Capitalize on reader interest created online.

A library in a midsized town in Middle America saw more than average traffic flow in early September. The library borrowed an idea from a blogger who had posted a Top 10 list of favorite fiction releases that had teachers as key characters. A retailer who saw the display drew from another Top 10 list for novels with memorable Thanksgiving scenes. And another created a series of merchandising displays with novels set in each U.S. state.

What’s the common denominator between bloggers, publishers, reviewers, libraries, and retailers? It’s more than a few words of insight or enthusiasm about a new release. Bloggers can serve as a creative resource for everything from “If you like this, you’ll love—” to innovative merchandising displays.

CREATIVE SOURCE

Currently, more than 100 bloggers post monthly new release information collected from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) members in all genres and subgenres, both traditionally and independently published. Bloggers are getting the word out about freshly minted books each month from an easy to access list drawn from ACFW-sponsored FictionFinder.com.

Bloggers who are fans of Christian fiction also post lists of award-winning novels, like Carol Award finalists and winners, Christy Award finalists and winners, and books that have made significant showings in a number of other literary award honors, including Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and the ECPA Christian Book Awards.

Publishers, authors, and retailers can count on bloggers to pique the curiosity of readers interested in what’s new. Blogger Carrie Booth Schmidt—Reading Is My Superpower—is a go-to blogger with information about the latest and best in Christian fiction. Her sense of humor and knowledge about the books she lists offers an entertaining but discerning perspective that isn’t influenced by sales pitches and publisher or distributor agendas. But her curation specialty is fast becoming a one-of-a-kind resource for the entire community of fiction creators, publishers, and retailers.

MERCHANDISING MADE EASY

Imagine finding a clever idea for staging an eye-catching display by tapping into a blogger who’s already created a themed collection—WWII, holiday-themed novels, books for fans of Jane Austen, or state-themed books.

Other bloggers specialize in women’s fiction, Western-themed books, romance, fantasy, mystery and suspense, or biblical fiction. The posts help guide readers in their purchasing decisions. They’re part of the fiction-fan team that extends beyond the store or library doors to help influence book buyers and help equip store and library staffers with ready answers for readers and buyers searching for a good book.

None of us are in this effort alone. Savvy bloggers can be a gift to retailers—large or small—and to others searching for creative marketing ideas to help a hope-hungry world of readers find what they’re looking for between the pages.

For an unbiased sampling of fiction-knowledgeable bloggers, contact acfwrelations@acfw.com.