By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine
We all know to use our blog to keep in touch with our readers and friends. In addition, our blog should also be used to bring them into our worlds. Let your blog be the tool you use to cultivate not just the readers you have had, but future readers. Your blog is one of the most important marketing and sales tools you have.
Practice these seven ways:
· Update your readers. Tell them what you are working on. They love authors to share with them the stories being created.
· Is it going to be a mystery or a romance, or maybe a little of both. Perhaps you are thinking a thriller or a western. Tell them your thoughts, the pros and cons–they love to hear. It involves them in your writing.
· Let them in on the period you are thinking the story should be written in. You can even ask them what they think.
· What settings are you considering placing your story in? You could be considering the mountains in West Virginia, a little town in Ohio, or near an Ocean, the Florida coast, etc. Ask them to give you their opinion or if they have a suggestion. People love to be involved in projects, and especially with authors. It makes them feel a part of your book so involve them–see if they have a preference where you set the story. Ask them to help you name your fiction town.
· Ask for suggestions on naming particular characters. When they send in suggestions you could make a drawing out of it, and the winner’s suggestion will be used in the story and they will receive a signed book when it is published.
· Be sure, and keep them updated each week, be consistent, on your progress. Anytime you can get their input you are bonding with that reader, and they are bonding with you and that book. When you publish it, they are going to buy it.
· Let them in on the up’s and down’s, in’s and out’s-enough to whet the appetites, building excitement and buzz for the book. Perhaps they can participate by asking you questions. Anytime readers can ask the author questions or participate in any way, you can bet they are going to buy that book when it comes out.