Even if most of your readers purchase books or e-books at Amazon or in bookstores – who don’t reveal book buyers names or email addresses – you can still communicate with them through social media and later often directly.
First listen to your readers / customers
Why listen to what your customers have to say? It’s free feedback from the people who matter most to your book business. If you go shopping and a sales associate doesn’t listen to you, rather bombards you with sales pitches, you get annoyed. Same in online book marketing. Listening and asking questions is an important part. What do your readers want? What are they interest in? Ask them to provide feedback. Are you able to ask or to read between the lines? Google+ FB, Twitter and your blog’s commenters will reveal a wealth of information, keeping an eye on social media channels is a great way for any business to watch for trends.
Monitor Social Media for your ideal readers
You don’t need any expensive software or services to do so. Twitter and also Google+ offer their own search tools, which allows you to search for any keyword, phrase, handle or hashtag. Facebook will show you anyone who “likes” or mentions your books page or profile in a status update. Same with Goodreads.
Meet your readers online
After listening to your readers you then are ready to start communicating in real time with messaging systems that they are comfortable with, whether that be Twitter, Facebook or email. If you want to continue to have a relationship, you need to provide from time to time something of value to them. In order to get feedback readers must be able to communicate easily with you. Provide them with several ways to reach you – and also with your name. K.L or V.G. instead of your real (or pen) first name are very odd. How can a reader choose a salutation? Dear K.L. ?
Scan any Twitter or FB streams, and you will see it over and over again: writers asking people to support their book, to share and promote it. Some will even write simply “Buy my book,” over and over again and wonder why nobody does. They are forgetting to add any kind of value for their readers.
Send valuable content for free
Apart from useful tips and responding to your readers, give them some free content, such as certain chapters of your book or a short, free story. It gets shared, however, it does not mean that you give everything away – but enough to build trust and spread your content to the global online book readers community. When you then publish a new book they will buy it because they know you and love your writing. Write original articles or short stories, repurpose blog posts, send links to helpful articles written by others. Encourage your readers to subscribe to your mailing list and send out an update several times per year.
Make it interesting
Provide content in a variety of media, not just in plain text. Find out what type of media your audience wants. Your readers are used to images, videos, podcasts, webinars, book trailers, pdf… not only to reading e-books or receiving plain email text.
Website and social media updates: let your customers know when you have improved your website or are launching on social media such as a FB Fan Page, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube or Twitter profile.
Offer to write guest posts on blogs of your readers.
Don’t forget: It is cheaper to keep a customer (who spreads the word about your book) than it is to find a new one, and the best way to keep them is through regular, quality communication.
Follow and re-tweet other writers in your niche so that when you tweet, they will re-tweet your content to their followers who will have similar interests. FB-marketing can target interests and geography. Remember that social marketing involves passion and if you are passionate and motivated about your book, it will show, and will be shared.
Find some inspiration at Publetariat’s article about “Reader Centered Book Marketing” too:
It starts with: “Some authors think that readers will appear out of thin air, throwing dollars at them mere seconds after their book is published. Others see book marketing as some sort of unnecessary burden. And yet others appear to have given up altogether, sadly begging for book purchases on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t let that be you!”
If you’re enthusiastic, confident and passionate about your work, you can expect to jazz up readers. Give more than you take – it will come back.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
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And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris