Renee Writes

Posts in category Marketing/Promotion

3 Ways to Connect with Fantasy Readers by Dave Chesson

It’s impossible to succeed as a fantasy writer without knowing how to reach the right readers.

Even the best book with a wonderful cover can’t be considered a success if it doesn’t reach the people who love it.

There are currently over 197,000 fantasy eBooks on offer in the Kindle store alone, not to mention many more short reads. In such a competitive environment, it’s not enough to simply wish that a book draws the attention of readers.

Fantasy authors should actively seek out every opportunity possible to find and connect with people who are likely to love their work.

If you’ve published fantasy for a long time, finding your future fans may be second nature to you. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry!

These simple tips will help you to reach the right fantasy readers to make your next book a soaring success.

Participate In Online Communities

The passion fantasy fans have for their genre means Amazon doesn’t even list fantasy along with other fiction categories. It has its own special section. That’s how widely loved fantasy is.

As such, fantasy fans are passionate about connecting with like-minded people online.

Many busy fan communities exist solely to help fantasy fans meet one another and discuss the books they love.

As a writer, you should seek out and engage with these communities as much as possible. There are several important reasons to do so.

First, there is no better market research than listening to fans directly. Hearing fans talk about what they like and dislike is a great way to finetune your own work.

Second, by offering value and participating in community discussions, you show yourself to be someone who is knowledgeable about fantasy and has something to offer the fan community. When it’s time to promote your next work, you’ll find it a lot easier to market to people you have a preexisting relationship with, rather than people who have never heard of you.

When participating in fan communities, it’s important to give value, rather than just promoting your own work. You should actively enjoy and contribute to discussions regularly. Visiting only to promote your own books is a mistake which will do you more harm than good.

Network With Other Fantasy Authors

As well as reaching out to fans directly, it’s a great idea to use your fellow fantasy writers as advisors.

There’s no need to discover everything for yourself. Fantasy writers who have been publishing and marketing their work for a long time will have plenty of tips to share on the ways they reach out to readers and connect with them.

It’s useful to get a wide range of opinions rather than relying on just one author. By getting lots of advice, you will be able to see what is working well across the board.

Just as you shouldn’t interact with fans selfishly, you shouldn’t interact with authors selfishly either. Don’t just ask endless questions. Strike a balance between getting the information you need and contributing something in return.

Take Charge Of Your Brand

You have one powerful weapon to help your books succeed in the crowded marketplace that no one else has.

Yourself.

As it becomes harder and harder for fantasy fans to gauge which books are worthy of their time, authors can increasingly stand out from the crowd by building a strong brand.

Branding is simply using the right combination of words and visuals to make a positive impression upon the readers who come across you. This means writing a bio in language that will appeal to fantasy fans, using a pic which is appropriate for the genre and ensuring that all of your branding efforts are easily accessible, such as through an Amazon Author Central page.

There’s nothing better from a reader’s perspective than feeling they know and admire a writer as much as they do their work.

Building a solid brand as a fantasy author is the fastest way to make that happen.

What Works For You?

What are some of the successes you’ve had reaching out to fantasy fans as an author?

If you’re a fantasy fan yourself, have you ever discovered an author in one of the ways mentioned?

I’d love to hear about your personal experiences in the comments.

Twitter Misuse: Don’t Make These Mistakes!

I’ve been noticing more and more that people are misusing Twitter (as in breaking rules set by Twitter), mainly in the area of Spamming. These are things that can get your account banned, so it’s worth looking into. Especially since there are a lot of people out there telling others that these things are what they should be doing to build their followers.

One of the biggest things I’ve seen is people following thousands of people, then unfollowing everyone including those who have followed back in an attempt to make themselves seem more popular than they are. Sadly this isn’t an isolated event either. Through using Statusbrew, I have noticed more than a dozen people a week who have done this to me.

It’s one thing to unfollow people who don’t follow back if your purpose for using Twitter is to network with like-minded people, but to follow just to get the followbacks and then unfollow everyone who has followed you is really rude and inconsiderate.

For me, it’s very irritating and reduces the person’s credibility in my eyes. I’ve actually removed authors books from my to-read list (which is extensive) for this kind of behavior. I’d rather read books from authors who are willing to network with me and get to know me as an author as well. That’s the main reason I use Twitter is to get to know other authors and help them promote their work (and hopefully have them promote mine as well). It’s a way of increasing everyone’s exposure. But people who want all the glory and have no interest in connecting with or helping other authors are not worth my time.

I only unfollow for 3 reasons:

  • Offensive behavior
  • Doesn’t bother to follow back (unless it’s someone I have an interest in following because I’m a fan of their work)
  • Follows me, then unfollows me after I follow them back.

If you’re following and unfollowing indiscriminately just to make yourself look more popular than you really are, not only are you risking losing your account, but your following is likely not to be loyal to you. You’re also risking your reputation.

After a lot of trial and error, I found the best way to get new followers is to 1) be an interesting person to follow by not just posting ads, but also fun stuff for people to read and regular updates (which I’m trying to do more of because sometimes I just don’t know what to say). 2) Engage with people! If you’re trying to network with other authors, talk to other authors: say hi, ask them how they’re doing, respond to their tweets, retweet their tweets, invite them to be interviewed or write a guest post for your blog. If you engage with another author this way, their followers are likely to follow you as well.

The other big thing that I’ve seen is people using @ReneeScatts simply to send me an advertisement for their book or other product/service. The purpose of the @ replies is to engage directly with someone on Twitter, not to promote yourself or your business. I’ve had a few people who started doing this on a daily basis to try and get me to buy their books, and I ended up blocking them in the end.

Again, this is something that not only can get your account suspended or banned, but it annoys people. It’s like the Twitter version of telemarketing. No one likes telemarketers, so don’t be one on social media. It’s another thing that can harm your reputation as an author.

Bottom line is, while it’s okay to promote on social media, your main goal should be networking. That’s what will get you more followers, readers and ultimately sales.

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InstaFreebie as a Promotional Tool (And Free Books)

new-2016-instafreebie-branding-teal

 

I began using InstaFreebie about a week ago after downloading a free book from there from another author. I wasn’t sure how well it would work out since I wasn’t familiar with it, but I figured it would be worth trying. At the very least it was another way to get my permafree, Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6) into the hands of potential new readers.

In that time, to my amazement, I managed to get about 41 downloads of my book, which is better than what I get on a weekly basis on all other channels combined. More astonishingly, I haven’t even been promoting the link. I just set it and let it go figuring I’d just see what happens. I wasn’t expecting much, so I’m surprised and thrilled with the outcome.

Aside from that, it’s a great place to get free ebooks if you’re looking for something new to read. I’ve found quite a few good ones there in the last week.

There are three plans to choose from:

  • Basic – Free
  • Plus – $20/month
  • Pro – $50/month

I’m using the free plan at the moment, but I may upgrade it in the future when I have more books published and want to run giveaways.

With the free plan you can have unlimited giveaways, you can set an expiration for the giveaway as well as the number of copies to give away, and you also have the option of DRM settings.

The paid options obviously offer many more features including Mail Chimp Integration and allowing those who download your free book to sign up for your newsletter. So it’s also a great way to build your newsletter or mailing list.

Authors!

If you want to give InstaFreebie a try, click this link and sign up today!

Readers!

If you’d like to download some free books, click this link and get started!

Get Shadow Stalker Part 2 Free!

Sign up below for a free book!

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Thanks for signing up! You'll get an email shortly with your free book. If it doesn't arrive, check your spam folder then email me at reneescatts@gmail.com.

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