When you have a book published – be it in print or ebook – you want to get as much publicity as possible to sell copies, right?
Do your fans know this?
Well, yes, I think they do.
You THINK they do?
Here’s my suggestion: tell them you need their help to generate that publicity. You need their word-of-mouth to help your book get launched amidst the thousands of books that are available.
You need to give them the 3 Rs of superfans: Read, Review, and maybe most importantly, Rave!
With the launch of my newest suspense novel, Heaven’s Gate, I put together a launch team of thirty readers who agreed to read and post a review on amazon.com and whatever other social networks they had, along with any word-of-mouth recommendations they might be able to give. Like many writers, I’m not especially fond of online marketing because it takes a lot of my time, but the fact is, writers in the 21st century need to cultivate their presence on it. (I, personally, have had varying success with different networks, but I continue to learn and work at it because I’ve seen its value at different times. Let’s face it, if there’s a gathering of readers anywhere – even online – don’t you think an author would be remiss to ignore it?) What I’ve discovered since my book debuted last month, however, has added another piece to my formula of reading and reviewing: you need readers to RAVE about a book to influence others to buy.
So far, maybe this seems evident to you, but this next comment might catch your attention: I learned that you need to tell your readers what to write. I don’t mean give them a script – you want their honest reaction. But what you need to do is empower your readers to write raving reviews, which result from two things: an awesome reading experience (which you have crafted with your book!) and a vocabulary that will reinforce what you want them to say.
Simply suggest key words you’d like your reviewers to use.
At first, I felt odd suggesting words to my readers to use in constructing their reviews. Then I realized that key words are…well…key. Keys, actually, to triggering the all-important call-to-action that every author needs to make to potential readers: You Need To Buy This Book Now. And guess what? Your reviewers are often very grateful to have your suggestions, because they want to write a strong review for you, but are often lacking in promotional experience and don’t know how to best help you with their review. I asked my reviewers to use the words suspense, supernatural, Archangels series, faith and science, String theory, fast ride, and thriller. They did, and as a result, the reviews for Heaven’s Gate present a consistent rave of being a book you can’t put down, which has cued new readers to order the book.
Remember, your fans want you to succeed. Making it easier for them to help you is the least you can do!
4 Replies to “How to make your readers SUPERfans!”
Great post, Jan–I hadn’t heard about the keyword idea, but I do like that. I love those superfans! They are so encouraging to authors!
Every author needs a crew of them, Heather. Then, even when sales are slow, you know you’ve still made a clutch of fans happy!
Jan—you’re always such a fount of wisdom and encouragement! Thank you for these helpful thoughts. I’ll definitely use them as my next book launches in October!!
Good luck with the launch, Leslie. I make changes with every new book launch I do – at some point, maybe I’ll figure out the magic formula to a best seller!
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