'd read, in the flesh. There were various panel discussions about really interesting bookish things, but the one that really grabbed me was a discussion about finding audiences. It most probably caught my attention because it's something that I am grappling with myself at present.

I came away from the session with further confirmation that those with significantly more experience than me are in the same position and not necessarily much clearer on the best route. I found it quite interesting that there wasn't much discussion about book bloggers. It strikes me (and with my limited experience I could be wrong) that book bloggers are possible the cornerstone to reaching audiences. I'm following 90,000 of them on Twitter becuase they lurve books. I am very keen to understand what they are reading, why they choose that particular book and how they rate it. For me, bloggers are my starting point to finding an audience and testing my own books because at the beginning, middle and end of the day they are passionate readers. It also helps no end that they are open, super supportive and friendly. What more could I ask for?

I've had four reviews from bloggers in April. Fingers crossed, it has been so far, so great. I know it's not many, but it makes a huge difference to me. I don't have a big publishing machine behind me to hype my book as if it's the second coming of Jesus, but in a literary form, or previous book sales that can rely on readers automatic tried and tested loyalty. Right now, it's just me and this story and I've decided it's ok to gatecrash this book party, rather than hoping to be invited. I hope this means that when people read my book and tell me they like it, they mean it. So rock on May, I have a few more reviews to trickle in and I hope they will continue to be positive, because it's truly wonderful to know that people connect with and like my book.

So another first was accomplished this month. I blocked a follower on Twitter. I didn't think I would have to block people, such is my continued social media naivety, but when I opened the twitter profile to view their tweets and hopefully a website, I was met with images of male genitalia. What the blazes I thought. I foolishly scrolled down to find literary tweets in the hope of justiffying why this person had followed me, but the feed just got more pornographic, so I blocked them. I'm guessing that the title of my book prompted this person to follow me. It's quite evident from my timeline that there are no posts of senior citizens getting their groove on, but I have to recognise that my chosen title is quite suggestive. So now I know how to block!

Onwards, sidewards and hopefully upwards!

Disclaimer: I'm middle aged, so increasingly suffer from fine print intolerance! Please forgive any typo's.

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