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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reaching your Readers Part 2 – Reaching Your Fans

Following on from Part 1 of this post,, I asked this question on my Facebook page,

How do you find out about your favourite author’s next book? Bookshops? Personal recommendations? Book reviews? Author's web site? Author's social media presence, on Facebook or blogs or Twitter or GoodReads? Author newsletters? Publisher's sites? Advertising?

There have been 50 responses so far (note, people usually gave more than one answer so the sum is more than 100%).

Author’s Website                                                                             44%

Physical bookshops (but often as a last resort)                                   26%

Wikipedia                                                                                       22%

Author’s social media/Facebook/blog/Twitter                                  22%
(mainly Facebook)

Search engines                                                                                16%

Online bookshops/Amazon                                                               14%

Email newsletters from authors/publishers                                       10%

Recommendations from friends and fans of other authors                   8%
(other authors they like)

‘Internet’                                                                                        8%

Publisher’s website                                                                          4%

GoodReads and similar sites                                                             4%

Authors’ recommendations (of other authors)                                    2%

Reviews (online or print)                                                                 2%

Facebook ads                                                                                  2%

There are some important lessons here:
  1. Fans get the vast majority of their info via the net (no surprise there).
  2. The author's website is by far the most important source of information about their books, yet  many author websites are either out of date, or all show and no substance, or don't provide the information and detail readers and fans are looking for. 
  3. Wikipedia is one of the top three sources of information, yet many authors haven't corrected their Wikipedia entries or supplemented them with the right level of detail about their books, particularly new books.
  4. Social media (particularly Facebook) are as important as Wikipedia, yet few authors have a fan page on Facebook, and of those that do, many don't use it effectively. Most personal Facebook pages are useless for communicating with fans. For info on using Facebook effectively,
  5. Search engines and online bookshops are important sources of information and places to buy immediately. Authors should make sure their information is easily found by search engines, and that the details on online bookshops and other places on the net are correct – they often aren't!
  6. Email newsletters to people who have subscribed are a simple but effective way to market your books to your existing readers.  
Thanks very much to all those people who kindly gave detailed answers to the question. Part 3 of this post, which deals with reaching new readers, can be found here:

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