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5 Ways to Engage Readers Between Books

by Sandra Orchard

1) Write a great book. Hooking a reader into your story is your prime opportunity to gain a fan-one who will both explore your backlist and watch for your next release. But…

Many of these fans won’t look beyond the search engine of their favorite online retailer, or the shelves of their church library, or the shelves of their local book store to find your books. So …

2) At the end of your book, entice your readers to visit your website.

In Ebooks, publishers can include a direct link. In print books, ask your publisher to include a letter to your readers, in which you share something personal about the story, and then invite them to connect with you online.

Or at the very least…

3) Include your website and primary social media link.

If Facebook (FB) users know you’re there, and enjoyed your book, they’ll pop over and tell you so, or “like” your page. Include a tab on your FB page that links to descriptions of your other books, as well as one that invites them to subscribe to an E-notification of upcoming releases. (You can check out my customized tabs on my FB page as an example.)

Lots of people “live” on FB and will more readily connect with you there then at your website.

4) Offer readers an incentive to visit your website.

My letters to readers and my bio on blog interviews always invites readers to check out the bonus features for my books on my website. These include deleted scenes, character interviews, location pics, bloopers, editor’s cuts with commentary etc.

You may have intriguing applications based on your book, or research stories. Think outside the box.

5) Offer readers an incentive to subscribe to your newsletter.

Although newsletters often go unread or end up in people’s spam folders, they are arguably the most reliable way to alert fans of upcoming releases. We’ve all seen campaigns to grow subscriber bases through expensive giveaways. However…most of these aren’t genuine fans. For the most part, they’re internet-savvy people hoping to win something for nothing more than liking your FB page or giving you their email address.

I prefer to reward all my newsletter subscribers. I do that by offering short-story sequels to my novels. (Okay, only one story so far, but I’m working on it) These are especially appealing to romance readers who enjoy continuing to read about the characters they’ve just spent a book getting to know-be sure to get your publisher’s okay.

I also give away a copy of an upcoming release to one randomly chosen subscriber in each newsletter. However, I have a catch. The only notification is in the newsletter itself, so…if the winner doesn’t read his or her newsletter, she misses out.

Sandra_Orchard_3Sandra Orchard is an award-winning Canadian author of inspirational romantic suspense. RT reviews describes her current release, Deadly Devotion, as “a fascinating mystery that readers as well as tea lovers will enjoy.” To learn more, and read interesting bonus features for her novels, please visit www.sandraorchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard

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4 Responses to 5 Ways to Engage Readers Between Books

  1. Ron Estrada says:

    Good tips, Sandra. I can vouch for the power of a newsletter. It’s my primary sales tool for our family business (trailer hitches travel trailers and 5th wheels). And if someone will read a newsletter about trailer hitches, they’ll read one about their favorite author. I plan on using my short stories I call “Tales of the Old Doe Hunters” on my blog to keep fans engaged. The Old Doe Hunters are my comedy relief in my mysteries. Since I wrote many of the stories years ago, I have a good supply.

    Thanks again for the post!

  2. That’s awesome, Ron. Fans love short stories! It sounds like the ones you have will complement your books well. I wish I found short stories easier to write. :)

  3. Thank you so much for the timely tips! I must get a newsletter out! And start really working on posting on my blog. *sigh* So much to do and so little time to do it in. lol

  4. You’re welcome, Pat. The key is to establish a few things you can do consistently and well to engage readers rather than hit and miss all over the place.