The number one way to attract potential readers is to let them experience a personal connection with YOU.
Some authors engage with their readers simply by posting reviews of things they love online, and sharing common interests. Craig Dilouie is amazing at this. He comments on movies he likes and dislikes, as well as TV shows. Often, when he does, he hears from a lot of people who agree, and those who disagree with his choices. By sharing his interests, he opens himself up to engage his readers and friends, whether they agree with him or not. The important thing is he is ENGAGING his readers.
Then there are the current crazes like #booktok. Booktok is a subsection in tiktok where authors discuss their books, read from their works, or do silly skits for people’s entertainment. They respond to their viewers in the comments, and encourage people to interact.
I do a live podcast on twitch every night for a couple of hours. I’ve built my show up from scratch. I look at my numbers today and, from where I started, they have steadily grown. I am interacting more and more with my audience on twitch, and my guests and I’ve become a more known commodity as a result.
Others still rely on the tried and true – online newsletters. Authors like DJ Butler and Russell Nohelty build a list of people that they talk to about their projects and their passions.
From reading this list, you can see that there is no one correct way to do this. What all this stuff has in common is that successful authors create content, do it consistently, and engage their readers with it.
How Much Engagement
The question of how much is a much more difficult question to answer. We all need privacy. How much of ourselves do we want to share to the public? On top of that, multiple social media outlets, webpages, newsletters, blogs and kickstarters are all viable ways to interact with the audience. Twenty fours in a day isn’t a lot of time.
The first and most important thing is still to write books. Carve out that space, and produce the best work you can. Once that is established, I would advise choosing online engagement avenues where you can be both authentic and consistent when producing content, and interacting with people in those places. Trying to cover every possible platform is draining, produces burnout, and isn’t very effective. This part of book selling is supposed to be fun. You’re talking to people who want to read your books, or listen to you. It’s better to focus on a few spaces instead of stretching yourself too thin.
Each of us connects with some audiences better than others. These platforms are all built for different communities and people. It may take some time to find your favorite home out there. Finding your audience, connecting with them, and engaging is one of the simplest, most organic ways to meet new people, and find readers (book buyers!). Engagement is a part of the writing craft in the 21st century, and pretending otherwise is a disservice not just to yourself, but also to your future readers.
There are people waiting to discover you. You just have to reach out, and reply.
- Venturing Out to Reach Others By Alice J. Wisler
- Authors! Create An Audience In Five Easy Steps…By Hunter Liguore
- Networking Party Tricks or “Hello. I’m A Writer” – Daniel R. Robichaud
- Build An Audience For Your Book With A Blog By Jimmy Moore
- Statistics, Questions, and Personal Stories – How to INSTANTLY Engage Your Audience! by Katerina Nikolaeva
Joshua Pantalleresco writes articles, poetry, prose and interviews. His Chapbook Alice Zero is nominated for the 2021 Elgin Award and his podcast Just Joshing airs on Twitch and all audio platforms each week. He lives in Canada. website: https://jpantalleresco.wordpress.com