There was – apparently – a time when a writer merely wrote, sat back, and let the good times roll. That time is no more, at least not for 99% of us.
These days writers are marketers, publishers, formatters, designers, and most importantly… engagers. To stand out from the crowd you need to communicate with your readers, make them swoon, and have them become your biggest endorsers.
This is no easy task, and it needs genuine love and affection, but any writer is capable of it.Engage Your Reader
It won’t take long before you acquire a few readers. Some people have many, and others just a few. No matter what the number, I urge you to involve your readers as much as possible. Be a person who adores connecting with other people, even if you’re introverted and shy.
I too am quite the introvert. I do appreciate meeting new people, though, and I love to connect with like-minded folk. As such I’m always open to new connections. I try to get to know them and allow them to get to know me too.
Here are just a few benefits engaging with your reader can have:
- New Friends
- Social Sharing
- Beta Readers
- Critique Partners
- New Events, Organisations, People, etc
- Learn New Stuff
All of these have benefited my world. They include people I didn’t know prior to creating my Blog. I’ve met them recently, but they’re a very important part of my life.
How To Engage
These are just a few ideas that I’ve personally partaken in. I urge you to find other means, create your own, and build it around YOUR Platform. This is what I did for my debut novel, Beyond Parallel, and although I’m sure not all will work for you, I hope they provide some inspiration.
1: A Short Story
I created a short prequel (set the night before Beyond Parallel begins) that is FREE and aimed at engaging with my readers. The story is short, the engagement is high, and I include a host of behind-the-scene features.
This took a little time and cost a little money, but I loved the process. It helped me connect with some new people and further establish relationships with others.
2: Facebook Group/Page
I started this way too late, but a Facebook Group/Page for your book is a great idea. It allows you to upload pictures, updates, and special features that only those who follow are privy to.
It’s all about the journey. I’m going to create my second novel’s Facebook Page ASAP. I want my readers to be part of my daily world. Writing… editing… events… people love being part of a journey.
3: Polls & Surveys
People love competitions and freebies, but I think they like polls even more – as long as it’s for a worthy cause – like your book.
Allow your readers to vote on your book cover, help choose the name of certain characters, tighten up your book descriptions, and create promotional material. Whether you have a small or large following, having your reader be part of the process will make them feel special. Too few writers do this, in my opinion.
4: Regular Emails
More importantly, emails that DO NOT sell. Around launch day, sure, but make the majority of your emails helpful and fun.
Share your journey, ask them to leave feedback, and tell them about your worries, excitement, and everything in between. Email is a great way to connect with people, but most are wary about what it represents. Be one of the cool folk who use email to engage.
5: Give More Than You Take
The whole point is to get people to buy your books, but don’t let this take over your life. If you love what you do, people will love you back. Money is a byproduct of this.
Create a free ebook, do regular giveaways, meet with your readers, and provide special, secret tips that can help them become writers themselves. You don’t have to giveaway expensive prizes, merely give more than you take.
Value Thy Reader
I look at this way: my readers –whoever they are and wherever they are – are my most valuable asset in the whole wide world. Without them I couldn’t justify writing, at least not without having another job.
I do the above because I enjoy it and love connecting with people. I also love it when fellow writers do this. I feel part of their world, which makes me loyal and eager to share and help where I can.
How do you involve your readers in your journey?
Do any writers engage with amazing effect?
Please, share your thoughts below… thanks for reading. Matthew Turner
Matthew Turner is a writer from Yorkshire, England. His debut novel, a coming-of-age tale entitled Beyond Parallel, is currently available. From the same mold as Sliding Doors, Beyond Parallel is an emotional roller coaster flips between two parallel stories.