Staying Engaged

Typesetter

I wrote a while back in an article about building a platform that we need to stay engaged with our readership. I also once mentioned (at least once) that people buy books from people—it’s where indie authors can really excel and fine their footing—and it’s something that Amazon and the big chains can never do. A really good article came out over at the Marketing Christian Books Blog (one of the blogs I strongly suggest read my audience follow).

Guest writer Dan Poynter asks point blank “What am I willing to commit in time and energy each day or week to keep my book alive?”

I think that it’s important that authors don’t like to themselves and realize that excitement and enthusiasm will wane during different periods—but that they should set some realistic goals (and if you’re just starting and building a grandiose plan, your actual plan should probably be less than you think it is right now…just to keep it realistic and not burn out when it gets harder to find the committed time. Poynter also points out (as has my own contact at eLectio Publishing—where I have a book forthcoming in September) that authors tend to give a great effort to promote their book when it’s been recently released but that effort slowly dwindles away until nothing remains.

He recommends something similar to what I did in my article about platform building—a list of different possible actions to accomplish daily or weekly. Here is his list:

  1. Publish a new blog post or podcast at least once a week.
  2. Share your blog post on Reddit or StumbleUpon.
  3. Send a newsletter to your email list sharing your new blog post or podcast and reminding them of your book.
  4. Comment at least once a day on your social media accounts.
  5. Send a request to a book reviewer or blogger asking them to review your book.
  6. Join the discussion on online groups (Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads) that speak to your target audience or topic. Respond to a thread or start a new thread regularly.
  7. Write insightful comments on a blog that targets your audience or speak on your topic a couple times each week.
  8. Write articles and guest blog posts.
  9. Send a request to be a guest on a podcast that speaks to your topic or audience.
  10. Send thank you notes to people who share your social media posts, give you a shout out, air your blog post, interview you, or review your books.

I would offer a few caveats, however. There is such a thing as going to far.
#3—if you send an email every day your audience will stop reading. If you send one every week and the focus is on selling your book instead recapping a blog or special thing you are doing beyond the book, people will quit reading because it’s too salesly.
#6—don’t be too overt in steering to your book—OR too dominant as an expert…be sure to it remains conversational; it’s not a debate

Check out the full article at https://marketingchristianbooks.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/are-you-willing-to-commit

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