Attention self-published authors: Successful business magnates such as Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Richard Branson have championed word-of-mouth marketing as the most effective and cost-efficient form of promotion. Why should we care about the opinions of three multibillionaires whose only published works are business manuals and autobiographies? You probably already know this, but the ability to write well is just one aspect of what it takes to be a great author.
Of course, being able to write a tale, an article, or anything else that’s worth reading is crucial. You must find someone to read your work to succeed as a writer. And because you’ve chosen the noble and commendable route of self-publishing and the eBook market, you can’t precisely spend millions on marketing like, well, Richard Branson. Communicating with and getting to know your readers is essential if you want them to become devoted followers who will eagerly purchase and further recommend whatever you put out in the future.
A readership is worthwhile, but cultivating a following takes time and work. This isn’t a one-and-done thing, either. To get the greatest results, you need to maintain the interest of your current readership while constantly attracting new ones. The question is, “How do you do that? If you want a fan following as huge as J.K. Rowling’s, consider these five suggestions:
Get Started Immediately
It’s best to get started on your community as soon as possible. Many writers have found long-term success by networking with their target audience before selling a book. When embarking on your writing journey, one of the first steps is establishing a website for your literary work. This online platform is your virtual home, where readers and industry professionals can connect with you and explore your creation. The best way to communicate with prospective followers is to give them what they want—information, conversation, and the chance to learn more about something they’re interested in.
Get In Front of Your Readers by Going To Them
As you would expect, social media plays a key role in fostering connections among people. You do not need to be present on every single platform. Those that are already well-liked by your intended audience will provide the greatest outcomes. Your presence on the correct social platforms is crucial to grow your readership. Get started with some research on your perfect reader base. You may also want to do a web search to check where others discuss subjects similar to your writing.
Bring as Much as You Can to The Table
Ideally, you’d want people to purchase your books down the road, but building a readership takes time and effort. For this to work, you must demonstrate that you’re interested in more than simply making a sale. Building trust with your audience requires giving without expecting anything in return.
One of the ways you can go about this is by telling your potential readers more about you and how you write. You may also try doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything), a popular way for artists to connect with their fans. You might also provide something exclusive to your community, such as sneak peeks at your work in progress or information you haven’t shared anywhere else.
To further hammer home the notion that you desire a conversation with your readers and not simply cheap advertising, you might also ask for comments and feedback from your community.
Spark a Discussion
Although it has already been stated above, we feel it is important to reiterate the importance of stimulating debate within your reading community. A community cannot exist if just one person participates in the conversation. Don’t stop trying to find ways to start conversations with your audience. Get back to people as soon as possible once they leave comments or send messages. In addition, use questions on pertinent themes to get feedback from others. Make it known that you are interested in hearing the opinions of your readership.
Keep Your Reader Base in The Know at All Times
Consistent connection with your audience members is crucial, so don’t forget to keep people up to speed as they get involved in you and your writing. The breakdown of a community often occurs when people stop talking to one another. Tell your community about upcoming things you’ll be doing or offering, such as events, new books, and discounts.
Keeping your readers in the know may keep them interested in your work. In addition, they will feel like insiders for being in on the secret. Never go without blogging, emailing, or otherwise interacting for extended periods. People may decide to leave because silence usually means disinterest.
When it comes to fostering a vibrant reader community, whether online or offline, it’s crucial to think outside the box and come up with innovative and captivating strategies that will unite individuals who share a passion for reading, encouraging them to connect, exchange ideas, and engage in meaningful discussions. Building a strong and supportive community is more important than ever in today’s fast-paced world. Whether you’re writing the next Great American Novel, short stories, non-fiction, or poetry, enhancing your reader community is a surefire way to achieve a few extra sales and a few extra fans.
David is an experienced writer who has worked in the sports industry for many years and he also enjoys writing about tech, business and real estate investments as a freelance writer. David's background as a Russian native gives him a unique perspective on Eastern European business culture and current trends. When he's not writing, David enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.