Blogger: Rachel Kent
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about the Funko company and noticed how welcomed all of their “funatics” (this is what they call their fans) feel into their brand culture. I’m sure you’ve seen their Pop! figures in stores or online. Funko has created a network of people who love them and love their products. This seems to have happened both organically and through the careful care of their marketing team.
This got me thinking about authors and their fans. How can authors make readers feel more welcome? Authors are trying to sell books and readers that feel included and welcomed into the author’s space are more likely to continue to buy from that author. Many readers like to feel close to the author, even if they’ve never met him or her before. How can you make your website, Facebook, blog, etc. more welcoming to readers–inviting them in to spend some time with you and hopefully increase the chances of their purchasing your book?
And yes, as Christian writers, it’s not all about sales–but to spread the message you are hoping to share, people do need to be purchasing your product.
Here are a few suggestions I have to make readers feel more welcome and I’d love to hear yours!
1) Create a Q and A section on your website that answers the most popular questions you are asked in your emails. Do get a little bit personal, but don’t share private information, 0f course.
2) Share pictures on Facebook, in your newsletter, and on your blog. You don’t need to share pics of your kids if you are uncomfortable with that, but put pictures of you on trips, with your pet, doing research, and more. Visuals are really important these days.
3) If you create a special “street team” don’t announce that to all of your fans. You want everyone to feel special and you don’t want to make any of your readers feel less special than others.
4) Include snippets from reader emails (with permission) on posts or in newsletters. This shows all of the fans that you are paying attention and care about what they are saying. What they share with you can really be life changing for you, too, and it’s good to let them know that you are touched.
5) Create a guestbook on your website–these can allow for fans to “check in” and show where they live on a map of the world. The guestbook doesn’t need to allow comments or pictures–they come in all different types. You might not want comments or pictures if you don’t want to spend much time approving the posts. Find one that fits your needs.
6) Even if you can’t personally respond to every fan letter, make sure the readers get some sort of reply if they message you. Set up an email auto-reply to let them know they matter to you. Also direct them to your newsletter and encourage them to follow you on social media.
7) Be you! The readers like your books because you wrote them and each book includes a lot of you in it. By being yourself in your interactions with readers (in a professional way, of course) you will naturally welcome the readers who are reaching out to you.
How have you helped readers feel welcome? What new ideas have come to you as you’ve read this post? Please share! 🙂