Posted on April 17, 2020 at 3:44 PM by Guest Author
Knowing how to engage readers is more important than ever, as the current situation provides an opportunity for authors to entertain and connect with potential fans.
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To achieve success as an author, it’s crucial that you learn how to engage readers. You no doubt put a lot of time and effort into making each one of your books a real page-turner.
However, you also need to consider how you interact with readers in other ways.
Engaging with readers, especially online, is a big part of book marketing.
It’s what allows you to expand your reader base and build relationships with your fans.
And, of course, it helps you sell more books.
Given the current situation regarding COVID-19, it’s all too easy to let these efforts fall by the wayside.
But we’re here to tell you that you’d be missing out on a massive opportunity.
Due to recent stay-at-home orders, many people are experiencing new and unfamiliar challenges.
They’re struggling to entertain themselves.
They’re feeling lonely and cut off from others.
Chances are you can relate, as you may be going a little stir-crazy yourself. That’s why finding ways of engaging readers is a good move right now.
It gives you the opportunity to help people overcome these challenges, all while putting yourself and your work in front of potential new fans.
As an added bonus, it allows you to stay productive even when you’re too stressed to write.
With all of that in mind, we wanted to provide you with some tips on how to engage readers who are at home practicing social distancing.
Although these ideas are especially helpful now, you’ll quickly find that they can (and should) be applied at any point.
Let’s dive in…
1. Provide Quality Content on Your Author Blog.
As you likely have more time on your hands, now is a great time to consider launching or auditing your author blog.
The key is to provide website visitors with interesting, fun, and/or valuable information they actually want to read.
Here are some ideas:
Write a post about your genre.
Offer tips on taking up a new hobby.
Share some insight into your creative process.
Create articles based on themes in your books.
Do a mock interview with one of your characters.
And don’t forget that you can engage readers outside of your own website too.
2. Host an Online Q&A or AMA.
One of the best ways to engage readers is to give them the chance to get to know you better.
However, posting a biography or past interview is one-sided. It doesn’t forge the same type of connection that comes from real interaction.
Therefore, if you’re trying to figure out how to engage readers while you have some spare time, think about hosting an online Q&A or AMA (Ask Me Anything).
You can do a Facebook Live on your author page and answer your followers’ questions in real time.
If you’re camera shy (or just want to cover more ground), let people know you’ll be doing an AMA post on a platform such as Reddit.
3. Conduct a Virtual Author Reading.
Author events give you the chance to meet readers and generate interest in your latest book.
However, social-distancing measures have put a pause on in-person readings.
The good news is that you can still introduce potential fans to your book by going virtual.
You can do this via Facebook Live or by recording a video beforehand and posting it on your website, social media, etc.
Just approach it as you would an in-person event. Dress appropriately, speak clearly, and choose a strong section to read.
Further, ensure that you conclude your reading by letting your audience know…
What the title of the book is
What format(s) it’s in
When it will be available
Where they can get it
Tip: It may sound cliché, but always leave your audience wanting more. Make sure to select a passage that brings them into the story without giving too much away.
Ultimately, you want them to have questions they can only get the answers to by reading your book.
4. Create a Group on Social Media.
Facebook groups in particular have become extremely popular, and with good reason: They allow people to communicate with one another, trade ideas, and develop bonds despite distance.
So, if you’re wondering about how to engage readers right now, consider setting up a new group on social media.
How you structure your group is totally up to you. You can set up a weekly Q&A session, share interesting facts about your books, post daily conversation starters, etc.
When it comes down to it, you want to be sure you’re fostering a culture of respect, inclusivity, and positivity.
Encourage those in your group to post questions, thoughts, funny anecdotes, and more. And be accessible to those in your group.
5. Offer One of Your Books for Free.
Since social-distancing measures were put in place, people have started searching for ways to entertain themselves at home. It’s no wonder the interest in ebooks has experienced a significant increase…
Google Trends report for the search term “ebooks” for the past two months compared to last year.
You can take advantage of this interest and engage readers by offering your ebook free to new readers.
Why free, you ask?
Because it allows readers to try out your work before they buy it. If you’ve written a series, giving away the first book free is an especially great tactic.
In fact, a survey conducted by The Fussy Librarian found that 83% of readers purchased an ebook from an author after they got one for free.
Additionally, many people are trying to cut down on spending right now.
By giving away a book for free, you can entertain potential fans in a cost-effective way — something they’ll no doubt appreciate now and remember when they’re shopping for new books down the road.
If you want to put your free ebook in front of thousands of readers, sign up to promote it in our newsletter!
Knowing how to engage readers — be it online or in person — is a must for every author.
If you want to achieve greater success in your writing career, it’s important that you take advantage of every opportunity to entertain and connect with fans, especially now…
With everything that’s going on, you owe it to yourself and your readers to remain active, as the worst thing you can do is go radio silent.
It may require some extra time and effort on your part, but rest assured it will be worth it in the long run.
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