create-shared-content-to-engage-readersOur thanks to Kiffer Brown of Chanticleer Reviews for this guest post, part of a great series at www.chantireviews.com.

As an author, you must maintain TOMA (Top of Mind Association) with your readers, or another author definitely will. The easiest way to do that is to create shared content that will engage readers. Share the experiences of your works with readers using the following Interverse platforms:

  • Blog posts, website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, KBoards, Wattpad (Find the social media platform that appeals to your target audience of readers)
  • Google+ Community posts & G+ Pages & G+ postings

What Types of Content should Authors Create to Keep Readers Engaged?

  • Photos & Visuals: Inspiration for the novel: Do not underestimate how interesting it is to readers to have a sneak peek into what inspired you to create a work. Was it an historical source, an experience, a landscape, a person, a piece of clothing? Are there photos or graphics that communicate these ideas. One of my favorite authors, Joannah Miley, has a Pinterest Board with photographs of clothing and accessories that the goddesses in her novel, The Immortal Game, wear. Her readers love it! When Joannah launches her second in the series, her readers will be ready to read it because she has kept them engaged!
  • Tweet out (about one in ten tweets) intriguing passages of your book with a Bitly.link to your website – not Amazon! This is about building and maintaining reader relationships–not selling your book.
  • Create posts about how you write:
    • Do you write first thing in the morning? Late at night?
    • Can you only write in coffee shops?
    • Does your cat sit on your lap? Your dog by your side?
    • Are you a pantzer or an outliner?
    • Did you research a particular area or geography?
    • What kind of music do you listen to while you write?
    • Be sure to put this kind of information in a context to make it an emotional, personal connection, but not too much personal information–only the information that moves your author branding forward.
  • Are you thinking of your next work? If so, let your the people who connect with you in the Interverse know. Better yet, ask your followers what their thoughts are about specifics of your work.
  • Make your posts relevant and meaningful according to what is appropriate for the social media platform.
  • Tag others in your social media posts if the post is flattering, fun, or inspirational.
  • What activities do your characters engage in: cooking, photography, selling real estate, making pottery, tattoo artistry, working in a coffee shop? Seek out social media communities who can relate to your characters’ traits, occupations, and hobbies.
  • Reference other authors who write in your genre. Readers are always searching for other authors to read while their faves are in between book launches (which is why you need to maintain your connection with them). Authors, even NY Times best selling authors are more apt to give your book a quote or a blurb when they see that the request is coming from a strong social media connection and not just out of the blue.
  • Make sure that your followers know that it is okay with you that they share your content, create links, and tag you in social media and blog posts. Better yet, thank them profusely when they do and then reciprocate when possible.
  • Acknowledge who inspires you, where you learned a particular writing craft skill, personal relationships that have impacted your own life, public figures whom you admire, and other authors and their works that have inspired you. This type of leadership communication will help you build trustworthiness with potential readers whom you may never meet in person, so you must show and share strong credentials along with what motivates you to write.

Start the Conversation

Be the first one to make the move to say ‘Hi!’ Make the “friend request,” follow on Twitter, circle on Google+. Remember that the Interverse is one big cocktail party. You don’t want to be the wallflower, nor the gal wearing the lampshade, nor the obnoxious relative selling whatever. What you do want is to make new connections and expand your network of potential readers. You can be selective about which posts to interact with, but do stay on topic. 

Be sure to reciprocate by LIKING, COMMENTING, RE-TWEETING, INTERACTING, and SHARING with potential readers.

Communication is a two-way street. You can’t expect people (readers) to interact with you in social media if you don’t interact with them–that is unless you are already a celebrity with hundreds of thousands of fans.

As an author, lead the way to creating the digital paths that will help people discover your books. And today, that means communicating via the Internet. 

Be courageous in creating the digital pathways that will lead your targeted audience of readers to your books. Let your passion for writing and storytelling shine! Then allow evidence of your competence and credibility of being an outstanding author encourage engagement.

That evidence should come from others: editorial reviews, notable authors, experts in the field/genre, writing award competitions, and quotes from readers. Be sure to post on your website, in your social media posts, and on the platforms where you books are sell. Make sure that your accolades give credit, attribution, and links  to their sources.

Inform, Involve, Engage

As an author, lead the way to creating the communication paths that will help people discover your books!

Kiffer-Brown-CBR-e1410393860379Honed business experience and an  entrepreneurial spirit, along with a true understanding “that nothing happens until something is sold”  is what Kiffer Brown brings to the table. Kiffer presents at numerous writers conferences and publishing conventions. She is a media scout for executive film producers, literary agents, and publishing houses. She searches for today’s sparkling gems that will become tomorrow’s best sellers. You can reach her at KBrown@ChanticleerReviews.com

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2 thoughts on “Create Shared Content to Engage Readers and Build a Fan Base

  • August 16, 2015 at 11:20 pm
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    Building a blogging audience is hard. Thanks for sharing this information. I sometimes get so caught up trying to provide good content that I forget to connect with readers, which is the point of blogging!

    • August 18, 2015 at 8:32 am
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      That’s so true, Terrance. We work hard to establish an audience, then “feed the beast” scouring everywhere for content; it’s easy to forget an audience isn’t a single entity, just a bunch of us all with similar interests, trying to coexist in this crazy new virtual space!

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