Support for Indie Authors discussion

97 views
Marketing Tactics > Debut Author: How to connect with readers?

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Meena (new)

Meena Love | 10 comments Hi all. So I'm gearing up for my first novel through KPD and am researching marketing before I publish. My confusion is, how do we connect to readers without an online presence? Is it worth it to invest in an author's website and/or social media when you potentially have no readers yet? I made an IG and Twitter recently and am trying to connect to people without talking about my book. But on many books I read I notice authors have mailing lists, etc. It seems like a good way to get readers to connect. A beta-reader really enjoyed my book and went looking for my info but of course found none. I want to prevent that from happening once the book is out.

Any ideas? Does listing a separate pen-name email account on your book matter seem like a good idea?


message 2: by Whitney (new)

Whitney Rines | 21 comments I'd say it's worth having a website you can refer readers to. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, I know mine's not. However, I can post blogs of whst I'm up to and express appreciation to supporters that way and on twitter as well. My separate email for writing is on there so I can be contacted as well.

I feel that at the very least you can connect enough that they know you're a real person and a bit about you even if they never meet you. Hope that helps


message 3: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (last edited Apr 09, 2019 08:12AM) (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 660 comments Mod
I've given my fair share of advice in a different topic but I'll gladly rewrite it here.

First and the most important advice: NEVER list your e-mail address in any way visible to the public, that's asking for spam.

A website is not a bad idea, you can do well building the base (such as some info about you and your books) and then not much on top of that (just add info about the next book when it comes out). If you want to add stuff over time there (such as drawings of characters, additional information, deleted scenes,...), no problem with that. A website can also have a "contact me" form that'll allow people to message you but not display your email (so spambots can't easily flood your mail with nonsense). A blog works for some, not so much for others - but blogging is a time sink (I post 2-3 articles per week and it's a lot of additional writing) and you'd need to keep it running to keep the readers interested. Plus, it takes a lot of time to gain an audience through blogging with questionable results (even if they like what you blog about they might not be the target audience for your books).

Mailing list: similar to a blog but on a smaller scale. You're not expected to send something too often (that'd lead to people either not reading them or even un-signing if they were so often to be spammy) but if you post nothing but "my next book is out" once per a few months then it's barely efficient.

Goodreads "ask the author" allows people to ask you questions (obviously) when you turn it on - so this might be a good way to give people a chance to ask you about writing or the books. Goodreads, however, is not efficient for a longer one-on-one conversation but you can discuss stuff with a group of people (like you are just doing here).

As for social networks: that depends on what you feel like. I have minimal (well, practically none) experience with them but I believe IG is more for photo-related stuff. Twitter might be good for short questions or announcements (discounts, pre-orders of a new book, etc.). FB, I guess, can be used for anything but will take a lot of time - and tempt you to procrastinate, if what I've heard from some other writers is true.

I hope what I said helps you at least somewhat. If not, feel free to ask questions here, I'll do my best to reply sooner or later.


message 4: by Molly (new)

Molly (twindawnpublishing) | 11 comments I just published my first on April 1st. Prior to release I started a website. I think it costs me maybe 10 bucks a month... maybe 12. I also made a FB, instagram and twitter.

Because I have 2 pen names I am working under, I actually did everything under the name of the publishing company I started. (Now that was expensive). This way I only need one acct for each social media site. It cut back on work on my end.

But you don't have to do too much. Do what you are comfortable with and plug along. You might find a good pace for writing and socializing, but it takes time.

As an introvert, like myself, it also takes some effort. Just do what you are comfortable with. :)


message 5: by Meena (new)

Meena Love | 10 comments Tomas wrote: "I've given my fair share of advice in a different topic but I'll gladly rewrite it here.

First and the most important advice: NEVER list your e-mail address in any way visible to the public, that'..."


Thanks so much Molly! I am indeed an introvert when it comes to my writing, so this was very helpful encouragement :)


message 6: by Meena (new)

Meena Love | 10 comments Whitney wrote: "I'd say it's worth having a website you can refer readers to. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, I know mine's not. However, I can post blogs of whst I'm up to and express appreciation to suppor..."

Thank you! Maybe I will look into Wordpress to get started.


message 7: by Meena (new)

Meena Love | 10 comments Tomas wrote: "I've given my fair share of advice in a different topic but I'll gladly rewrite it here.

First and the most important advice: NEVER list your e-mail address in any way visible to the public, that'..."


Thanks Tomas! This was so helpful. I took my email address out right away. I think its best to invest in a website for now, even if nothing too fancy. Thanks again


message 8: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 812 comments If you do start a website, you need to make sure people can get in touch with you. I get very little spam and Aksimet catches most of it so I never even see it. You do need to put an address and a telephone number. in the contact me section. I use my cell which is on mute most of the time. If they don't leave a message, I don't call back so that stops those spammers. It will make you more business like and it adds authority to your site.

It you look at every big website, there is a place to contact the company or owner. I will say, do not use your personal email. Get an email which is connected to your website and use that. I actually use Google suite which is where my website email goes to. It doesn't connect to my personal email at all.

You need a mailing list, if you don't have one, check out the various gurus who tell you how to get one. Nick Stephenson's Reader Magnet is free and that helps along with paying your $50-60 to do a Booksweeps or Prolificworks type promo using a prequel, novella, etc that you give away for free or $0.99. That will give you a start.

Like Thomas said, don't be spammy with your emails. Give them something of value. When I keep getting the 'buy my book' emails all the time, they become history. I want at least three or four emails of information and fun things before being asked to buy anything and that is the normal way of approaching your list. give them value, connect to them, then ask them to buy. You can advertise your books in your email, but don't only send out sales emails to your list since they won't like that at all. I'll send out a sales promo of 3 emails prior to the preorder going up, letting them know it's coming and will be discounted, 3 more during the preorder period with the last one telling them they have x hours to get the book at a discount. I then send 3 more during the launch which will tell them when the price is going up. These will not be everyday. When I put the book up on preorder, I'll ask my list if anyone wants an ARC copy prior to it going live.

As for social networks, FB will allow you to set up an author page but you will need to promote it to get followers. Instagram is photos and videos but you can promote books on there if you have followers. Twitter, you can waste a lot of time on it like FB and IG, but it isn't a great place to spend your money advertising since it is gone within an hour or two. Pineterest is another place you advertise. I actually got a couple of sales from an ad campaign from there I tried to see how it would work. It's one of those places where you start slow, get the pins shared and then do an ad campaign.

Blogging is a good thing, but you do need to do at least once a week to keep people reading. I do a newsletter every 20-30 days which takes a lot less time. I've started with mentioning my next book and when it should be coming out, and next issue they will get to read the prologue.

Make use of your author site on Amazon and your website and Goodreads and any other sales platform you are on. All of them increase your visibility.

Oh, and most of this doesn't take massive amounts of time. Schedule it into your writing hours so you are working on both writing and marketing. (I had to learn that..lol)


message 9: by Meena (new)

Meena Love | 10 comments B.A. wrote: "If you do start a website, you need to make sure people can get in touch with you. I get very little spam and Aksimet catches most of it so I never even see it. You do need to put an address and a ..."

So very helpful! Thanks so much!


message 10: by Shanna (new)

Shanna Swenson (shannaswen) | 32 comments B.A. wrote: "If you do start a website, you need to make sure people can get in touch with you. I get very little spam and Aksimet catches most of it so I never even see it. You do need to put an address and a ..."

When you launch your books, what do you usually set the price to? And when do you usually change it? Do you say, set it to $2.99 during pre-order then bump it up after day three of it launching? (Assuming you're in KU?)


message 11: by Frances (new)

Frances Richardson | 9 comments Thanks so much. There is a lot of very helpful information here. Do you have an opinion on Kirkus Independent Reviews or BookBub ads?


message 12: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 812 comments I will set it to $1.99 for preorder and then $2.99 for launch, which will be 7 days with the end price being $4.99 as the book is over 100K words. Since I'm not on Amazon exclusively, I have limits as to what I can do.

Forget Kirkus as it is a great expense for reviews. Reader's Favorite is a lot cheaper and like Kirkus, you can use those reviews in your editorial review section. As for Book Bub ads, if this is your first book, don't. Give yourself some time to get going with an email list, web site, and a few sales and reviews of a book or two. Also, learn about what it takes to make a Book Bub add work so you aren't wasting your money.


message 13: by Frances (new)

Frances Richardson | 9 comments I really appreciate this because I was considering a Kirkus Review. Until I read about it here, I’d never heard of Reader’s Favorite. Thank you so much for your valuable advice.


back to top