Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Databases and Fans
It’s exciting to receive fan letters though it’s often impossible to respond to each one individually. An author should acknowledge and thank the fans, even if it can’t be done personally, and to invite them to join the author’s database. When an author receives a fan letter via snail mail, he or she should keep the address in a document and send postcards or short replies inviting readers to join the email database, blog or Facebook page.
It’s not okay to just add fans to an email database without permission, but an author should take advantage of having direct communication with a reader to invite him or her into that author’s inner circle. Authors can also use the mailing addresses to send postcards to readers if the author schedules a book signing near where fans live.
These days authors are more likely to get emails from fans rather than snail mail letters. An author should be sure to set up an auto-response for fan mail that lets the fans know where to join the email database and where they can find that author (Facebook, website, blog, etc.). If readers do join thee- newsletter list, that author should backup the database of the collected emails–these are invaluable!
If you’ve started to receive fan messages, you need to work the fan-system to build your databases. Don’t lose the opportunity to bring more readers into your inner circle. If you’ve been receiving fan messages and haven’t actively worked to build your network, it’s time to make a change. Keep track of your fans and database today. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll quickly see the benefits of building your databases.