Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Happy Fans Buy Books

I know this title seems obvious, but it is 100% true. When the fans of your books are happy, they will buy more books. It is for this reason, one of your top marketing tools is building that connection with your readers. It will be tough and yes, it will suck up your writing time, but those connections will lead to more sales.

I think that far too many authors forget that a lot of sales come from word of mouth. Think about it. When you discovered a new author, the odds are, it came from a suggestion from a friend or colleague. Those big sales are not necessarily coming from the huge marketing campaigns, but the money comes in at a steady flow.

So, how do you make those connections? Obviously various social media outlets are always a great touch. No, you don't have to "Friend" everyone. There are easy things such as a simple, "Thanks" when they post something, or a quick answer about a book. For example:

FAN: I just read THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BOB THE ALIEN VAMPIRE BUNNY and loved it! I thought Byron, the Hare was very likable. Is there a chance of him having a spin-off novel?

AUTHOR: Glad you loved it. I loved Byron too, and hadn't thought of a spin-off, but it might be a good idea.

Now, here is the thing. You acknowledged the fan, you answered it not with a form response, but, more importantly, you made this person feel like he or she is now part of the writing process.

An author I have fallen in love with recently (my son got me hooked on the series) is Ridley Pearson. and his Kingdom Keeper series. He took a really fun approach with the last books of the first part of this series. He had readers, provide single lines that were inserted into the book. He had
the lines footnoted and an acknowledgment to the reader was provided in the back of the book. These were not by names, but by their Login Name from his website. Readers loved this! As they were reading, they stumbled across their lines they wrote.

Blogs, although they might seem a bit out of date, are also a great place to keep the readers informed. But, here is the thing. The blogs must be constantly up-to-date, filled with relevant information, and easy to navigate. There has to be a reason for the readers to come back, time and time again. This is not meant to be a static advertising campaign for your book, but an interaction with the reader.

I know contests are a pain in the butt, but let's face it. People like free books! They like to win! Besides, if you are someone who has sitting in your house a lot of those promo books you received from your publisher, put those darn things to use! Make it interactive though. Using your social media, have people provide suggestions for new character names, give them a chance to come up with story ideas! Just do something other than, give me your name so I can add you to my mailing list.

I am sure a lot of you have other ways of building a connection with your readers. Let's hear those ideas!

And, if you love Disney, make sure to check out the Ridley Pearson series. As for me, he has me hooked and I am just waiting for the next book in the RETURN series.


  1. Reader conferences and making yourself available to speak to readers or even beginning writers (because all of us were once that). Only when you talk to readers don't cram your book down their throat. TALK TO THEM. You don't have to go into personal detail, but just be human. Be approachable and be nice. Treat others how you want to be treated. :)

    1. This is so true! I am always shocked at how so many authors simply do not want to talk to their readers. Instead, they simply sit behind a table, provide a fake smile, and say, "Do you want me to sign MY book for you?"

    2. That is such a pet peeve for me. When I was brand new and I saw authors do this it really turned me off of reading their book.

  2. Also I will check out that book for my 13 year old! She loves books like this and of course loves Disney. :)

  3. Make sure you start with the first of the Kingdom Keeper books. The one I have posted is book 2 1/2 of the second connected series.