I did a training this week with a new client and one of her questions was something I hear almost daily: How do I connect with readers on social media? I know they’re out there, but how do I find them?
A great question, a not so easy answer.
Some authors take a laid-back approach — if readers want to find me, they will. And while I understand that desire to ‘be found,’ I also know that it rarely if ever happens to the extent the author hopes for.
While you’re waiting around to be discovered, try this instead: follow readers! How?
- Enter terms in Twitter search like: #AmReading #BookClub #Reading #Reader #FridayReads #BookReviewer #BookBlogger and your genre.
- Follow a writer similar in genre and tone to yourself — but also see whom they follow and who follows them.
- Check lists: what lists has a particular follower been listed on? Which have they created themselves? Click on who else is on the list and if they meet your criteria (potential reader, blogger, reviewer), follow them.
- Connect with bloggers who blog about writers in your genre. Book bloggers are an invaluable resource for any author.
I probably get about five requests weekly to read someone’s book, and while I appreciate that they think enough of me to ask, I tell them no. Not because I think I’m all that, but because I’m NOT a reviewer! As authors, we need to connect with book bloggers and book reviewers on social media so that when we ask for reviews, we’re not a total stranger making a cold call.
A few ways to connect with book bloggers and book reviewers:
- As I said above, enter the term #BookBlogger into search (whether on Twitter or if you use ManageFlitter, which allows for quick searches), follow them, interact (don’t sell!), RT them, comment on their posts. Make an effort.
- Check out the BookBloggerList.com for book bloggers broken down by genre, with contact information.
- Spend $2.99 and purchase The Author’s Guide to Book Bloggers (by Barb Drozdowich) for more in-depth information and help.
If you’re not on Goodreads yet, get thine self over there as soon as you’re done reading this and being mad at me for telling you to even more stuff. Goodreads (now owned by Amazon — hello?) is the premier place to interact with readers. Not only can you run contests and talk directly with readers, but they can review for you there as well. Tip: Join before your book comes out, otherwise asking for a review without establishing a relationship first is like expecting sex on a first date.
There are also many reading groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Take the time to peruse the most appropriate groups for you and join them now. Tip: as before, don’t go in expecting everyone to think you’re all that just because you’re there. You are no different than the
thousands millions of other writers looking for a break. Make a friend, make a sale.
Curating good content, actively following others, and interaction is the absolute quickest and most effective combo I’ve found for creating a quality following.
I hope this information is helpful and gives you specific information you can use NOW to grow your fan base and connect with readers. Got questions? Ask away!