RWA17 Workshop Recap – Attracting Readers


August 14, 2017

At the #RWA17 conference, I attended several sessions that told us how to attract more readers. See my post on building Mailing Lists below if you’ve missed that one. Again, these conference notes are subject to my interpretation. So let’s look at some of the suggestions.
Reader
Respond to readers by replying to their emails, tweets, and Facebook posts. Mention their name in your response. Tag them if you want to catch their attention. You want to turn “cold” leads into customers, then fans, then friends, and finally into ambassadors.
Use social media tools to get your message across several platforms. Check out https://meetedgar.com/ for managing social media posts. It allows you to schedule posts across several sites. For limited time posts, you can set expiration dates. Another site is https://www.socialjukebox.com/. This allows you to set automated tweets and also link to Facebook and LinkedIn. I use this one and it’s a great time-saver. Resharing your evergreen content keeps your social profiles active and gives your posts more exposure.
Post regularly and vary the content of your posts. Do #ThrowbackThursday (old photos) and #TGIFriday (plans for weekend). Always include hashtags on your tweets and Instagram posts.
Involve your readers. Bring them into the creative process. Ask for opinions on cover art or book titles. Ask which secondary character they’d like to see in your next book.
Video is popular on social media and so are photos. Try Facebook live video or adding photos to a post. It will have a higher organic reach. Boost your posts. Share to a page or group. Link your Instagram posts to show up on Facebook and Twitter. Establish your brand on Pinterest.
Upselling counts in the book market. Offer new mailing list subscribers a freebie then say that for only $X, they can get the next book. Utilize drip mailing campaigns to this purpose. At each step, you’re offering something new.
Maximize your social media channels. Facebook ads were discussed along with other ways to get newsletter signups using widgets and links to your opt-in form. Use pinned tweets when you want to advertise a new release or giveaway. Invite interactors to Like your page. Participate in Goodreads and join special interest groups on the different sites.
Pricing and Sales. Indie authors can run sales campaigns on more expensive books at other platforms like iBooks. Ninety-nine cents may be better than free in a campaign because you’ll rank in the sales charts, and readers are more likely to read a book they paid for than a freebie. Although, I have to say I’ve found new authors from free books offered on BookBub and at The Fussy Librarian. Then I’ve gone on to buy their entire series. Sales of your backlist titles can carry over to your frontlist (new) titles.
Cutting Edge Technologies like apps and Facebook Messenger ads could become more important. Offer a free book or chapters via Messenger as part of a drip campaign. Build your Messenger subscribers, but your newsletter mailing list should still come first.
Use Multiple Points of Entry. Offer readers full-length novels, short stories, novellas, spinoffs, mini-series within a series, sample chapters.
Diversify your Book Formats with ebooks, print, and audio. Do box sets with your own series. If you do a group promo with other authors, make sure the story you offer relates to your series.
Cross-Promote with other Authors using the sites mentioned in my Mailing List post or with your own “lifeboat” team. Newsletter swaps are becoming more popular. You mention each other’s new releases or sales in your respective newsletters.
Do what you can, and don’t stress over the guilt that you’re a slacker compared to others who are doing a gazillion more promotional activities than you are. Recognize your limits but strive to learn something new. Set business goals each year along with your writing objectives. Do one new thing at a time. Then it won’t seem so overwhelming.
What other techniques would you suggest to gain readers? As readers, how do you find new authors to read?
For my conference photos, Go Here. https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor
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0 thoughts on “RWA17 Workshop Recap – Attracting Readers

  1. I drove myself crazy trying to market, promote and write and do prep work for getting a book out. Then a writer friend said she stayed calm by marketing on Mondays. Clearing time on an appointed day for submitting and marketing has worked well. I am no longer distracted by guilt over what I should be doing when I’m doing the other. My primary problem now is not making a designated time to tidy my computer room. Just take 30 minutes a day for cleaning up, I urge myself, but once I’m in that room, I am almost compelled to write or promote. It’s a matter of self discipline, I think. Ah Ha! I’ve identified the problem. Does any other writer have these conflicts? Surely you do.

    • I do my writing first thing in the morning and then spend the rest of the day on marketing.As for office cleaning, I’ll tackle one project at a time. Also, if I have a new book coming out, I’ll take two weeks off just to work on my promo campaign. It’s a lot of work to launch a new title, and we need to devote a block of time for this purpose alone. As for guilt? All writers have it. The “should” demons constantly sit on our shoulders.

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