After releasing their first book, authors gain a legion of followers eager to plow through any other work they can find by the author. Unfortunately, they find little, if any. By the time a follow-up book is published, these once eager readers no longer have the same level of eagerness as before. This is one major challenge today where people are bombarded with so much content both in short and long-form.
Readers are forced to curate what they like reading, watching, or listening to, from a huge assortment of content. Therefore, authors who already have fans that have read their books should strive to keep readers engaged before a follow-up book is ready. But how should they approach this?
Social Media Engagement
One rather obvious strategy to have your name in people’s minds is through consistent social media engagement. There are many channels through which to reach people depending on the age and preferences of the audience. A Facebook fan page is a great place to post long-form content and to collect feedback through comments. Instagram is great for photos, short videos, and live streams.
An author should carve out a strategy that will keep their readers engaged and invested in whatever they are doing. For instance, an Instagram live session can be planned where the author engages with listeners to discuss a character in a past book or a theme. Instagram photos are great for updating people on dates when a new book is getting released or when a new manuscript is ready for editing. We offer a free booklet, “Social Media Strategy” to help you form your online outreach.
A personal blog is a great way to keep the most loyal fans happy with short-form material. A blog also helps to build up an email list, which is great for marketing newly published material. People on your email list are more likely to place pre-orders for new books. Blogs also help an author stay consistent in writing because their readers are always expecting something with regular frequency. The writer can also use short-form material to test people’s reaction to a new character, a new style of writing, or a genre to determine whether they want to pursue that route using a full-length book.
Events, though hectic to put together, are a great way to interact with fans. They are also good for gaining new readers, especially in markets your work has not penetrated. With the help of a publicist and well-known authors in a particular city, you can organize to meet book clubs’ members there. You can promote past and upcoming works and perhaps live stream the event to your existing followers. This way, book clubs in other cities might end up inviting you for similar events.
Audio content is growing exponentially because people are seeking content they can listen to when doing other activities- working out, driving, house chores, and so on. Podcast appearances have become a popular way to promote upcoming books for authors. If you have the spirit for it, you can build your own podcast or make guest appearances in podcasts your fanbase listens to. This way, the gap between your books will not seem too long in their minds.
Keeping readers engaged before books is never easy. It is a result of well-calculated moves and following a plan consistently. Fortunately, there are numerous channels through which it has become possible to interact with readers. An author must choose what appeals to their readers the most. However, it also has to be a channel they are comfortable with for the sake of authenticity.
If you would like assistance in crafting a strategy for publishing and marketing upcoming books, check out Higher Life Publishing & Marketing.