Thursday Tips From Laura Kostad

I’m Laura Kostad, the second place winner in the 2009 Summer Writing Competition. Like many of you, I was just a beginning user on BookRix on June 23, 2009, hoping that my one short story would be noticed amongst all the rest. One month later and I am now a relatively well-known user. Initially, I was enticed by the “Web To Reality” competition and planned to participate in that. (I still don’t have a book finished to enter.) However, my attention became distracted when the Summer Writing Competition was started. I decided to upload a short story that I had written last year, Enigma, and enter it into the Summer Writing Competition. I didn’t expect much to come of it, I was still yet a new user with only a small handful of friends. So I went about getting in touch with close friends and family members, asking them to please read my story and vote for me. At first, their votes are what helped me move on up the line, with about 20-35 odd votes, a few BookRix user votes in between. But soon, with the help of the promotional methods that I am about to describe, it was fellow BookRix users who brought me up to where I finished.

I started a forum under BookRix General. In my forum, I kept updates running on how Enigma was doing as far as the competition. This helped me greatly to gain notoriety as a new user. People were curious, and by the end of the competition, I had several hundred views on my forum. As well as promoting myself on the forum, every time that I saw a user that was not on my friends list on the forums, another friend’s page, commenting or favoriting Enigma, or in the competition itself, I sent them friend requests. We typically exchanged reviews on each other’s books, as well as continued to keep in touch there after. Being polite, cordial, and taking the time to answer all of the friendly mail that you receive from people who either you’ve sent friend requests to, or who have sent you a friend request, definitely makes people want to take interest in your work. When they see that you’re not just using them to gain popularity, votes, or ratings, and you actually want to get to know them, not only do you get better quality ratings etcetera, but you begin to actually become friends with other users (a gift in itself), and they’ll also be more willing to suggest you to their friends without your asking them to do so! Also, when you send friend requests and suddenly accumulate a large number of friends, it’s also good to occasionally send out an email to everyone, reminding them to check out your books, or in my case, read my book and vote for it if they saw fit. I did this 3-4 times throughout the duration of the competition, simply because I gained more friends, and they may not have been aware of the fact that I was participating in a competition or even had a book up on the site. Sending out a kind of “quarterly” message to your friends, helps to keep them informed of what’s going on, and if written correctly, doesn’t nag them, but is just a polite reminder that, “Hey, I’ve got a book in a competition, and I was hoping that you would check it out.”  It usually goes over rather well actually.

To conclusion, my methods aren’t all that unique, or even new; but if you want to make yourself noticed, just take a few minutes out of your busy schedule, sit down and put yourself on the board. Because believe me, you may not think that anyone is going to take interest, but just remember that I thought that too, and well, I thought wrong. Good luck to all of you, and I hope that my methods assist you in your BookRix writing careers!

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