One of the mistakes I made when my first book was published was that I focused too much on the masses. I wanted millions of people to see my work and because I focused on the many, I left myself little time for the few. It seems like a simple mistake but it’s one that can have a major impact on the success of your first book and your career as a writer.
Here’s the harsh reality when you complete your first work, you are not going to instantly get millions of downloads and purchases. It’s not going to happen because people are busy and they like recommendations. The majority of people who buy books now are ones who are recommended a book, either from a friend, a family member or a club they are in. That’s something that few young authors realize as they get started in this business and it’s a mistake I hope to spare you from.
Find time for your fans
It’s not that I was neglecting anyone. When someone who had read my book would message me, I would respond as quickly as I could. The mistake I made was that I wasn’t being more proactive in communicating with them. For a while, the only way I would speak to a reader would be if they contacted me directly. Later on I realized that you have to engage them, via social media, email and other avenues.
Without a doubt, social media is the easiest platform to keep in touch with your readers. You can inform them of a sale, show them an update on your new work, get feedback from them and so much more. I personally prefer Facebook over Twitter and Instagram but that’s because I find it easier to use and communicate with people. However, I’ve found advantages to each platform and that’s why I utilize each of them.
At the end of the day, all the efforts I worked on and money I put into marketing got me a lot of traffic and helped me build my brand. But what really got people to buy my books was the time I spent talking with them, telling them a little about the story and then their personal recommendation to friends, family and clubs they were in.
To any aspiring or new authors out there, my best advice is, no matter how challenging it may be for you, to be social and to be friendly when someone wants to talk about your work. No matter how busy you are, they can make or break you.
To the readers, thank you for your support, thank you for your time and thank you for your dedication!