An interview with readers

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So, I sat down with a few readers and authors to discover what indie authors are doing right, and what they are doing wrong. I thought a bit of insight into the honest opinions of readers might be helpful to new authors. Especially since most are too polite to say anything directly.

Question 1: Is there anything indie authors do that get on your nerves?

Samantha: I don’t think that there is a blanket statement that would fit all indie authors, because most of the ones I encounter are wonderful! Occasionally, someone will be a tad unprofessional and that puts a bad taste in my mouth, but that could be said about many different entrepreneurs in various industries.

Cathy: Complain about poor me I only sold 1,000 books.

John: I have yet to have any issues with any of the indie authors.

Rebelle: Indie authors don’t advertise themselves well. Most of the ones I’ve read I stumbled upon by accident.

Virginia: Indie authors tend to believe they’re bigger and better than everyone else, leading readers to feel like it’s impossible to communicate or relate to them. To many times I’ve read a book and loved it, but been turned off of the author based on the lack of respect for readers.

Mark: Some of the reactions I get when I offer some constructive criticism. They act like I ate their child! I’m a writer too hey it’s part of the game not everyone is going to like your book.

Jolene: For the most part no. Most all I think have different profiles one for friends and one for the public author profile.  And for the most they are all very professional. I understand the rants that some post and I would do the same in those shoes. And most of us fans are not real clean with the post we share.  But there is one that must not have a different profile because she post her personal beliefs on religion, political and other views that I really don’t care to see. I do like her books but as a person I really don’t like her.  As well as complaining she has no money and may lose her internet to get people to give her money.

Roxanne: There are some indie authors whose books I have read that have been too ambitious to be like very well known authors and this leads the story to not be as good.

Paul: When it shows they rushed into a certain part of the book.

Janneke: Not really, Most I’ve met are wonderful people!

Cassie: This is a more recent thing but I have noticed that sometimes when authors come to bloggers requesting a review that they do the Copy & Paste when sending a request.
Authors we can tell when you are sending an email that you have sent to 50 other bloggers. If you want a blogger to review you book please actually take the time to explore our blogs and get to know about them. There is nothing more annoying that when an author sends you a request that is not only generic email but it is also for a book that with a little bit of research is something they would know a blogger wouldn’t be interested in.

 

Question 2: What are some bad indie author habits?

Samantha: Not showing up to their events, having their PAs do all the interacting with fans for them. Whatever the reason, it comes across as kind of rude when your fans show up to support you and you can’t be bothered. I’ve only seen a few do this kind of thing on a regular basis.

Stephanie: Some tend to push their work a bit too much when their fans are trying to get to know them. Don’t friend people just to spam their walls! That is annoying!!!!!

Cathy: Trying to pretend like you are trying to help, when actually you are now offering a service you want the author to buy from you. Example: oh, your book has tons of typos, hey, why don’t I edit it for you for $$$$ – when the person isn’t even a qualified Editor.
Telling what the idea for their book is to strangers. Spamming. Begging.

John: I would think the worst habit anyone, not just an indie author,  can get into is self doubt.

Rebelle: They can get desperate for reviews and either give away a lot of free books or make their books super inexpensive.  They sell themselves short in order to put their books in more peoples’ hands. They often put out more less-quality books in order to make up for their monetary losses. It’s a waste.

Virginia: Authors know there are rules that can be broken as an indie vs. published. The problem is, even though there are fewer rules for Indie authors, that doesn’t give you the right to break them. Know the difference between a comma, period and semi-colon. Please!

Mark: Procrastination, I’m guilty of it too? Getting in comfortable space and writing the same thing over and over. Done that too. But I’m working on the next big project as we are speak.

Jolene: I would say some of them are really bossy with their street teams and such. You must post this many things for us each week or else. But I don’t see the actual Authors doing that it is the PA or admin of the group. I don’t think that is anyway to run a street team. We are there because we like the author. And want to help where we can, not to be forced to do so many things per week.

Paul: Rushing, trying to copy another author´s style instead of being more original (which sometimes is not bad, but sometimes is overdone).

Janneke: Too short stories, a lot ive read are under 3 hours haha

Cassie: With self publishing being so easy I have come to find that some indie authors don’t think they need to hire an editor or a cover artist. Being an indie author doesn’t mean you need to be a ‘one man’ team. Asking a fellow author to copy edit or hiring an editor is a must.
The same is true when it comes cover art; if you have no knowledge of graphic design please hire a cover artist! Nothing turns a reader off more than a poorly made cover and even though they say don’t judge a book by the cover it is the first thing a reader sees so it is definitely worth investing in.

Question 3: Why do you enjoy the indie community?

Samantha: I like that the authors interact so closely with fans and seem to really appreciate their readers. Also, there are less PC police dipping their fingers into an indie author’s work, so the lack of censorship is refreshing.

Stephanie: I love the close knit community I have become a part of. I also love that most of the authors I have befriended are down to earth and friendly with their fans. I know that we are appreciated for reading their work and supporting them!

Cathy: An exchange of ideas is a good thing. Helping each other legitimately is a good thing. Writing is a lonely business, getting feedback and just knowing you’re not alone is helpful.

John: My short time with in the community has been a highly pleasant one. I enjoy the accessibility of the authors,  and how down to earth they are. I like that there is no hesitation to help out others with projects,  and give advice

Rebelle: I like that they are more willing to write on topics and in genres that the mainstream do not.

Virginia: In most cases, there’s a sense of respect for each other. There are always haters, but the indie community is a large population sharing the same objective- Entertain readers.

Mark: I like the fact that we all seem to work well together. This last year was a learning process.

Jolene: I enjoy the community because they are real people doing wonderful things. I have really enjoyed getting to know some of them. I really enjoy all the events and giveaways that they do.  A lot of them are a lot of fun and give me a view what it would be like to be an author.

Roxanne: It’s always to nice to meet new people especially new authors who are trying to get their work out there to the world.

Paul: I enjoy reading good books. It doesn’t matter to me whether it is indie or not, as long as it’s a good book.

Janneke: The way everyone interacts with each other.. How the authors help each other in anyway they can.

Cassie: My favorite thing about the indie community is how willing indie authors are to connect with their fans. Indie authors have always seemed much more approachable to me and because of that I have actually reached out and had conversations with a few different authors and even formed friendships with them which is something I would think would be really hard to do with an author that is traditionally published. Usually traditionally published authors ‘emails’ lead you to a publicist and it is next to impossible to get in contact with them.

Question 4: What do indie authors do right?

Samantha: The personal touch to all of their work and promotions is really unique. The reader/author relationship in this community is fantastic, and the majority of vets are more than happy to give advice and lend a hand to the new kids on the block. In general, they are incredibly supportive of one another.

Stephanie: Being great writers, friendly to their fans, keep writing for us to read, give aways for chances to win signed things, etc

Cathy: Community. Legitimately caring. Giving a new author a chance. Being helpful without an ulterior motive.

John: Their love of writing. If it wasn’t for their love of writing,  there wouldn’t be so many excellent indie authors out there.

Rebelle: They use more down-to-earth words and phrases and don’t feel the need to use flowery language.

Virginia: If it’s done, it’s done right. Appreciate every single person that buys, reads and reviews your book. Being able to feel like you made a difference to an author, is a simple task that gains a loyal reader.

Mark: Write about things you love and are passionate about.

Jolene: I think the way they converse with their fans is totally awesome. I am sure that they get the creepy fans also but seem to deal well with them.

Paul: Lots of things. It’s hard to pinpoint specific things that are done right.

Janneke: Their writing, 90% of the stories ive absolutely loved.

Cassie: Indie authors realize that you don’t need a big publishing firm behind you to be an author. If self publishing and indie authors weren’t a thing readers would miss out on so many amazing stories because of the fact that big publishers seemed to have a skewed idea of what readers want and what sells.

Question 5: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Samantha: Write what you love to write, it will show in your words. I fall in love with a writer’s style first, then the genre second. If an author I follow writes something completely outside their norm but stays true to their style, you can bet I’m going to love the book.

Stephanie: Keep positive and continue working towards your goals no matter what gets in your way. You are your own worst enemy. Get some beta readers. I know they help because I am one and we see what you don’t some times as well as add some extra input. Take the time to get to know your fans as they sometimes have some great insights on your work and are great assets for future works! They are also the ones that buy your work.

Cathy: Don’t give up hope. Keep on writing and improving your craft.

John: Write what you are comfortable with. A lot of times when heavy research is involved,  the fun of writing can be lost. With the fun factor missing it seems more like a chore,  and so would end up taking longer to complete.

Rebelle: Don’t sell yourself short and don’t give up. There is nothing easy about writing a book that you think (and hope) that will be a hit and sell. If it doesn’t sell well now, don’t give up. Maybe you haven’t hit your genre or maybe it’ll pick up slow. Eventually there will be someone who picks up your book and it’ll impact their lives in just the right way.

Virginia: Ask for help and never let yourself get sucked in to the drama. There’s nothing that can kill your career faster than to have no idea who you’re dealing with. Find someone, trust them and make it your own.

Jolene: Have a positive attitude. Write from your heart. Follow the lead of many of the great Indie authors that came before you.

Roxanne: Keep it real and captivating … Also keep it paranormal (hehe sorry my bad just I love Paranormal lol)

Paul: READ A LOT! Do not attempt to write a book until you are an active reader. Start small. Join a writer community, do roleplaying (and I don’t mean the sick kind), and any other thing that can help you practice.

Janneke: Follow your dreams, whatever you write its yours and no one should judge you on that.

Cassie: Write everyday! If you truly want to be an author you need to write, it can be the most mundane thing but write. No one but you has to see it and you never know, some silly little occurrence or weird dream could always end up being the thing starts your novel.
Also don’t be cheap when it comes to hiring an editor and a cover artist.

Question 6: Do you prefer indie authors or traditionally published authors?

Samantha: I read a mixture of both, but I’ve really fallen in love with the indie community. There’s something to be said about watching an author grow, and it’s really cool to be able to interact with them whereas a traditionally published authors (big name ones) are less accessible. It also is nice to feel like your reviews and feedback actually matter. Someone with a million reviews on Amazon could care less, but it means a lot to an indie when you review their book.

Stephanie: I read both but to be honest I have not read a traditionally published book in a long time because I have been so entertained by my amazing indie authors I have found! To answer your question I do read both its just been awhile for the bigger published authors.

Cathy: I don’t choose a book based upon whether an author is Indie or Traditionally Published. I will read any book of any genre, if it is well written.

John: Though I enjoy traditionally published authors,  and have only recently started reading indie authors,  I would have to say that I am starting to prefer indie authors. They seem to have more heart when it comes to their work.

Rebelle: I prefer indie authors. I think the struggle to get books out there and make them a hit makes them try harder to put out a better product.

Virginia: I prefer indie authors. The indie world is where they find themselves as writers, test new genres and build a fan base that encourages them to become successful published authors.

Jolene: I do like both. I guess I started with the traditionally published authors. But have gone more to the indie authors. I like how personable they are. The only published author that I have meet that was down to earth was Sherrilyn Kenyon. She was awesome at the signing even though she was sick she talked to everyone and posed for pictures. I have every book she has ever written under two different names. I also went to a Janet Evanovich signing. I have all her books up to that signing. She didn’t say one word to anyone just sat and signed. You could stand behind her for a picture but she didn’t say a thing. It was very disappointing. I haven’t bought any of her books since. But she did sign every book I brought. I am now with in the last year leaning more to the indie author. They seem way more real to me.

Roxanne: I love both. It’s nice to read someone’s first book and then if you like it to leave an amazing review to show appreciation to the indie author.

Janneke: Indie.

Cassie: I have absolutely no preference. I think indie authors and traditionally published authors both produce wonderful work and are needed to make the world of literature go round.

Question 7: What makes you decide to try a new author? Is it the reviews? The cover? Recommendations?

Samantha: The blurbs and excerpts usually sell me, but I have to see them to know about them in the first place. So seeing the author around in events helps, plus recommendations from friends. I like looking at covers, but they do tend to all look the same after a while in certain genres, so that’s not a big deal to me. I sometimes browse the reviews first, but I tend to take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt.

Stephanie: Word of mouth or sometimes I have met them in a Facebook release party and fall in love with the teasers or what the other fans have said. I don’t always go with just the reviews as some trolls tend to put some nasty and untrue things in them.

Cathy: I read the first page of the book. If the author makes me want to turn the page and keep on reading then I do. If the book is free, I sometimes download it and give it a try.

John: The like old saying goes,  never judge a book by its cover, lol. The cover has a small part simply because the cover should be the attention grabber. I tend to read reviews to get a concept of goodwill the book has been perceived to be written,  how gripping the story is,  etc,  and if there are samples available,  I tend to read those as well.

Rebelle: I try new authors based more on genre than any other way. I like to hit the “other people who bought this book also liked this one” in my local bookstore. Online, I go to online book and author promo events and read up on what they’ve written (the equivalent to a dust jacket). Then I ask authors I’ve already read if they have heard of or read this new-to-me author. I don’t like reading reviews often. If a reviewer has a bad day it’ll show in their reviews for the day. Also, some of the reviewers with arc’s leave biased-feeling reviews. I just skim over those.

Virginia: Usually I’m drawn to authors that interact with readers. As a reader, I want to know what I’m dealing with. The last thing I want to do it give my money to a pompous asshole or a undeserving bitch. There isn’t enough $0.99 books our there to comfort me with the thought of buying a pack of now-and-laters for someone that treats readers like they’re below them. A great recommendation helps, too.

Jolene: If I see they have a free book out I look at the rest of the books in the series. If book one is free book two is .99 book three is 1.99 book four is 2.99 and so on and so forth I usually avoid those. I do like and look at the Kindle Unlimited books. I am not opposed to spending money on books. I just don’t like the ladder pricing. I have found authors that it does not matter that their books cost I will buy them. I really don’t read reviews on books. I don’t want to know the whole book before I read it.  I take recommendations on authors and books from others. I look at the books that pop up in my news feeds. I don’t really look at the covers of the books either. I think it is more my OCD when I do find an author that I like I want and have to read everything they have ever written.

Roxanne: Usually it has been by recommendation from a friend or sometimes even an author. I tend not to look at reviews in case there is a spoiler. Sometimes I see a book on Facebook advertised and I’ll check it out if I don’t recognize the author and depending if I like the synopsis depends if I’ll give the authors book a read.

Paul: I look at the title and the description of the book. If I like it, I’ll read it. I don’t care what other people have to say, because the fact that somebody else loved it or hated doesn’t mean I will feel the same way.

Janneke: I hardly ever read reviews cause a lot have too many spoilers, I would go with the blurb & cover and sometimes recommendations.

Cassie: Overall all of these factors play some part in my decision of trying a new author but the main deciding factor is Do I think I’m going to love this book? In the long run it is really not the author I am choosing it is their work and when it comes down to it someone could be the best writer in the world but if the story doesn’t sound interesting then I am not going to pick up the book.

Question 8: Are there any tropes or clichés in books that you wish would just die already?

Samantha: There are a ton that I keep coming across, but everybody has something they like so I don’t let it bother me. I’m sure plenty of people are tired of vampires, but I absolutely love them, so I mean… to each their own. In YA it’s convenient dead parents a lot of times so they don’t get in the way of the plot with their rules and curfews; in romance it’s a girl who has a traumatic past that typically involves a controlling, abusive ex… then some hot guy comes along and is instantly possessive but it’s okay because he’s hot. Funny stuff like that. I just have to laugh, it’s not a deal breaker for me… but it is really nice when an author deviates from those clichés.

Cathy: No, these can all be handled by a good author and made into something new. Heck we’d have to get rid of Romeo and Juliet!

John: Not much that really annoys me,  maybe the killing of parents to motivate the character.

Rebelle: Not all books need a happily-ever-after ending or a cliffhanger. There are more than those two ways to end a story. In real life people settle for happy enough, or happy-for-now. They even settle for tragedies more often than shown in books. Life is not all sunshine and flowers.

Virginia: No… Not that I can think of.

Mark: Vampires and Shifters. Vampires don’t sparkle! Unless their set on fire.

Jolene: I guess I am not a fan of how perfect the male characters always seem to be. They are always way above what you would ever find in the real world and they would never be with overweight normal looking woman.

Paul: I wish authors would just be more original in general. Nothing should really die. Instead, it should evolve.

Janneke: Not right now, The running away from eachother in romance novels happends a lot though maybe if I read a few more it would become highly annoying

Cassie: Instalove! *gags* There is no such thing as love at first sight; what you are experiencing is lust. Love takes time to develop so authors really need to stop trying to make Instalove a thing!

Question 9: What’s the most important aspect of a book to you? Story? Detail? Character development? Etc.

Samantha: I like a balance of story, good dialogue, and memorable characters. Characters are probably at the top of my list.

Stephanie:  I believe the story should flow and there should always be a great storyline to it but you wouldn’t have a story without the characters. So you need great characters that people need to connect with and feel something for if they hurt or are happy! Details are good but not too many or it can overwhelm the reader. Make sure these characters have depth and history. many or it can overwhelm the reader. Make sure these characters have depth and history.

Cathy: The author’s voice. If I can GET the author’s voice, hear it in my head when I read the first page then I will continue on with the book and probably enjoy it.

John: That’s a tough one. They are all important,  but I would have to say detail. Even the worst story that is highly detailed would be able to give you a feeling of immersion.

Rebelle: I love seeing the characters develop. It’s like having a mental Polaroid image. I can see the character come to life and it makes it easier to empathize and put myself into the story. I find that I enjoy the story more when I have a clear character profile in my mind.

Virginia: Story has to catch me by page 3 or I’ve checked out. I will try, but unless you throw a character in there that I connect with, I’m only reading it because I paid for it.

Mark: Everything you need to work everyday on improving all the aspects  of writing. Characters you can relate to.

Jolene: I would say the development of the story into the character development and then the attention to detail. I like sex in my books but not right out of the gate before you read anything else.

Roxanne: All of the above. The story is the most important thing as it needs to keep you entertained and satisfied for the duration. Character development is also vital as it’s shows us how the characters grow into the people they become in the book. If it’s a love story for example I prefer when the author makes it REAL and  not cheesy

Paul: All of the above.

Janneke: The story, If the story is good the details and characters will sort itself out.

Cassie: All of these are important to me. For a book to really be one that I love it needs a good balance between all these elements. I have read some books that have a great story/plot but that characters are so one dimensional that it kills the entire book for me.

Question 10: What do you despise seeing in a book?

Samantha: I wouldn’t say despise, but “perfect” characters bother me. Nobody is perfect, give them some flaws or bad habits or maybe just PMS or something to make it interesting. Sometimes authors baby their protagonists and love interests because they want people to like them, but it makes them bland. Characters that I have a love/hate relationship with are the ones who stand out to me the most.

Stephanie: Parts from other books. I can even tell you how many times I’ve read a book and I notice that it’s similar to another book I’ve read. Only changes may be names or places… DON’T DO IT!

Cathy: Bad formatting distracts me. Typos I can overlook if the writing is good. If the writing is bad and there are typos then it’s a problem.

John: Poor editing. Having too many typos and other writing errors.

Rebelle: I hate cheesy books. I don’t want the story to be predictable. I love the twists and turns in a story. I don’t want to know from the start every move the characters will make. It drives me nuts. I want angst, mystery, and passion fueled by inner demons.

Virginia: 6 thousand word chapters.

Jolene: A lot of stupid errors that should have been caught. For me to catch them they have to be bad. My spelling as well as grammar is terrible

Roxanne: I cannot stand bad grammar it makes me cringe lol

Paul: A terrible ending. I wasted such a long time reading a series of books that I loved. There were over 30 books in the series, and the ending was horrible, so I felt that I wasted my time.

Janneke: There is nothing I really despise in a book, But I wouldn’t read a book if its m/m romance.. Just the idea of it….
And I dislike it if the characters are too whiny or too dependent on each other

Cassie: There are a few things but my biggest pet peeve is when a book fails to follow the basic rule of Show Don’t Tell. Every other thing I don’t enjoy seeing in a book can be brushed aside as long as this one rule is followed. I can not even begin to tell you how fast I will stop reading your book if you book is all tell. When everything your main character is doing is all “I did this and then I did that” it will pretty much be a guarantee that I will not be finishing that book.

Question 11: Is there anything that you would like authors to stop doing immediately?

Samantha: Thankfully, it isn’t the norm, but I have picked up on some drama here and there and it is just really not pleasant to see author-on-author fights. Nobody ever wins in an internet fight. We’re all guilty of online drama now and then, but when you see someone posting every day about how this person or that person pissed them off or screwed them over, it starts to feel like they may be the problem. It reads as unreliable and unstable, the same as someone who posts about giving up on writing every day. Don’t get me wrong – we are fans and we want to help and encourage you. Everyone needs a little emotional boost now and then, that’s understandable. But when it is an author’s status every other day, it makes us think you are truly miserable as an author, and if that is true then maybe it is not what you should be doing. Fans will migrate on to others who do not guilt them into sending constant ego reinforcement every day. It takes a toll on people emotionally to know that their friends are struggling, so please don’t take advantage of the fact that so many people care about you.

John: For those that doubt themselves, to stop.

Rebelle: Don’t assume that people will love or hate your books. Put them out there and let them decide for themselves. A lot of authors are fatalist. It’s not a good way to look at things.

Virginia: The use of the word ‘moist’. This needs to stop. Its not cake. Nor is it chicken, pork, bread and it has not been rained on.

Janneke: Writing in third person! I know some authors love writing in third person but its just too confusing for me!

Cassie: Indie authors in particular need to stop treating each other like competition and tearing each other down. When indie authors support each other it makes readers that enjoy indie authors happy. Lend a hand to your fellow authors because they know exactly what you are going through and in turn they will lend you a hand which will help you both make your way up in the literary world.

Question 12: What are your go to genres?

Samantha: I’ll read any fiction, but I tend to really like stuff that falls under the speculative fiction umbrella. So paranormal, dystopian, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, etc.

Stephanie: Horror or paranormal/Paranormal Romance

Cathy: A well written book doesn’t matter what genre it is in.

John: I’ll pretty much read anything, but my I would have to say sci-fi, comedy,  horror, suspense,  mystery.

Rebelle: I read a lot of paranormal, horror, and mystery. I stay away from anything mainstream. You can’t pay me to read the 50 shades books.

Virginia: Dark romance, erotica, contemporary romance and horror romance.

Jolene: If you asked my husband he would say porn  I like paranormal romance books not totally huge on the straight forward vampire or werewolf. Like more detail or different animals. Also like books with the Greek gods in them. I have always told everyone if I had to pick a religion I would pick that one. They are at least interesting.  Anything romance/erotica. I do like some science fiction depends on the author. Horror, suspense. It would be easier to say I don’t like religious books or books that are just big hate rants.

Roxanne: First and foremost is Paranormal, Comedy Romance and fantasy fiction

Paul: Mostly anything that’s not cheesy romance.

Janneke: Horror, Romance, Thrillers, Crime, Anything really as long as the story is good

Cassie: I have always been somewhat of a genre hopper but I always come back to speculative fiction and contemporary. I think it is because I really enjoy reading both about things that are happening currently in our world and things that could possibly happen in our world down the line.

Question 13: Do you prefer ebook or paperback?

Samantha: I love both. Ebook for convenience and instant gratification… but paperback just feels luxurious and awesome to read.

Stephanie: I read more on my Kindle but I have a nice collection of paperbacks. There is something about holding a book in my hands.

John: E-books are pretty  convenient in terms of amount of books you can actually carry with you,  but nothing can replace the experience of a paperback. The smells,  the feeling of turning the page.

Rebelle: I love both e-books and paperbacks. I can afford more e-books and have greater access to them but I love going to the bookstore and coming home with a trophy book.

Virginia: Ebook is easier to have on hand, but there it’s nothing like the feeling of holding a paperback.

Jolene: It used to be paperback only for so many years. But now I really like ebooks I seem to read those more than regular books. I do still get some of my favorite published author books in paperback copies to keep in my collections.

Roxanne: Although I mostly read via my kindle app on my phone I do like to read the occasional paperboy as sometimes there’s nothing like the feel and smell of a good book

Paul: I like ebook because I can carry lots of ebooks without any extra weight.

Janneke: Paperback, I love the smell of books like most readers, But I cant always get the paperback so I read a lot of ebooks

Cassie: I enjoy both ebooks and paperbacks for different reasons. Ebooks are great because it is easy to pack around multiple books on a tablet and they are convenient for reading before bed. Paperbacks are great because there is really nothing like the smell and feel of a book in your hands. Plus I love being able to look over at all the gorgeous covers displayed on my bookshelf.

Question 14: What is your favorite kind of gift/prizes/swag?

Samantha: I think they’re all great! I’ve discovered several new favorite indies through winning their books.  I think it’s cute when an author gives out a themed gift that relates to their book.

Stephanie: Autographed Dead Trees or ebooks.

Cathy: Sometimes ebook, sometimes paperback. I hate that we have to kill trees for paperbacks and I hate that ebooks aren’t valued in the same way.

John: Can never go wrong with gift cards,  though books are a close second.

Rebelle: My favorite kind of swag is a book or bookmark. I can too easily damage or misplace anything else.

Virginia: Anything signed. Bookmarks, books, postcards, business cards… doesn’t matter.
If its swag, I want it usable. Key chains, bookmarks, jewelry and magnets are my fav.

Mark: EBook, takes up less space.

Jolene: I love signed books. I have quite a few of them from different published authors as well. I would say my favorite of those is one of the Nicholas Spark books I have autographed. I had to work the night that he was here in Minnesota signing books. So my husband took my two kids when they were little down to the mall of America and stood in line to get it signed for me.  I also like book marks and the postcards. Not so much of the little trinket type of thing.

Roxanne: My favourite is signed books =) or things like cups with the name of the book on etc

Janneke: Paperbacks ofcourse!

Cassie: My favorite kind of prizes and swag, other than of course signed paperbacks, are things that are useful. I love getting things like bookmarks, notebooks, amazon gift cards because they are not something that is going to take up space in my house. Don’t get me wrong though, if I won something like a print of a cover from an author I love I would be framing it and hanging it up in my reading area but for the most part prizes and swag that are useful are the best.

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