[This article is a guest post by Jennifer Joplin, a freelance writer at help.plagtracker.com.]
Being a mysterious writer who doesn’t want to interact with readers is no longer a good tactic to make people curious about your work. One of the most effective marketing strategies today is to communicate directly with your audience. Here are few tips on how to engage your audience so they buy more of your books, and recommend those books to their friends.
1. Reading sessions and book signing
One way to literally get in front of your fans and communicate with them directly is to host a book signing and/or reading event. This is where writers can personally meet their fans, thank them, and answer their questions. In order to ensure fans will attend your book signing, you should heavily promote the event through online activities (social media, blogging, etc.)
2. Social Media
Social media is a great tool to communicate with people and reach your target audience. There are many social media tools you can use to interact with your readers, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. There are also social media platforms, such as Goodreads, that have been built specifically for writers. Social media sites can be the most convenient (and immediate) tools to promote your books and upcoming events. These platforms can also be used to answer fan questions in real-time and easily get comments and feedback from your readers.
3. Fan fiction forums
Many avid readers and superfans like to visit fan fiction forums where they can read as well as write fan fiction stories. Fan fiction is an interesting genre where writers get to create alternate plots and endings for existing narratives. Sometimes, fan fiction stories can become as popular as the original. This is why you should (if it’s appropriate for your genre) also be active on fan fiction forums to get in touch with the readers, communicate with them, actively respond to their questions about your book, and get a fresh look at what readers are really looking for.
As a writer, you have the ability to write about other topics besides your books. You can do this, and in a personal way, by means of a blog. Blogging is a great way to get readers interested not only in your books, but also in you as an individual. It can also be a good way to share your writing experiences and tips. And since blogs are a great place to share shorter bits of writing in a number of formats, they can also help you avoid writer’s block.
5. Other sharable content
Aside from your typical text-based blog post, you can also share other content such as images, videos, audio clips, and chapter excerpts to engage with your audience. Do everything you can so readers won’t forget about you or your works.
Now you have at least five ways to engage with your existing readers, make new connections, and sell more books. Got any ideas to add to the mix? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Teddy bear image from Shutterstock.]