The Writer’s DashBoard: Moving Forward

In a previous post, written nine months ago, I lamented the fact that we writers didn’t have a Writer’s Dashboard that would enable us, through some “algorithmic magic,” to find out where our readers were on the web.  At the time I was writing my first novel, which I intended to self-publish, and thus I was reading up on the various marketing strategies. After reading several books and numerous blogs, I realized that there was really only one strategy:  get on Twitter, create a blog and/or web site, a Facebook page, and then start shouting at the top of your lungs. Let me tell you, there’s a lot of noise out there!

Frankly, I was a little surprised that there weren’t any tools that enabled one to identify web sites whose users might be “predisposed” to like one’s work.  More to the point, how could one identify said predisposition?

I let the idea swim around in my nether region for a number of months, talked to some smart folks about it, tried to move on with life, but the idea kept popping up, especially as I looked, with a fair measure of dread, at my burgeoning Twitter stream, replete with random quotes, e-book freebies, author interviews, and the like. Quite simply, I just haven’t been motivated to compete with my fellow writers to grab someone’s attention via Twitter or any other social media channel. I wanted the whole process to be easier. At least more elegant. Go figure.

So, I reached out to a number of guys I know, all incredibly bright and technically gifted, and – a rarity: they were also writers, or artists, or musicians – so they got it.

So, after a few Indian buffets, we’ve decided to build the Writer’s Dashboard. For us. And for you. But we need your help. Obviously we would like to roll out a version one that has all the bells and whistles in place, but that’s going to have to wait. Instead, we will take a scaffolding approach, building one functional element at a time.

And we need you to tell us what would work best for you.  Think of it this way: you’ve woken up to beautifully radiant morning, you grab your cup of coffee and amble over to your computer, pull up the Writer’s Dashboard to see where your readers are, and you see – what? What’s the first thing you see?

Please leave a comment and let us know. We’re moving forward.



Filed under EBook Marketing Innovations, EBooks and Advertising

15 responses to “The Writer’s DashBoard: Moving Forward

  1. As I write in the erotic genre, although they are crime books filled with supernatural and paranormal, thrillers, to be exact, I find it hard to do a guest blog tour as most shy away from anything erotic. My series is in Graphic Books on Amazon and the reason I flog them out on Twitter, every hour I’m awake. I’m published with those two books and the publishers haven’t a clue where to market them either. Being told, after a nightmare year with them, to see two books published, they were specialist books didn’t give me much hope they’d do anything with them, and they haven’t.
    I Ebook/d them myself and Bk1 has only been out of the top 100 in it’s genre, once, since I published it mid Feb. I’ve done a few interviews and they’ve gone down well, and I don’t talk about the erotic content unless asked and even then I’m not very forthcoming as that is for the reader. I can send you some links if you wanted to look at them.

    My problem is, I’d like to know where the sites are that will do a guest blog,in the genre I write in. I’ve not found it easy to find them and blogs get you known quicker than anything else. I’m currently writing a Hybrid book on my website. He Who Shall Not Be Named, (Strange title for a horror but that’s what it is). Shortened to HWSNBN. That gets over 8K hits a month, across the world only that’s readers, who probably wouldn’t buy one of my books as I have to keep that clean, though not boring, if you read any, you’ll see.
    The erotic industry is the largest in the world and I’d like to reach them for blogs and readers.

    Gone on a bit, but you did ask Mark, sorry!


  2. Anything would seen more classy than begging people to read your work and go like your page on every social site possible. Genre specific categories to find sites to link to and/or from, things to join, and advertising advice might help.

  3. A writing or editing tip, or an inspirational snippet or quote perhaps? I’m also with Merideth and Andrew in some kind of links to/info about blog tour or sympathtetic book blogger sites. That’s something I’m trying to build up myself.

  4. I would love to see what kinds of books my readers are reading besides my own. That way I can compare them and see what draws people in; whether it is a fad, style of writing, and/or just the popularity status of the person writing those novels, it would be great to know.
    I also think it would be great to see some book reviews, as well as question-answer sessions between authors and their readers or authors and other authors.
    Just some ideas. I love the idea of your site, and cannot wait to see more.

  5. I like the idea of searching for books out there that are like mine in concept, genre, and execution. Then, I’d like to see how those books are faring, which marketing techniques were used successfully and unsuccessfully.

  6. I have a theory that fanfic gets so many more readers and reviews than original fiction because fanfic is so proactive about categorizing itself. Genres, subgenres, archetypes, ships, elements, keywords, setting, sensibilities, heat level–it is incredibly easy to find exactly what you want to read on, while Amazon remains a crapshoot. This probably isn’t what you had in mind, but my ideal book-finding app would be a massive database with an excruciatingly good system of tags and categories, thoroughly searchable and sortable.

  7. Great idea. I need something I can use to drill down to a possible readership base. I’ve been looking a categories on twitter and finding followers. e.g. my first novel starts in the middle of a water polo match though the sport is not the main theme of the novel which includes a variety of topics. So far I’ve been able to acquire potential readers with this strategy of following those involved in the sport but if an author can identify a dozen or so key ideas and throw those at a search engine that would really help. An author should be able to identify a hierarchy of themes and set up a search with branches. Sound feasible? All the best in your endeavours and I’m quite happy to test anything you come up with. All the best.

  8. I like the idea. I believe that interacting with people, letting them know they are important is a good way to go. Too many people overlook fans and don’t appreciate them, so if you have even one person who has liked your Facebook page or Twitter or whatever you happen to have, let them know how much you appreciate them, how much that one fan really means to you. I, to quote Joss Whedon, would rather be loved by a hundred than liked by a million. Because for me writing isn’t about making money and begin huge, its about telling a story and having that story speak to others.

  9. I’m the ‘old dog learning new tricks’ and believe in the ‘KISS’ principle — whatever interaction netword, keep it simple…This old anachronism is really trying but tired of ranting and raving in this digital world, tired of a ten-year old knowing so much more than I. Most networks and/or programs presume knowledge that might not be there. Much of my time is spent writing. That’s what I want to do, and I don’t wish to spend hours on end learning new technology. Of course, that’s my issue, but it’s my guess that there are many in this non-techie tram stalled on a frayed cable. KEEP IT SIMPLE for us old dogs — the tech-savvy group will breeze past and get to the ‘meat’ of your program while we slow learners can go at our speed…JUST SAYING!

    • Hi Billy,

      Thanks for your comment! You would be a great tester for us — believe me,
      we think simple is great. As Charles Olsen said, “I learned the simplest things last.”


      The FindMyAudience Team

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