We talked the other day about an example of an editor personally connecting with a buyer (in this case, me) after a purchase. It was an excellent example of relationship building with your target market for your book.
So today I want to ask you... how else can authors build a relationship with their audience, whether one-on-one or not? I'll kick it off with a few basic ideas. I hope you'll leave a comment to help expand the list, sharing your own experiences (either as an author, publisher, or even customer).
Ways to Connect With Customers or Potential Customers
- Keep an author blog where you update your audience on news, expand upon topics covered in your book, etc.
- Distribute a newsletter that works in a similar fashion - don't just regurgitate what your book already tells them... go beyond that. Let them get to know you, and the subject matter, a bit more personally.
- Respond to comments on your blog. This is just as important, if not moreso, than the blogging itself. Why? Because this is where the "conversation," or real interaction, comes in. This is where you move beyond talking at your audience, and instead start talking to them.
- Email your customers personally when possible. This is what we covered the other day. If you're shipping the book yourself, send a quick email offering to sign it first (or include that option with the order form), or just to thank the reader personally. I've always found that I enjoy a book more when I've interacted personally with the author - In my work, I often know the author before the book comes out, so it's a little bit different. But by having a feel for them as a person, I can have more respect for the work, and can understand their positions more, even if I don't agree with everything they've written (very often true with books put out by PR colleagues).
It's your turn now. How do you interact with your customers or potential readers, or how do you think you can improve on that front?