Connecting to Your Readers as a Self-Published Author

The Internet has opened up so many avenues and changed the way industries function. Thanks to the domination of Amazon, so many brick-and-mortar stores have to readjust or close their doors in an effort to compete with the demand for digital retailers. Additionally, the publishing world has changed dramatically as well. Years ago, aspiring writers had to mail their manuscripts to major publishing houses with the hopes that they’d one day get picked up. However, times have changed dramatically. Now, a person can decide to self-publish their own book at their leisure. With the right strategies and techniques, this option can actually be more lucrative than getting a publishing deal. Even if you were able to get a publishing deal, most publishers want to see that you have a large social media following already. If you already have a large social media following, you can do all of the work yourself. As a self-published author, you simply need to focus on making sure you create amazing work and consistently connect with your readership base. There are many strategies you can use to make this happen.

Forums & Workshops
There’s nothing quite like the in-person connection. When you’re able to connect with people who are interested in the same topics as you, the experience can be pretty exciting and memorable. This is why you should never neglect the opportunity to connect with others in person. There are plenty of ways to develop a following through in-person connections. Attend different seminars, workshops and conferences that align with your brand as an author. As you become more acquainted with different circles, see if there are any opportunities to speak and share your story. If you’re not confident in the area of public speaking, it’s time to develop that muscle. Whether you attend public speaking classes or begin practicing at home, public speaking is another major component involved in being an author who advocates on behalf of their books.

Email List
Once you’ve developed a website, make sure that you or your web developer inserts a pop-up button for website visitors to join an email list. When someone gives up their email address, recognize this has a sure sign that they want to know more about you. Most people check their inboxes several times a day. Even though many people receive hundreds of emails a day, you’ll increase your chances of remaining in touch when your email is one of the hundreds in the actual inbox. Take a look at your content and consider what you’d want your newsletter schedule to be. As a self-published author, you can choose to send a really informative weekly newsletter that your readers can look forward to. Depending on your niche, you can provide applicable gems for their enrichment. If you’re an author who spends a lot of time uncovering the mystery surrounding how to be happy at all times, you can include links to different books and 200 motivation quotes that they might want to look at on a regular basis. When you’re preparing the content for the email newsletter, take a look at the back-end statistics to see what people are more interested in reading. When you’re able to see what content your readers prefer, you can provide more content that’s in line with your continually-evolving brand.

Social Media
If an author with the backing of a publishing house needs to have a social media following, a self-published author truly needs to make sure they’re committed to the process. Depending on your personality, social media can be viewed as a gift or a curse. There are times when any given person can see social media as both. You just have to maintain a strategic plan when you’re approaching social media. First, it’s best to focus on one or two platforms first. Pick platforms where your potential audience hangs out. Think of the generational groups. If you’re looking to connect with Baby Boomers, you’ll definitely want to open up a Facebook page. If you’re looking to connect with young teenager readers, Twitter and Snapchat are great options. If you can’t manage the social media aspect on your own, it’s always okay to hire a social media consultant or manager to take care of this aspect for you.

Podcasts are increasingly popular for building a brand. Podcasts might be considered the new business card. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to new people, start conversations and interact with people within your niche. Plus, it’s pretty simple to purchase the equipment and get started from the comfort of your home. Know your potential audience so that you can learn how to make sure that your podcast speaks to their interests and needs. Then, you can line up various guests that will speak to specific topics within your niche. Guests are excellent because they can help expand your visibility. When they are featured on your podcast, they’ll naturally share the details with their followers. As you continue this type of reciprocity, you’ll increase your following and connect with new readers on a deeper level.