Aim to Connect
Building a fan base for your novel is one of the best ways an author can create and maintain enthusiasm. An email list of people who want to hear from you is the strongest and most direct way to connect with readers. Social media and blog posts give you exposure, but an email list is your direct connection to people who will become your readers when the book is out.
The time to start gathering your supporters is while you are still writing your novel. It’s not to early. You want those readers to know you and be excited about the book. Need to get started with your email list? Learn how at Get Ready to Be a Mystery Writer: Part 2 Email and the video.
Once you have your email set up, you’re ready to talk to your email list—your fans. And you want to write to them regularly.
What to Say to Your Readers
The biggest hurdle of new authors is finding topics to write about in the email newsletter. You want to say something relevant but stare at a blank screen.
Here are 10 ideas to get you brainstorming, and more importantly communicating with your fans.
- Write a review of a book in your genre. Your fans already like your genre, mysteries, so turn them on to new books to read while they are waiting for yours.
- Share how your current work in progress is different from other books in your genre. You’ll build suspense and enthusiasm for your book when it launches.
- Share your writing routine: morning, afternoon, evening. How do you get ready? Do you focus on word count or getting into a scene. Do you have any pre-writing rituals? Listen to music or not?
- Highlight the best writing advice you’ve received. Tell how it impacts your current story.
- Tell readers about your research process. How you discover the facts you need. How you store and organize your research. What surprising fact did you discover?
- Talk about your writing style and tell readers what they can expect in your new book.
- Who or what inspired your characters. Share both your main characters and a minor character.
- Talk about your writing hero. Tell readers how and why your hero influences your current writing.
- Share your top 10 favorite books and why you like them.
- Share a character’s favorite recipe. Make it and take pictures.
Keep a list of newsletter ideas so you are never at a loss of what to share.
You Are the Link
When you share you create a link with your fans. For example, your character’s favorite food may not be your favorite. You may not even like their favorite food. Give your readers a hint of who you are.
Get your fans involved. Ask questions. Encourage them to reply. Most email delivery providers make it easy for them to reply directly to your newsletter. Say your character’s favorite food is roast beets in orange sauce. Ask your readers if they like beets.
The idea is to make them feel as though you are having a conversation with them, the one person reading your newsletter. Write as though you are talking to a good friend, one good friend.