In: Insights for Authors

Readers & Writers’ Perspectives

I recently realised that readers and writers each have their own perspective. As a reader, I prefer my authors to dive deep into themselves and create something wonderful. Something that makes me chuckle, brings me to tears or urges me to avoid the dark. ‘My’ authors are those who put talent and creativeness above mere money-making. ‘My’ authors write because they have to because it is a part of them without which they would not be whole. ‘My’ authors reach me and many others, with their writings and that is pretty awesome!

What Not To Do

Do not make the mistake of disregarding those, that already follow you and only seek out new readers for your book(s). Do not think that pushing for Amazon reviews is ok because you will reach a higher sales number. Do not post abundant ‘buy now’ messages all over social media. Do not make all your appearances about selling and marketing figures.

How To Build And Grow Your Readership

Most importantly, be there. Connect. Respond. Talk about other things — for instance, where your books are set and why. Why your protagonist’s character is flawed (trust me, a flawed character goes well with readers — no one wants a perfect character because they are impossible to relate to — unless you are perfect, of course, but then again, you would not be reading this because you would not need to. Everything is already perfect. Right?).

Local Opportunities

Find your own readership both on- and offline. Your hometown is the perfect place to start — give interviews in your local newspaper and send them press releases for upcoming publications. Visit your library and talk to readers. Think outside the box — an author event does not need to take place in a bookshop — many authors love to write in a coffee shop so perhaps yours offers an opportunity? — Remember this is to start building your readership. Start low but aim high!

Author Website

Have an author website, not only as a showcase for your books but also to blog on it. Share your thoughts on a regular basis, whether it is about research for your books or a haphazardous idea for an article. Some authors are reluctant to share personal information and that is fine, use other topics that you can somehow relate to your books. For instance, if your detective lives in London, you could post about the places in London, where scenes from your books take place. Or, if your book covers a certain topic, use related articles in newspapers concerning that topic to talk about — and refer to your book.

Connect, Comment, Respond

One of the main factors to becoming successful as an author is building a relationship with your following, your readers. Be consistent in your efforts and go the extra mile to respond to questions and reviews. Trust me, as a blogger, I know how wonderful it is to have an author react to your review. A good review can make your day as an author, likewise, a response from an author makes our day! We love it when authors connect to us. We do. Interaction is the key.

Take Your Time

In conclusion, think long-term and do not feel discouraged when things do not go as fast as you would like. Your book was not written in a week — you know that it cost you time and lots of effort. The same goes for building your following. As to social media: Use it! It’s there whether you like it or not so turn it into an advantage — connect with others in the bookish world, be supportive of other authors (you are NOT rivals!) and you will notice they, in turn, will do the same for you.

Writer & Editor | Life Coach. Passionate about words, curious about life. Free-spirited. Writing: carolinevincent.co.uk. Coaching: cazvincent.com