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Author Influencer and Reader Groups: Why Do Readers Join?

By Carrie Fancett Pagels

The writing life isn’t just about sitting in your cave pounding out a stellar book. Writing lifestyles includes book promotion. So what makes a reader want to join an influencer/reviewer group?

Terminology: Influencers promote an author or a new release through social media. Readers/reviewers accept a book and read it, determine if it is worthy of a review, and post that review on book purchasing sites, on blogs (if a blogger), and on social media.

I’ve participated in a number of author promo groups since I’ve joined ACFW. I’ve generally signed up for groups for writers of books that are “comparable” to my own, to learn. But as a reader, I also hoped to see what the author was “really” like and how that might shine (or not!) in their author voice. The range: good – an author engaged and appreciative of her audience and follows up, middling – sometimes there and has posts that leave you wondering, bad – an author whose only concern is that you promote their fiction and once they are through with the book launch you don’t hear from them until next they “need” you.

The wonderful pals in my author group answered a few questions for me. All are respected bloggers or reader/reviewers in the CBA community: Nancee Marchinowski, Diana Flowers, Tina Rice, Betti Mace, Anne Payne, and Britney Adams.

Question 1: What makes you want to be in a group to review or influence?

  • My first interest in being an influencer in a street team is to help promote authors. The style and quality of their writing means a lot to me, and I enjoy getting to know the author better through a team of others who respect and care about the author’s success.
  • I have already read their books and really enjoyed them but sometimes I find a new to me author that catches my interest. A great way to meet new authors.
  • I’ve read at least one of the author’s books and rated it 5 stars.
  • I love reading and think it is important to support authors through reviews, recommendations, purchases, etc.
  • The author’s beliefs are in line with what I believe. I must be able to review any of their books with honesty. I want to review books in a genre I’m interested in – otherwise it’s very hard to finish the book.

2) What do you hope to get from the group?

  • Closeness to the author and other members of the team who share common interests.
  • Learn what books the author(s) have coming out next and when it will be released. Also, love looking at the book covers as the author(s) share them and what they have coming next.
  • A more personal glimpse into the author’s writing life, establish a lasting friendship and meet like-minded readers.
  • Learn what ideas the author has for upcoming books, see cover reveals, get an inside look at what the author is working on.

Question: How do these answers compare to your experience?

Carrie Fancett Pagels BWCarrie Fancett Pagels is blessed with the best Reader/Reviewer/Influencer group for her writing. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, releases with White Rose in 2015. The Lumberjack’s Ball releases in April 2015 and is the sequel to The Fruitcake Challenge (2014). She’s an award winning author of Christian historical romance.

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20 Responses to Author Influencer and Reader Groups: Why Do Readers Join?

  1. Debbie Mitchell says:

    Hey Carrie, great post!

  2. Debbie Mitchell says:

    I forgot to say that these pretty much hit the mark for me.

  3. Thanks for coming by, Chaplain Debbie! Thanks for coming on board with our group, too! You’re a blessing!

  4. Tina Rice says:

    Great post Carrie!
    Blessings,Tina

  5. Anne Payne says:

    Carrie, It looks like we all review for about the same reasons. 🙂

  6. Britney Adams says:

    I love being a member of influencer groups! Thank you for sharing this informative post, Carrie.

  7. Tina and Anne, yes many of the answers were similar. I decided against combining them but that might not be a bad idea for the next post I do on this. I’m curious what authors think are the reasons people sign up, especially if they’ve never been in any groups themselves?

  8. Betti says:

    Great article. I count it a privilege to be an influencer for an author!

  9. Angi Griffis says:

    Great post, Carrie! The influencer/reviewer groups that I’ve been involved with have all been exactly like the descriptions above. I’ve made some wonderful friends through them as well as being able to help promote some of my favorite authors’ books.

  10. Carrie, such an informative, well thought out post and it looks like we are all pretty much on the same page. Pardon the pun. 🙂

  11. As you already know from my answers to the questions, all of the above comments from your street team members pretty much agree on why we do what we do. We love and support our authors!

  12. Regina F. says:

    Great post, Carrie! I love being an influencer, reviewer, and beta reader! I’ve meet some wonderful authors and readers.

  13. TINA, TY for sharing your thoughts with us! And thanks for being a supporter even when you’ve been going through some rough times! Blessings!

  14. BRITNEY, thanks so much for contributing to this post and for being part of my group! I love your blog and what you are doing to get the word out about new Christian fiction books!

  15. BETTI, you’ve been such a blessing to me on the Overcoming with God blog and as an encourager and influencer! Thanks for coming by!

  16. ANGI, thanks, and so glad you are part of the team. Like you, I was a writer on my way to publication when I joined other authors’ groups and I learned from them so I hope this group will benefit you, too!

  17. LOL Angel Diana! You always make me smile–well, that is except when you had that tumor last year! That did not make me happy at all but PTL God brought you through it and healed you!!!

  18. NANCEE & REGINA, you are both such blessings! I love how both of you lend a hand when needed. God bless you for being on the team. NANCEE, I love your blog and what you are doing for TBCN, too! Hugs to both of you. Thanks again, NANCEE for taking time to respond. Thanks REGINA for being a beta reader, too!!!

  19. Tina Rice says:

    Carrie, you are so sweet. You have been going through some rought times too!
    Blessings,Tina

  20. Natalie Monk says:

    Incredibly insightful post, Carrie! Thanks so much for sharing these gems!