Someday your writing will be read by someone other than your family. And when the time comes that people who don’t know you love what you have to say, you need to make sure that you love them back.
Here are ten ways to show the love to your readers.
1. Be accessible. Your social media presence should be there to nurture relationships, not just push your sales. Carefully consider every way that you and your brand are represented. If it’s not welcoming or easy to find, make some changes.
2. Be generous. This means you need to be a in a position to give without any expectation of return. Readers will flock to writers who have something to offer — and I’m not talking about your free download. I amtalking about your practical advice, your words of inspiration, or your funny stories.
3. Be interested. Take the time to ask readers about themselves. What is their live like? What do you have in common? I find that if I turn my purpose from “connect with readers” to “make new friends” not only is it more fun, but I walk away far more satisfied. And you can’t measure good friends with Amazon rankings or blog hits.
4. Be excellent. This is a pretty important item on the list. If you have entered a relationship with a reader and they have actually paid money for your book, then you better respect that bond! That means your book should be the very best it can be — professionally designed and edited, followed the rules of good storytelling and presented well.
5. Be authentic. It never ceases to amaze me how much people are drawn to me when I am honest about my weaknesses. It seems counter-intuitive; we think we should hide our flaws. But I’ve found that the more real I am, the more my readers (who are now my friends) circle around me to support me. My weaknesses then becomes my strength!
6. Be a soft sell. This whole “buy my book” mindset is beyond annoying. I suggest you scrap any sales strategy that is repetitive and one-sided. Instead, lower your expectations for numbers, work on finding readers one at a time and stick it out for the long haul. This type of strategy will work far better for you in the future.
7. Be light-hearted. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Yes, you’ve written a book. That’s a great accomplishment that thousands if not millions do every year. If fight for that image as a special snowflake then you’re pushing people, and potential readers, away.
8. Be consistent. This is also a pretty important item on this list. Your brand needs to be predictable. Your readers need to know that when they pick up a book with your name on it, they can expect certain things. If you’re a blogger, you need to stick to a schedule. Consistency keeps your words in front of your readers so they don’t forget you.
9. Be yourself. If you keep looking to the right or left so you can copy what that other writer did, you need to STOP IT RIGHT NOW! You will never get anywhere by trying to be derivative! Instead write freely, with blinders on, doing the best you can in your own voice. (That doesn’t excuse you from being excellent!)
10. Be unique. Our lives are filled with unique stories, experiences, struggles and pain that qualifies us to have a niche in this world. Take the time to find yours. Don’t rush this. Everything that you’ve experienced, good or bad, has been given to you so that you can use it to be generous to others. Your readers need you.
What else is there? What else can we do to love our readers? As a reader, how do you like to be appreciated? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!