Gramercy, Reader Friend!

Last time, I shared a few ways Readers can say Gramercy! to their favorite Writers! (I also gave you the thrilling background on that 14th-century interjection, so be sure to hop back and check it out!)

Today, let’s see how Writers can return the favor. Think about it—without Readers, a Writer’s stories die with them; so we’ve got a lot of reasons to say thank you!

By saying (or typing) Thank You, of course!

Authors do get some precious white space in their books for thank yous. Be sure to use at least some of that for your readers. Even though I know that author has no clue who I am or that I’m reading their words in that moment, I feel like I’m reading a letter written just for me when I finish a new favorite book and find a page with a heartfelt thanks on it. When you’re scheduling out your graphics and memes and ads, include some intentional thanks-for-reading/following posts.

Interact with them on social media.

Make sure you’re posting things to engage with your readers. Now, I do realize that this next thought will become impossible at some point (since we’re all expecting to hit international fame status, of course), but I suggest you stick to it as long as is possible.

When a reader comments or DMs or emails you, respond. It only takes a line or two. If someone has reached out to you to thank you for your words or to ask where your inspiration comes from or what you’re working on next, they have put themselves out there for you. It’s not easy reaching out to someone you admire, so let them know you appreciate it.

Share … YOU!

What on earth do I mean?

Well, it’s simple. Readers who fall in love with your words and your characters want more. I’ve got two suggestions of how you can do just that!

Behind-the-Scenes

They want to know how those characters came to be. They want to know that the child you mention at the end of the novel was named after two very important people. They want to know the personal details behind a name or date or location.

They want to know that you prefer Scotch and red wine to beer when writing. They want to listen to your novel’s music playlist. And, they want to know which parts were hardest for you to write … and why.

So, share your pictures on social media. Prepare behind-the-scenes posts to go along with each book and share more of you—and your books—with your loyal readers! They will love you for it!

On-the-Town

Writers, as a lot, tend to be more comfortable with fuzzy socks and cats than nightlife and small talk.

I get it … says the lady who hasn’t left her house in five days and is completely okay with that.

Take a deep breath, release. Now, take a chance. Back away from the computer and leave your house. Offer book signings, writing chats, book readings. Participate in author panels at your local library and state book fest. Put yourself out there and meet your readers. Get to know who they are.

Ask them questions, too!

How did they first hear about your books? What do they like so much? Who’s their favorite character? Do they have any questions?

See, as you interact with them—which will be a huge moment for them—you’re actually receiving a ton of great stuff in return.

You’re learning what marketing is working and what isn’t. You’re learning what you’re doing well and what could use some work in your writing. And, you’re having opportunities to pose for photos with a bunch of readers who will, in turn, blast them out across their social media to all their other book-loving friends … who you would otherwise have never reached!

Is anyone else getting excited? 

Just me?

Moving on …

Give gifts whenever and however you can.

Hold up, Joy! Just how much money do you think we’re actually going to make from our books? We can’t go flinging gifts around!

Calm down! Calm down!

What I mean by gifts isn’t what you’re thinking. I’m talking about outside-of-the-box, often free gifts—short stories for subscribers; deleted scenes or sneak peeks for readers.

If you’re on Facebook, you can host live video events any time you want from the comfort of your own home and reach people all over the world! How cool is that?!?!

I host a monthly book club live on my page—first Monday of every month. You could do something like that or have writer video updates every Wednesday—moment to add that to my shiny new idea board!—and even read a line or two from your current WIP!

Fellow writer mom, Alicia Gaile, hosted a read-along of one of her books in a special Facebook group. She combined live videos with interactive Q&A posts for an amazing experience that lasted for a few weeks! It was so much fun!

Other writers encourage their readers to get in on the writing action, like another writer mom, Everly Reed. She’s got a VIP section that’s free for subscribers who want to experience a “Choose Your Own {Romantic} Adventure” story. I don’t know about you, but I loved those “Choose-Your-Own” books when I was a kid! It’s super fun to follow along and participate in the action as an adult, too!

I plan to offer visits—in person and online—to book clubs who choose my books. With all the technology we have these days, the sky isn’t even the limit!

Make them part of your team … and thank them for it.

Many authors have them—launch teams, street teams, Da Book Crew, Joy’s Jesters (just testing names, guys). Whatever you call them, they serve two roles: assisting the author with the overwhelming task of marketing and giving the reader ownership in one of their favorite books.

While the opportunity may be thanks enough for these loyal readers, be sure to offer some token of gratitude for their help.

 

Writers, have you thanked your readers today?

Hang on a second …

THANK YOU, MY WONDERFUL READER!! YOU’RE WHY I WRITE … AND KEEP WRITING! I HOPE TO MAKE YOU PROUD ONE DAY!

As I was saying *sniff, sniff* …

What are some other ways you’ve found to thank your readers? What’s been your favorite? Readers, what have your favorite authors done that gave you all the feels and then some?

Subscribe to the weekly email newsletter of Joy E. Rancatore. www.joyerancatore.com

Gramercy, Reader Friend! Last time, I shared a few ways Readers can say "Gramercy!" to their favorite Writers! Let's see how Writers can return the favor. www.joyerancatore.com

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