Tips for Aspiring Authors [#23] Engage your audience

Have you finished your first book and are wondering what to do next? How about engaging your circle of friends and people who have already read or purchased your book or story?

You have social media accounts, right?

I have several social media profiles: Two Facebook public pages for promotional/informational stuff and two actual profiles. One profile is for me and the other is for my character, Stanley Thompson. I also have Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. There are so many options to choose from but for me, four are all I can handle without needing to hire someone to help manage everything.

A lot of my “friends” are authors and if you follow any of us, we typically have a lot to say. Every day. All day. Whether it’s speaking out on the latest news headline, sharing personal stories or random things, it’s good to stay connected with each other and potential readers. People look for your posts and you can become like the morning news, people get up to see what you have to say for the day.

Romance author, Cheris Hodges, knows how to engage followers on social media.

Romance author, Cheris Hodges, knows how to engage followers on social media.

One author who does a great job of engaging her audience is romance author, Cheris Hodges. Her Facebook posts are usually very direct, in your face and she absolutely cracks me up. I don’t know if she intends to be funny or not but I have on more than one occasion checked her page just to see what her latest post was—especially during NFL games.

One of her recent posts caught my eye:

Five things you need to know about dating a writer:

  1. You’re important but when I’m on deadline, you really don’t matter.
  2. If you don’t return a phone call in a reasonable amount of time, I’ve come up with about 60 ways that you’ve died.
  3. When a writer is on deadline, if you’re not showing up with coffee, you’re wasting a writer’s time.
  4. My search history is not a cause for concern.
  5. Anything you do or say is subject to end up in a novel.

As someone who is a writer, it immediately resonated with me. On the other hand, friends who are just friends or aspiring writers got some insight into the mind of how we sometimes think. It provides reassurance to those who may be researching a topic and are concerned about what others may find on their computer. It reassures someone they are not the only one who can pen a story from a mere conversation with someone. The five bullet points said a lot.

The point is writers write. Writers need readers, so engage them. Whatever your platform, whatever your passion, whatever your flavor of the day is, share it with those who chose to follow you on social media. People want to see and know what’s on your mind. You have a captive audience on social media. It’s free advertising so use it to our advantage. So, while you’re penning your best seller, talk to the people on your time line, newsfeed, etc. They may respond or even better, buy your book.

Cheris Hodges is a romance author living in Charlotte, NC. She recently released her first Harlequin Kimani title, Blissful Summer, with Lisa Marie Perry. Her next book, I Heard A Rumor, will be released in November.

Check out her website, www.cherishodges.net

DGR

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