As authors in today’s dynamic publishing environment, read, write, and talk about how to gain and keep readers. We often hear about the need for authors o build a web presence, be active in social media, do book readings and signings, and to have a platform. The “to do” list seems overwhelming with no clear path to begin. What is often unclear is that these actions are all about building relationships with readers
It sometimes seems that there is too much to do, not enough time to write and create, and no time left in our days to reach out to readers, especially when we are new or have few items in publication. But there is one type of reader that is easy to reach and interested in building a relationship with you. Local authors.
All authors are also readers! Remember, as an author, one day you will be trying to reach readers—the best way to learn about what readers want is to be one! The best way to gain support for your own work –is to support other authors.
Do you remember Coca-Cola’s commercial where they wanted to “teach the world to sing”...
That was a powerful message—as we hummed to the music and the words imprinted messages in our minds, we saw images of people from many nations holding hands across a mountainside….reaching out to each other in relationship. What would you give to have your readers “sing” about your books?
Why do so many authors today create reading guides for book groups? Because the members of the book groups not only talk to each other about the books they read, but they also talk to other people…. So, start now, building relationships with readers and authors…
1) Seek out local authors
a. Places to find local authors:
· Online events listings
· Posters in bookstores
· Festival and fairs
· Friends and book groups
2) Attend local author’s book readings and signings
a. Research them online and come prepared with a question or two about their books, their background, their inspiration, etc
b. Read the content on their websites-and give them feedback
3) Buy local authors books, read them and post a review
a. The greatest gift you can give a writer is to read their work and post a review!
4) Connect with local authors on Facebook, Twitter, Good reads, etc
a. They spend a lot of time trying to reach readers—respond!
b. Writers appreciate feedback from their readers –it’s great to know that someone other than family and friends are finding and reading your work
Be an author’s advocate—one day it may be you who wants others to talk about your work
Practice the Golden Rule –do for other readers and authors what you want them to do for you. Build relationships. Create community. Listen and learn. Sales begin with marketing, and marketing begins with relationships. Start now!