Guest Expert: Tony Eldridge
Marketing, especially book marketing, takes place on two fronts. First, the front that helps us find new readers. Second, the front that helps us keep the readers we already have. Why is it important to keep our current readers? Because they help us spread the word about our book; they buy more copies of our books as gifts for others, and they buy our new books when they come out.
So, as we focus on finding new readers, let’s not forget the ones we already have. An easy way to stay connected with our current readers is by having customer appreciation program. This can take many forms and does not have to entail us having to give away something we have to purchase. Often, simple recognition is a bigger deal than we can imagine. Below are a few ideas of how you can initiate a customer/reader appreciation program:
1. Reader Of The Week/Month/Year- You know how much you enjoy it when someone toots your horn in public. This is a way for your readers to feel that same special feeling. All it takes is a quick mention on your blog to make their day.
2. Name A Character After Them- If you are a novelist, then you can immortalize a fan by naming a character after them. I know authors who name all of their characters after their fans, at least their first name.
3. Mention Them In Your Acknowledgment- If you are a non-fiction writer, consider mentioning some of your raving fans in your acknowledgement.
4. Have A Colleague Let Your Send Them An E-Book- Think about how special someone would feel if you sent them an e-book from a colleague, especially an e-book that is for sell and not given away for free. You may be able to work out a swap with your author friend that allows them to give out 10 copies of your book and allows you to give out 10 copies of theirs. Not only will you have a reader appreciation event, but your book will be introduced to some of your colleague’s raving fans as well.
5. Send A Personal Message- Most of us have auto responders of some sort (i.e., Thank you for signing up for my newsletter…), but imagine the goodwill you will build by spending a few minutes to write and send a personalized e-mail message of thanks. Find something unique to personalize the message with so they know it’s from you and not from your software.
6. Ask For Their Feedback- Invite a few of your customers to give you honest feedback on your marketing efforts and/or your writing. This is not asking for editing feedback, but things like “What did you like about my book” or “What did you wish I would have left out?” Ask permission before you involve them and you will be surprised how many people will feel special that you are seeking their advice.
7. If Possible, Allow Your Raving Fans To Purchase Your New Book Before The Public- Being invited to an exclusive event is a great way to tell your readers how special you think they are.
These are just a few ways you can let your readers know how special they are to you. By taking a few moments to single them out for praise and/or recognition, you are strengthening that bond you worked so hard to create. It will also help to ensure that your raving fans keep on raving about you and your book.
Tony Eldridge is the author of the action-adventure novel, The Samson Effect, and author of the video e-book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests. On his Marketing Tips for Authors Blog you can find practical advice on low cost and no-cost methods for marketing your book. Sign up for his free newsletter to get video tips to help you with some of the more technical aspects of marketing your book online.