As a career author, you may often wonder: how do I connect with my readers? Getting a reader interested in your books is one thing, but connecting to your readers an author (and fellow read) can often be a challenge.
Keep in mind that some readers have no interest in connecting with the author at all: reading your books is enough for them. But, since the advent of social media, people have been looking for more authentic connections to the creators of their favourite content. Letting your readers know a little more about you through different avenues can help you create a strong readership and increase your sales as more and more people find ways to enjoy you writing and get a glimpse into the life of one of their favourite authors.
We at KWL have compiled this list of suggested places to start, and ideas on what you can do online and even locally to connect with your readers and forge new relationships with folks looking to find some new and exciting work.
Patreon – Patreon remains a great place for all types of creates to get direct support from their readership while sharing news, extra content, process information, and other exclusives.
Newsletters – newsletters are a must for connecting with readers. These newsletters can contain anything you wish – from advertisements to updates and beyond. Short, snappy newsletters that feature links and at least one image are highly effective. Be sure to encourage your readers to sign up by using newsletters as one of the main sources of information about your current and upcoming titles!
Podcasts – whether you start your own podcast or find yourself featured on those of others’, podcasts are a great way for your readers to literally hear your voice. An interview focused around your latest book launch is a great way to get new readers interested and to connect with your avid fans at the same time.
Remember: if you want to reach out to a book or self-publishing related podcast for a feature, be sure to do it well in advance! Most podcasts will only be able to offer episode features in the (sometimes distant) future, so stay proactive, and connect with podcasts you already listen to or that feature other writers in your circle.
#BookTok – speaking of using your voice… TikTok, specifically #BookTok, is a great place to connect with your readers by making short videos about your books, your writing process, your TBR piles, your cat – anything, really! The ability to comment on and “stitch” (or reply to and interact with a video using a video of your own) these brief and often entertaining videos creates a great space for developing an avid, enthusiastic readership.
Online events – host an online event, either yourself (utilizing Facebook or Instagram Live, for example) or link up with fellow authors to hold a reading or a book launch. Use that newsletter or Patreon to highlight it, and get people interested in joining by offering an exclusive reading from an unreleased work, for example!
In-person events – if possible, get involved in a book club or pitch a reading to your local bookstore – especially if you already have a relationship with either or. Like podcasts, however, remember that these organizations and businesses are probably very busy: ask in advance, especially if you want to get a new release across their proverbial doorsteps. See what they’re looking for when it comes to inviting authors in for a book club meeting or what a business needs from a self-published author looking to host a reading or launch. Communication, as always, is key! And a well-planned event will leave your readers excited at the opportunity to spend time with you and you work.
Book reviews and book hauls – so many bookstagrammers and folks on #BookTok absolutely adore doing book reviews and showing off their book hauls, whether physical or digital. Reach out to some of your favourite literary content creators and see if they would be interested in reviewing one of your books – either a new release, an upcoming release, or one of the best from your backlist – or see if they can include it in a haul. Remember – always offer a complimentary copy of your book!
#Day In the Life of an Author – the ultimate way to connect: show off what a day in the life of an author looks like! Using any of the platforms mentioned – Patreon, a newsletter, Instagram or Facebook Live, TikTok, whatever – plan a post, write-up, live viewing or short video (or video series) about what a day in the life of an author looks like. From making your coffee or tea in the morning to how you tidy up you desk and even what kind of keyboard or notebooks you use, readers love getting to know more about what it is like to be an author. This type of content satisfies their curiosity and gets them evermore interested in your upcoming works.
How do you connect with your readers? Share with the KWL below – and, as always, happy writing!