By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine
Authors having to market and promote their books are always looking for ways to incorporate that part in their work schedule. You know, those things that must be done to sell books.
Every author knows the importance of having a mailing list of names and emails of everyone who contacts then about their books; people they meet at book signings, book clubs, conferences and events. Then there is the list of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. A good piece of advice is to keep each list separate.
The goal is to engage readers with you and your books. You have the perfect give away, a signed copy of your most recent book. So once a quarter, send out an email to engage everyone with the book you are writing.
Example: The first quarter you want to ask them to help you by giving you three things. (Working in three’s is always good.) Ask them to suggest a name for your protagonist, name for your antagonist, and a location site. (You can ask different questions, as long as require the person to give you answers that you can choose to use in your book because that’s easy for you to track.) Doing this helps involve your readers in your book. They have a vested interest in your writing the book. Be sure and let them know you will enter their name in a “drawing for a signed copy of your last released book”. Now be sure and announce this on Facebook, Twitter, and any other site you have. On the social media sites, specify they need to go to the link you give to enter the drawing.
If you decide to use one of their answers…then you will need to notify that person, what you are using and send them a signed copy of this book when released.
Second quarter, send out an email and give them a short synopsis of how your writing is going. You can give a short blurb about your protagonist background. (A couple of sentences…make sure it is something that will get their attention.) Share with them things you have found in research that are interesting, and tell them these things may or may not be in your book. In other words, you want just enough, to grab their interest, remind them you are working on a book, and you will keep them posted.
You will do the same the third quarter…bring them up today. Share what you can that keeps them interested. Or if you have hit a snag share a little of that.
That fourth quarter, hopefully your book is being edited, or being published, whatever state it is in. If you can, give them a date you anticipate the release. By now, you can know they are interested in your book, in you and they are anxious for it to be released; they are ready to buy it when it hits the stores.
I would definitely ask them, to write me after they read the book and let me know what they thought about the “twist in the book” or that “special scene” or to let you know if the “ending was a surprise” to them…engage them so you will hear back.
Be sure and announce a signed copy of the newly published book is going to the winner/winners of the people you chose to use their answers from the survey.
To be smart, continue your quarterly to them updating them on book signings, events, etc. Be sure and let them know when you have a new one coming out.
These are your readers, be sure and keep them.