Book marketing theory and ideas are helpful, but sometimes you just need an actionable plan. Lucky for you, Book Marketing Tools is here to help you with doing just that! Follow this specific plan for finding and engaging with readers.
Note: YES, it takes time, and it doesn’t happen over night, but it does pay off. Most authors aren’t willing to invest the time, so those that do will see success from this type of direct and purposeful engagement with future readers…
1. Join 1 forum/blog/social media site or community – This is the key: don’t spend too much time at this step. Your first inclination will be to worry and wonder if the one place you chose is the best, and you’ll continue trying to find the best and never move on from this step. Pick a place online that has readers there who will probably be interested in your book, then move onto the next step.
2. Start engaging with others on the forum/social network, etc so they get to know you – Don’t start off trying to sell your book. Don’t start off posting your book trailer and posting links to Amazon. Just start off by being normal and engaging with people. This is how you build connections with readers. If you start off shouting “Buy my book!”, you won’t see near the payoff that you will by engaging with people directly, and then at the right time, mentioning your book.
3. Continue writing your book all the while doing this work – You can do this while you are writing your book or after you’ve written a book. It has much more effect before you have your book written so you can launch with a bigger bang, but you can still increase your book sales if the book has already been published. Just be sure to continue writing if you are indeed still writing your book.
4. After you have built some connections start to share about your story – Your story is interesting, it makes you human, and it creates a connection with people. Tell this story, on the forum, on social media, etc. As people connect with your story, they will be more interested in what you write, which will lead to more sales.
5. Ask specific people you have connected with to join your initial list – Sometimes people just need to be told or asked to do something. Hopefully your mailing list is front and center on your website, but even still, people you have connected with may not know about your mailing list. Once you have connected with people and shared your story, if they still seem interested and engaged with you, then just ask them to join your mailing list. Some will and some won’t, but those that do may become readers for life.
6. Build out your website to also funnel in users – We mentioned above that your website should point people to your mailing list. One great tip we’ve learned from a top online marketer is to put a mailing list signup form on your “About Me” page. If people are interested in learning about you, they will be more likely to sign up for your mailing list so why not put the mailing list sign up on the page they are learning about you? Make sure that you mention your mailing list in the back of your books as well. (Learn what else should be in the back of your books here.) All of these things create a funnel that draw people to your mailing list.
7. Continue to ask people to join you – Hopefully, you will continue to engage with more and more people. Don’t forget to ask them to join you. People want to be a part of something, and they want to feel like they have a connection, so all it takes is you asking. Between you asking and the funnel you set up on your website and in your books, your list will continue to grow, your sales will grow, and those readers who have built connections with you will tell other readers and THAT is how you start the cycle of finding new readers.
As we mentioned, this is going to take time, but the more and more you engage with potential readers, the more you will see joining your mailing list and buying your books.
If you want more tips about how to find your readers and engage with them, watch, read about, or listen to the 3rd episode of The Author Hangout, featuring Cristin Harber, an author who sold 20,000 books in 1 month!
Don’t just let this blog post be good information that you have learned… put it into action!
NOTE: This content previously appeared several months before this was published, exclusively on our authors’ book marketing email list, Tuesday Tips. Want to get more great content like this post delivered right to your email inbox every Tuesday? Then go sign up here for free and you will get our free Ultimate Author Checklist as well.