Friday, December 16, 2016

How to "Connect" with Readers?

How do authors "connect" with readers? That's a great question, isn't it? 


Here are some ideas for you to try. Not every method works for every author or genre, so see what works best for you.

The obvious: Use Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.).
  • Be social, not just a salesperson
  • Share your expertise (i.e. hobbies often have popular forums to participate in)
  • Blog or Video-log or Podcast (the key here is participation - be seen and heard)
Don't forget the old-fashioned way of networking, too.
  • Press Releases to local news and magazines (don't forget regional and national, too)
  • Approach book groups (book clubs often pick a genre to read so find one that reads what you write) 
  • Find the niche that will gain the most from the theme of your story (i.e. knitters or quilters often like to read stories about their craft) and offer to speak to their group about their subject
  • Local and Regional bookstores (independent, chain or university)
  • Speak at Libraries or participate in local author events, workshops or conferences
Okay, this is by no means an exhaustive list, this is just to give you food for thought.

Once you do have an opportunity to speak here are some tips on how to "connect."

                                                               LISTEN WELL

  • Have a conversation with the audience (what is your favorite book? what is your favorite character in literature?) Don't just be a talking head!
  • When and if you get around to talking about your own book ask them questions
    • How did the story make you feel?
    • What has been your experience with the story's main theme?
    • What part touched you the most? 
    • Did the story create a question in your mind that was NOT answered? 
Now, I hear there's something out there called Social Currency. Basically, we need it. I'm told the way to get it is to remember the following when you write or speak to readers.
  • People talk about things that make them feel good. 
  • People want to feel sharp and in-the-know.
  • People like stories that are smart and funny and don't make them feel behind the times. 

Don't forget to Smile. Make Eye Contact. Laugh at yourself. Be yourself. Share.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday everyone!

Bonnie (BD) Tharp is an award-winning author of women's fiction, with novels FEISTY FAMILY VALUES and PATCHWORK FAMILY.  Also, the author of Kindle ebook short stories: THE CROSSROADS & EARL DIVINE.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Bonnie,

Great advice for all of us who write! Happy Holidays! Wishing you continued success with your writing.

Bonnie Tharp said...

Hi Jacqui! Thanks for the comment.Happy Holidays to you and yours. I hope everyone stays safe and has lots of fun.