By Becky Muth
When I gave up a paltry retail job to begin a career in freelance writing, I had no idea it would lead to authoring a book. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew I was registered for 2013 National Novel Writing Month. I met a wonderful group of local writers and plan to release the book, a collection of 13 short stories, this fall.
This spring I released one of the stories in digital format. It did not occur to me until after the fact that I needed an audience that was not only interested in the book, but that would follow its progress beyond its release date – especially if I planned to write additional books. After all, books don’t sell themselves.
Three Tips to Build a More Authentic Audience
Having an audience is a big step on the ladder to success. You don’t need thousands of social media followers, just the most dedicated ones who are sincerely interested in your work. These people are more likely to tell others about your work – up to ten other people per follower.
Naturally building an audience can be a slow process, but here are some of the ways you can attract genuine followers on social media, regardless of the network:
1. Post Fresh Content Frequently – Your followers love fresh content. It keeps them interested. Google loves it, too and uses this to authenticate your internet footprint. That means when people use Google to search for you, you are more likely to show up at the top of the results.
2. Respond to Reader Messages – When you respond to reader comments and questions, you send an underlying message that says, “I respect the time you spent to contact me.” A thoughtful reply can mean the difference between a fan for a moment, or for a lifetime.
3. Keep Calm and Carry On – Avoid confrontation at all cost. Your job as a writer is to share the written word with your followers. If someone has an opinion about your work that you disagree with, then agree to respectfully disagree.
The Difference between Opinions and Trolls
While letting someone have a different opinion than yours is courteous, it is not an invitation for harassment or any other kind of online abuse. Wikipedia describes an internet troll as “a person who sows discord on the internet by starting arguments or upsetting people.” If you feel you’re being trolled, report it to the network administrator or block the person from following you.
Whether you’re tied to a publisher or are an indie author, it’s up to you to build your audience. Set aside 30 minutes a day to spend on the business side of your social media accounts. Success won’t happen overnight. Stay true to those who follow you on social media networks, and you’ll hold their attention. More importantly, they will be more likely to stay true to you.
Becky Muth never planned to write full time, but in January 2012 that is exactly what happened. Between freelance gigs for clients on four continents, she works to finish her debut novel, HAUNTED WOMEN OF THE APPALACHIANS, due out in the autumn of 2014. Becky lives with her husband (a retired career firefighter) and their two (home schooled) teenage sons, as well as their adopted pets, three mixed-breed dogs and a turtle named Speedy. During her free time she enjoys traveling with her family, reading, and knitting. Have you liked the page for my new book? Get updates about release dates and upcoming contests here: https://www.facebook.com/hauntedwomenoftheappalachians