In an industry brimming with choices, keeping your reader base loyal and coming back for more from you can be a challenge. With new titles being introduced in the book market every few minutes each day, readers are presented with a feast that even book gluttons themselves can find overwhelming, making it difficult for them sometimes to keep track of which authors they would rather stick to reading.
Being a book reader myself for years now, I am finding it hard to read books from the same author for months at a time. This is mainly because there are many new authors worth discovering and new books too hard to ignore. Hence, I sink my teeth into a great variety of penned masterpieces every week and while I may have read one that tugged at my heartstrings and felt a certain kinship with its author, I tend to get distracted and forget about it once I moved on to the next book.
The thing is, even if an author writes spellbinding, breathlessly beautiful and fascinating stories, some readers can however be fickle and quick to have a change of heart. Still, there are others who have short attention span. With that said, how can an author keep her readers loyal?
Here are some tips which can help you make your fan base keep coming back for more:
1. Give back to your readers
This does not always have to be gift give-aways, contests or loyalty reader programs, although they can be great elements in keeping your readers glued to you, too. However, one of the most tangible strategies you can establish is developing a real relationship with your fan base. Find ways to connect with them on a more personal level and reach out sincerely. I find Mary Keeley’s example on the same topic compelling and unique. Ask yourself what you are most passionate about and utilize that as a means to genuinely connect with your readers.
2. Technology is a gift
You don’t really have to travel to places and meet face to face with every single one of your followers, thanks to the power of technology. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads and so on are great ways to reach out to everyone in real time right in the comforts of your own home. An occasional email to a few of your most loyal followers can be very valuable to them. So is setting up a group page where you can interact with all group members freely.
3. It’s not always about you
You have a Facebook page where you regularly update your fans about your latest project, a newsletter that goes out every weekend telling them about your adventures and occasional misadventures and a website where you blog about anything and everything – from your kitchen mishaps to your anniversary trip to Bali. In short, they are well aware and kept abreast of what’s going on in your life and that’s really cool because the truth is, they are eager to know about the real person behind the name. However, your fans would love to share about their lives, too and being able to share their own triumphs and losses to someone they admire can be priceless.
So, walk the extra mile and craft ways to get to know your readers on a more personal level, just like they know you through your online profiles. You can use the same platform (your website or Facebook group page) to encourage them to share a little about themselves and be generous with your time: engage, interact, ask questions, share, give advice when necessary or when asked, lend them your ears and occasionally widen your shoulders for them to cry their heart out on. Be an inspiration. Be their friend.
These are just some of the ways you can keep your readers loyal to you. I am sure there are more ways you can achieve this and if you know of one or two ways not mentioned here, please feel free to use the comment box below and share. I’ll be sure to jump in on the conversation!