Having lunch with one of my authors, we discussed the importance of community. An author without a community might as well be a book never read.
Author's are connectors, idea makers, thought provokers, and sometimes the town weirdo. Author's are commonly successful through innovation and determination. But, we need an audience. We need feedback. We're writing this stuff down AND publishing it for heavens sake. If we didn't want your feedback, we would keep the stories locked in the basement.
Many authors don't realize they are the motor that drives community by their thoughts written down on paper (or a monitor). They draw community in by their ideas. So many authors are asking, I know community is how you gain readership, but how to you gain a community?
It's heart breaking.
And...I'm working on the very idea of how to build that community with an author cohort. But for now, I do it through a tweet team that promotes my freebies that you can only get by giving an email. If you like the community you find yourself in you stay--if you don't you leave. Simple. Yet it takes a little know-how to set up.
Here's a tweet I use:
Become an author's accountable police and get "But For You, Yes" #free #romance for joining SNMcKibben! http://ow.ly/wGSPo
I use hashtags and a URL shortener and I get at least 1 new person every time something like this goes out.
That URL link goes to my author website where you will see this:
Subscribers get sexy, informative emails that includes them in my writing process...join and get a free story!!
That will in turn take them to the Mailchimp double opt-in confirmation email. When you click the confirmation you go to a welcome email with the link for the book to download. Three days afterward, I send another email asking if you liked the book and if you could put in a review on Amazon or Goodreads. I provide links to both so it's easy one touch stuff.
I have a built a community by this means--but slowly. Slowly isn't a bad thing. You can be personable, you can grow in a way that doesn't have you scrambling. But it's also easy to forget to be involved in your community so set a schedule to talk to your readers. They may like once a week, once a month or maybe if you're lucky, they want to see every selfie you post on facebook. Go where your readers go, but have a source you can connect with them first.
This is the best advice I can give you on how to build your community. Perhaps later, I can give you something more. But without a doubt, know that you are the ring master. Others may be spinning their circles for you, but it's you that must get the ball rolling.
ACTION ITEM: Set up your email list procedure. Even if you have no book! If you have the time, do it.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
Books on Kindle