Starting out as an indie author is a daunting task when we first read the to-do list that is expected of us. Start a newsletter, make a Facebook group, post every day on all social media platforms. Don’t forget to polish off those deleted scenes to share with your fans and oh yeah, engagement is essential if you’re going to sell any books.
We’re really just scratching the surface with that list.
Even though it looks like a mountain to climb, we go ahead and tick everything off as we go. We’re connecting with our readers and slowly building up an audience but here’s the kicker: we’re not really getting many responses on our posts.
We’re Anxious Authors, we’re not always happy being in the spotlight. Not drawing attention isn’t a big problem, right? But if we want to sell our books, we need to get our work and by extension, ourselves, out there. There are few better ways to do that right now than social media (apart from newsletters).
If we aren’t seeing a lot of engagement on our posts, there are steps we can take to get people’s attention with more engaging content. So what do we put into our posts if we want to get more people on board?
You can never go wrong with cute things. Whether it’s a picture of your pets or sharing an artist’s illustrations of a baby dragon (with their permission of course), cute things are going to get engagement.
It might seem like a bit of a cop out but it’s not. We aren’t always going to have updates about our books, sales or giveaways going on. In fact, sometimes we’re just going to be sat at our desk banging our head against the keyboard. On those days, it’s time to bust out the kitten pictures. It’ll make us feel a whole lot better and our readers will have something to engage with.
Having a laugh with our readers is a great way to engage. Making a post with a joke or a funny meme can really get the engagement up, especially if our readers can relate. It’s super important to note that this humour has to be universal, as in, the jokes can’t be at someone else’s expense. Cliff notes: no inappropriate jokes. Not only should we not be making them anyway but we could lose readers that way.
Laughing with our readers is also a great way to inspire humour in our own novels. If you look at point number four, this is another fantastic opportunity to make our readers feel more involved. Take a break from writing and have a laugh with your audience!
Questions invite discussion, so ask plenty of them. Getting to know our readers isn’t just good for keeping them engaged but also learning what it is they want most from their books. We don’t have to change our writing styles or write something completely alien to us to please our readers. But learning their favourite tropes and favourite character elements to include in our books is a sure-fire way to keep them interested in our future work.
We might be Anxious Authors but we are also business people. Entrepreneurs listen to their customers and ask them how they can do better to stand out among the competition. With millions of indie books out there right now, it’s surely an idea to do the same thing.
Ask For Input
There’s only one thing readers love more than reading books from their favourite authors and that’s feeling like they helped in creating it. Occasionally asking our readers what they would like to see in our upcoming books, whether it’s a particular trope, a character we’ve written in other series or maybe even just a name, can make them feel involved.
In my opinion, making connections with our most avid readers is a very unique experience and one that only indie authors can achieve. The big names and traditionally published authors tend to keep their readers at bay a little more (probably because they have so many fans!) So, get your readers involved, learn all about them and make them feel special. Because they really are.