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Ninc Newsletter

Ninc 2012 Conference

NINCThink Round Table:
Creatively Connecting
with Readers



Panel members: Larry Norton, Pam Headrick, Deb Werksman, Shirley Hailstock, Patricia Knoll, Karen Sandler, Kelly McClymer, MJ Rose.

Is there a way to ensure that your readers know you as a person while also avoiding stalker issues after they think you’re their new best friend?

Keep communications professional via social media. There needs to be a healthy boundary.

When someone is coming on too strong, ignore them.

Remember that what you put out on the Internet stays out there forever.

Do readers want to connect with authors, do they want to meet us, or to get involved with our books?

Yes. They want you to be like your characters. They think they know your characters better than you do and may want to advise you.

Readers want to connect with you and get to know you because they love your books. If you’re friendly with them and gracious to your fans, it makes a huge difference. Impressions matter at book signings or author events. Meeting you online has in a way removed barriers and people think you are their friend.

Keeping fans is for the long haul. So be nice when you meet them. Commit to the long term and try not to get jaded.

There are bad fans—the kind who write to you to tell you what you did wrong. Remember they are fans and could become customers for life. If you’re not good at doing a reading, then don’t do one. You should be clear about what your strengths are when you connect with your readers.

Are there ways that e-books allow you to connect to readers in a way that print books do not?

Connecting is immediate via links. Readers feel they have a more personal connection because they can reach the author so quickly.

We are only just beginning to understand the power of linking—to your website, to your other books.

Over time, the back of the e-book is going to become much more important than the back of a print book.

Reader letters, historical notes, author’s journey through the book are ways to connect with readers.

Excerpts of upcoming or existing titles included at the end of your books and tables of contents are good things to include.

One author put a link to her newsletter in the back of the book and generated a lot of traffic to her website.

What are the ways that authors can connect with readers via libraries and bookstores, and how can we strengthen those connections?

Local bookstores and libraries are the place to start. Let booksellers know when your book is out. Presign books. Turn your books face-out on the shelves. Befriend your librarians and booksellers.

Gather other authors and do panel events. Ask readers what they want from an author appearance.

Book clubs are often connected to bookstores or libraries. Ask libraries and bookstores what the clubs need from you. Expand your reach and find book clubs in a 50- to 100-mile radius of your home. Skyping book clubs is becoming popular.

How can we use social media to garner readership?

The chances of someone buying your book on Facebook or Twitter are low if you post the info, but if someone else tells them about your book, the odds increase. So have other author friends post about your books after they read the book. There is a difference if you are engaging readers with other books.    

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