At no other time in publishing history has there been an opportunity for authors to so easily connect with their current readers and find new ones around the world. This opportunity is your chance to engage your readers, and create awesome fans who love to buy your books.
This is the power of the internet.
Not feeling it? Maybe you need to change the way you are going about it….
First of all, you should ask yourself some questions like:
- Do I really care about my readers?
- Do I want my readers to care about me?
If you answered yes to the above questions, you should ask yourself this one next:
- How can I better connect with my readers?
Here are three ways you can connect with your readers in an authentic manner that makes them feel special and you feel good about what you are doing.
Don’t be afraid to use email to reach your readers. Your fans will love to hear from you. Don’t be hesitant about collecting their email addresses on your website or blog. You can do this by having a sign up form on your newsletter or by requesting people log in before they download a sample of your book. Once you have those addresses, you can send notices of appearances, events and new publications to people who really want to know about them.
Coach’s Note: When you start using email to reach your readers, use an online newsletter platform like MailChimp.com. If you send emails from your personal email account you will quickly be marked as a spammer–and you will get a lot of spam in return. No one likes that kind of spam!
While we are discussing email, don’t underestimate the power of a returned email. When someone takes the time to write you, honor them by taking the time to write them back. This will help build your relationship with your fans, which in turn will help you sell more books.
Social Media (like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) are great ways to connect with your readers. You can interact with them on Twitter. You can share pictures with them on Pinterest and you can create a group or forum on Facebook where your fans can all interact with you and each other. Social media is networking for the 21st century–if you follow the rules for networking, you will be successful in reaching your fans (and even people around the world that you would never meet otherwise).
Coach’s Note: Not familiar with the rules of networking?
They are rather simple:
Give before you ask
Always know how to introduce yourself
Connect people you know
Entertain and help other people
A blog is your window on the web for the millions of people who window shop the internet every day. It shows your readers and potential fans more about you than they would find on the back of a book cover. Your blog is the chance to connect with your readers in an authentic way; kind of like having coffee with each fan individually but in a much more efficient manner. Don’t skip blogging. It is a great way to be there for your fans.
Coach’s Note: Remember when you are blogging write about things that would interest your readers. Some ideas include: insight into your life, background on your book and characters, observations you make, ideas or products you like–anything to let your readers know how you think and what is important to you.
It takes effort to reach your readers, but when you make the time and reach out to people who like to read what you write, you will create great relationships with your fans who will in turn enthusiastically support what you do!
It is never too early to start reaching out. In fact, even if you are still working on your manuscript, it is a good idea to begin blogging to start building relationships with your potential fans.
In the comments below, share what you do to reach out to your fans.