As a nonfiction or fiction author, unless you only plan on writing and publishing one book, you’d be wise to cultivate and nurture ongoing relationships with readers. If you aren’t already keeping in touch with avid book readers, I’m guessing that a reason for your reluctance to do so has to do with time. After all, as with all rewarding relationships, it takes time to cultivate and nurture relationships with book lovers. That said you’ll be happy to know there are shortcuts to staying in touch with your reading audience.
Benefits Inherit in Authors Developing Relationships with Avid Book Readers
Think about the people who always buy your fiction or nonfiction books. It doesn’t matter how much mystery, intrigue, action or romance you add to your stories, these people always plop down their cash to get your books. If you haven’t written two or more national or international bestsellers, these people probably support you because they know you personally. They’d support you if you sold them a bag of sour tasting chocolate chip cookies. Face it; these folks love you. These people know you.
As a new author you’re going to have to develop that same sense of familiarity with thousands of book lovers which leads to this point. You should keep in touch with book readers to establish and deepen relationships, not to give them a sales pitch. And here’s the tangible reward. Develop relationships with enough people over several months and you can generate more word-of-mouth book sales after you announce the release of your new book. But first you have to develop the relationships. To do this you can:
- Create accounts at four or more social media networks. Make sure you select accounts you plan on being active at. (Don’t be surprised if social media networks start labeling inactive accounts just that – inactive.)
- Post one question a week at social media networks you belong to.
- Regularly answer questions other members post to social networks, being sure to mention the person (by name) who originally posted the question.
- Comment on remarks and posts made by other members.
- Attend meet-ups sponsored or hosted by online professional groups you’re a member of.
- Participate in Twitter chats hosted by social media networks you participate in, asking questions, making insightful comments, suggestions, etc.
- Befriend five or more new members each time you visit social media networks (make a point of staying in touch with these people online).
- Post information about your literary newsletters, services you offer to readers and other writers (e.g. radio interviews, Ning memberships) at social networks as these give you additional opportunities to keep in touch with readers, many of whom are other writers.
- Allow visitors to your author website to subscribe to receive weekly or monthly updates from you. In these updates you can list data such as the dates, locations and times for your upcoming speaking engagements and book signings.
- Congratulate members of social media networks you belong to when they announce successes and achievements they’ve made.
Lasting Rewards of Keeping in Touch with Avid Book Readers
Writer, actor and business owner, Tyler Perry, may keep in touch with book readers and followers of his television, stage and motion picture works better than any other established creative business leader. He sends video and email updates regularly, often posting motivational and inspirational messages for his supporters. It’s not surprising that he has such a large following. Even though he hasn’t met everyone who’s bought a ticket to his plays or movies in person, he keeps in touch to the point where his supporters likely feel as if they know him somehow.
You can do the same.
Sell thousands of books consistently and readers will not only come to recognize your works by name, they may also want to stay abreast of new writing projects you’ve undertaken. Prior to the launch of the Internet, you likely would have hit the road and attended a slew of book signings, hopefully selling at least a dozen copies of your latest book. Today you can don’t even have to leave home to connect with book readers. You can simply log onto social networks and craft an informative and entertaining newsletter to keep more in touch with book readers, people who love your creative work.
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