Ask the Audience

Okay, lovelies.

Is the post-Halloween sugar coma subsiding? I have a favor to ask. I want to be inside your head for a little while. In a non-creepy…or only mildly creepy way.

1. How do you feel about FB pages for authors and/or books?

I have this issue. The general consensus so far has been Author Page, over Book Page, but as of yet I haven’t been able to bring myself to make one. It’s like some strange anti-magnetism. I can’t do it! But they seem popular. I am conflicted.

2. What are your favorite kinds of swag?
a. Bookmarks
b. Bookplates
c. Monetary bribes
d. Chocolate
e. Stickers
f. Pins
g. Other

3. Do you judge a book by…
a. Its cover (I do)
b. Its jacket copy
c. The author
d. The online reviews
e. The amazon ranking
f. Other

4. What do you want from me????

No, seriously.

Do you want giveaways, either of ARCs, swag, or baked goods? Do you want posts chock full of random? Do you want me to make a fool of myself by wearing my cupcake costume and then vlogging in public?

30 thoughts on “Ask the Audience

  1. Leigh says:

    Chocolate. The answer will always be chocolate. 😉

    No, from a book blogging standpoint, ARCs, bookplates, and interviews are always going to be the top answers. If only you had your cupcake van… then you could drive around doing signings and interviews OVER cupcakes. *dreams a little dream*

    • veschwab says:


      This. This is the best plan EVER. If I can get the Cookie Truck ready in time, I could road trip/bake/sign books/take pictures ALL AT ONCE. It could be EPIC. What have you stumbled on???

  2. I prefer an author page to a book page so I only have one place to visit (as it is likely that you will publish more than one book).

    As for favourite kinds of swag – bookmarks, ARC’s, bookplates, badges (pins), posters are all of my favourites but I’m still waiting to win some kind of baked goods from you just because I know you bake a lot and I like sweet stuff 🙂

    I hate to say it but yes I do judge a book by its cover first and foremost and then I have a look at the blurb to see if I would like it. Then if I’m still not sure, I’ll go and check out reviews, amazon rankings, Goodreads comments etc. Of course some authors don’t need this approval, I’ll just buy it and know I’m in for a treat but they are a select few.

    What do I want from you? OMG yes I want you to VLOG in a cupcake outfit, that would be made of awesome! I think you should definitely do this 😉 Giveaways for sure, I want a writing masterclass or a series of writing advice/exercises/tips and also your usual randomness 🙂

    Does this suffice? 😉

  3. yvette says:

    Hey Victoria, talk about staying topical, this is so what all the authors I know are talking about at the moment too. My personal path will be to do an author page, because you want to sell your name, your brand first and foremost.
    I too check out the cover first, and then my go-to is always the first paragraph of the first chapter. If it makes me want to read further then I’m in.
    All I want from you is to keep on blogging!
    Yvette Carol

    • veschwab says:

      Out of the 19 or so hours I’m awake each day, these things honestly occupy my thoughts approx 18.5 hours, with the other .5 devoted to baked goods.

      And I completely agree about the author as brand.

  4. Iffath says:

    Author page, book page, I don’t really mind which one you have. They’re both pretty awesome!

    Swag. Hm. Um. Everything?! Haha, pins and stickers are cute, and posters, bookmarks, book plates go down really well; but I think the real deal is the baked goods 😀

    I DO judge a book by it’s cover. VERY much. I’m a huge fan of pretty covers, and yours is BEAUTIFUL 😀
    The author I always try to find more info about, it’s interesting to hear about their other books, or if they’re a debut author, then a bit about them.

    Reviews are another thing I like to look out, I’d check out Amazon reviews, and look out for reviews from bloggers/reviewers who are reliable and I know will give me an honest opinion 🙂 But I’m not always too bothered about bad reviews and stuff, if it appeals to me, I will get it!

    I’m liking the idea of you wearing your cupcake costume. Vlogging in it in public would be awesomesauce.
    ARCs also sound cool. *is freaking out picturing them*
    No, seriously.

    Apart from all that, just reading your blog posts is fantastic! 🙂

    • veschwab says:

      This is so helpful!

      I judge books by covers too, totally guilty, so I’m relieved that you like mine :p

      I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of unique/NW-appropriate swag.

      I have to date appeared in the cupcake costume TWICE, and there’s footage, but never in public! YET.

  5. Annika says:

    1. I feel good about them! You could always ask someone else to start the page for you.

    2. All of the above! I get a lot of bookmarks, so I assume they are quite popular. I would personally like to see more postcards and maybe a nice bookplate (that’s hard, though, because there would really only be the one book it could really go in–maybe author bookplates?) and stickers or pins are fun too.

    3. All of the above, pretty much in that order.

    4. I really like what you’re doing so far. And who doesn’t like giveaways? Especially if they involve ARCs.

    • veschwab says:

      I just have this mental block about making one. Maybe if I don’t look at it as a FAN page, maybe if I look at it as simple an AUTHOR page…

      I am doing postcards! And something else that’s super secret and I’m totally stoked about so it better work :p

      I can’t wait for it to be 2011 so I can do a few ARC giveaways! I have to wait till then.

  6. Danya says:

    I don’t use Facebook author or book pages a lot, but it couldn’t hurt right? I think author would make sense over book, because as someone pointed out above…you will likely have more than one book! 😀

    All swag is good swag. Personally I think bookmarks, stickers, and pins are all excellent (also posters are cool) and make good giveaway items…the chocolate I would just keep for myself and eat 😀

    I judge a book by just about everything you listed (yes, including the cover!) The average Amazon rating doesn’t often mean very much, but I do take a look at what people are saying in the reviews of the book, content-wise. After all, what made one person give a book 5 stars may not line up with what appeals to me.

    Like everyone else said, giveaways are always good, particularly of ARCs (though those are so rare and coveted!), and interviews can be fun too.

    • veschwab says:

      It’s a very valid point, about author page as opposed to book.

      True, chocolate wouldn’t survive the first stop (look at your email address, we are SOUL MATES).

      And thank you for the input!!

  7. Patricia says:

    Haha, I am just about the world’s last FB hold-out… so I can’t help you there.

    ARCs are definitely a first choice for me. (I consider them swag, even though they aren’t on the list 🙂 Though I’m not going to turn down monetary bribes or freshly baked cupcakes…

    Usually I choose books based on the author… or if another author I like recommended a new author. (a la Tessa Gratton…)

    I love when published authors post their own writing advice and personal expereince on their road to publishing. But again ARCs and cupcakes will go a long way toward putting you at the top of my personal best-seller list! 😀 In all seriousness though, I feel like if you gave away ARCs of the Near Witch I’d probably explode with GLEEEE!

    • veschwab says:

      See, for me, the most powerful thing is indeed the recommendation from authors/author friends. I take recs very seriously, and I give them very seriously, too.

      And thanks for such great input. I love personal experience posts, too.

      And on the topic of ARCs, I just now made a new page here at the top of the blog that tells a little about them, but I will say that I DO plan to do a few ARC giveaways, starting in the new year!

  8. brendan says:

    Probably an author page, but honestly I question the actual value of Facebook. I’m not exactly a socialite but I still have 100+ friends, and there’s more crap that flows through my Wall than I can keep track of. It’s probably obligatory at this point, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep over your FB details.

    2. Out of this list, chocolate and stickers. I think the coolest thing would be something unique and related to you book, though. I lose bookmarks, never wear pins, and am so fiercely devoted to my pen of choice that any others would just sit in a drawer. Luckily on the interwebs you can find just about anything wholesale…if you can find some kind of trinket/token that evokes NW and customize/package/slap a sticker on it, that would be way cooler.

    3. Cover, and flipping to random pages and reading a few paragraphs to check out the writing style. But EVEN MORE, blog recommendations. I watched 6 seasons of LOST this year because Laura at Combreviations was so enthusiastic about it. Bloggers have power!

    4. Continue behaving admirably.

    • veschwab says:

      I always wonder, but I have friends who SWEAR by the accessibility of FB when it comes to teens.

      Chocolate and stickers, how can I go wrong? I am actually trying really hard to come up with some book-specific treats, we’ll see how it works out!

      I do the random page flip too! I always read the first few lines, and then a couple random pages.

  9. Missie says:

    Hi! New Follower. Found you through an author interview on Thoughts of a Book Junkie.

    To tell you the truth, I love book forums and blogs that feel more intimate. Because the possibilities for great book discussion seems to be more encouraging, plus it gives people the opportunity to share more thoughtful opinions. Yeah, sure, I have a FB and Twitter, but people will say the weirdest things on those sites, stuff I don’t even want to know, so I’m not really on those sites very often. I use them for Marketing my blog, but that is about it.

    I love book plates and book marks. I have a huge collection of them. 😀

    I totally judge a book by its cover. Totally. But also by reviews by some book bloggers I really respect and trust. If we have similar reading interests, I have found that their book reviews have lead me to purchase that book for myself to give it a try. Which is funny because some have read books with covers I didn’t find appealing, yet they loved the book so I gave it a try when I other wise would not have. 😉

    You know, I think this, what you are doing now, is really the best thing. Asking you readers. That is awesome. I love authors that take the time to get to know their readers. I think that is the most important thing. No need to make a fool of yourself; you are an intelligent, publish author! That is so WOW! That is definitely something that should be respected.


    • veschwab says:

      Hi there! And welcome to the blog 🙂

      I totally agree that the forums and blogs are less…sterile, maybe? Intimate, as you say. We get to be closer to the writer. We get to have a dialogue, a relationship.

      And thank you! Both for your input and your “Wow!” 🙂

  10. I just discovered your blog and am a new subscriber. Looking forward to reading your book!

    A FB author page seems like a good choice. Many authors link their facebook to their blogs or twitter so you don’t have to create unique posts.

    In regards to swag I would choose bookmarks or bookplates as they seem the most useful.

    I do judge a book by it’s cover, especially for a debut. But if the book is from a favorite author it’s not as important to me. Mainly though I read the reviews of my goodreads friends & other bloggers for their recommendations. Also I follow author recommendations – if I loved their work I definitely want to check out what they are reading as well.

    Blog what makes you happy! Giveaways are also nice, book teasers, music playlists, book recommendations. I think what your doing now is great!

    • veschwab says:

      Welcome to my little corner of the internet 🙂

      Great input. I agree that I’m harsher about covers for debuts than known authors (which is sad, as we have so little control over our first impressions, but true).

      Author recommendations are probably the strongest factor for me, too.

      And thank you!

  11. Michelle says:

    Personally, although I do use Facebook and and the Networked Blogs app through it, I prefer blogs or forums. It promotes more of a community feel I think.
    My favorite kind of SWAG has got to be ARCs, already in print books and bookmarks.

    I have placed a lot of judgement on a cover before, and it’s knocked my feet out from under me when the book has blown me away (like my latest review), so yes, a cover does matter, but if you’re willing to give it a try then it’s the content which will make it. I’m more likely to go for a stand-out cover, which grabs my eyes, than what I am a dull one.

    Since blogging, my to-be-read and wishlist piles are stacking up, so word of mouth and reading reviews and author recommendations are really inspiring.

    • veschwab says:

      This is super helpful! Thank you! And I agree that the blog has a much more communal, intimate feel than something like a FB wall.

  12. Fi-Chan says:

    1. I think I prefer author fanpages.
    3. oh yes I do judge a book by its’ cover, but I check the reviews before buying as well.
    4. oh so you’re considering giveaways? well I hope they’re international! I like ARCs, or finished copies giveaways, and swags like bookmarks bookplates are pretty awesome too, ohh and totebags (wow!).

    • veschwab says:

      Bookmarks do seem popular!! And I am glad to hear that reviews matter as much as cover. And I will definitely try to do some international giveaways 🙂

  13. Liz says:

    1. Do an author page, but make sure you do it as a page. That way you won’t have to worry about friending people or accepting requests. So much easier that way. Probably an author page is more beneficial than a book page in the long run. Book pages may or may not generate a lot of traffic for a book, but that traffic has a shelf life of about 3 months. If someone “likes” you as an author, it gives you an opportunity to sell to them past any one particular book. Sell them your brand, not your product. That sounds cold, but hey, that’s business.

    2. Ink pens are great swag. So is anything edible. An ink pen with a lollipop on top would have me sold for life.

    3. I judge a book by all of the above. But I’ll buy a book with a bad cover/bad reviews over a boring jacket copy or unlikable author. WAIT STOP CRYING. You don’t have to worry about those things! Just remember not to go all Christina Aguilera on the new kid in ten years, especially if that kid is Lady Gaga.

    4. Swag gets people to your website, but quality content keeps them here. I sound like an infomercial, I know, but it’s true. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to blogs to enter contests without even bothering to find out whose blog it was or what they do or why anyone should care. The best thing I can say is… have fun. If you’re having fun, you’ll look like you’re having fun. And then your book will look fun. And the more fun you have, the more fun everyone else will have, and that’s what it’s all about, right?

    • veschwab says:

      Wow, this is so helpful!!

      And an ink pen with an edible component? Why didn’t I think of that??

      See, for me, the “unlikeable author” is the only one that will stop me from buying a book.

      And I TOTALLY agree with having fun. I have so much fun on this blog, but it also makes me think, and creates dialogue, and allows me to have a relationship with the wonderful online community.

  14. Aurora says:

    For question #1 I say Author page…we know the books now we like to know about the life of the author……pets….favorite food, etc.
    Question #2 I love a and b….I love to have a signed bookmark to match my book……bookplates never get misplaced or damage when in and on the book.
    question #3 A AND B once again…..the cover draws you in but the copy on book tells us just enough to drag you in.
    #4 ARC’s, Contest and swag! Everyone wants these.

  15. Bonnie says:

    1. How do you feel about FB pages for authors and/or books?

    Mm, I haven’t really signed up for any on FB. I don’t sign up for a lot of groups and if I do, I don’t really visit the pages. I’d much rather read an author’s blog and get to know their thoughts or see what they’re up to, etc.

    2. What are your favorite kinds of swag?
    a. Bookmarks
    g. Other

    3. Do you judge a book by…
    a. Its cover (I do)
    b. Its jacket copy
    c. The author
    d. The online reviews
    f. Other

    I sort of do and sort of don’t for all of the above! I always look at the covers and pick up a book if the cover is gorgeous. It doesn’t mean I’ll buy it or even want to read it, but sometimes, there are covers that I COVET. For example, I love the covers for the “Fallen” series and “Hush, Hush” series and the new Tami Hoag book (forget the title, but it has fall leaves on it in vivid colors), but own none of them. I’d like to get into book cover design someday…somehow…and love looking at covers! I also know not to just judge a book by its cover, though! Some of my favorite books have awful covers!!

    Authors can be important. I’ll take a chance on new authors–I LOVE “Matched” by Ally Condie already (just read the ARC…finally got it at work…right before the release -_-) and have discovered new favorite authors such as Kristin Cashore this way. Plus, I work in the Children’s Dept at my local B&N and I like to keep on top of all the new stuff so I can make good recommendations! I have customers who come in to ask me for my opinions repeatedly and discuss books we’ve both read! I’m not afraid to take a chance! I’m really looking forward to reading your debut next year (so far away)!! Um, I also like reading authors I already know. I’m more likely to pick up a book and look at the back if I know the author (esp if the cover is iffy, haha). For example, I’m not into Sci-Fi, but I know Orson Scott Card and picked up “Pathfinder” yesterday, but may have overlooked it if I didn’t know the author. Then, there are blind buys–authors I always buy books from such as Jodi Picoult and Tamora Pierce, or the latest in a series such as a new “Percy Jackson” sequel series or the latest “Maximum Ride” book. Then, you have author blurbs. I recently picked up “Eon” at the library because Tamora Pierce recommended it, discovered authors Diane Chamberlain b/c she was called the “Southern Jodi Picoult” in a blurb and Laura Moriarty b/c both Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard had blurbs on her covers, purchased “The Year of Fog” because it was recommended “for fans of Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard,” etc, etc. So authors can be important! There are also times I might be wary of a book because of the blurb. I’m not a huge “Twilight” fan, so when I saw Stephenie Meyer with a blurb on the books “The Girl Who Could Fly” and “The Lonely Hearts Club,” I didn’t read them at first. I later changed my mind (and was glad I did).

    If I haven’t heard of an author and there was no advance buzz and I know no one who has read/recommended a book, I’ll look up reviews on Amazon or the forums before making a decision, get it at the library, or d/l a free sample to my nook before committing to a book.

    4. What do you want from me????

    No, seriously.

    Do you want giveaways, either of ARCs, swag, or baked goods? Do you want posts chock full of random? Do you want me to make a fool of myself by wearing my cupcake costume and then vlogging in public?

    Mostly, I just want to read the types of posts you already do! I think reading about what you’re up to is interesting, be it life, writing, etc. I like randomness. I’m weird like that! Giveaways are always fun, of course, esp. ARC ones since we get very few teen books where I work, but never necessary! It’s also nice when you do the author interviews. I’m holding off on reading “The Mockingbirds” until I finish reading it, for example. It’s also fun to see what books you read/enjoy.

    Long response, sorry! lol…I like to chat…

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