Online book launches, once the pandemic struck, became much more convenient to organize and host, while also giving the opportunity for international fans to attend the event. Even now, although travel restrictions in a majority of the countries are lifted, the publishing community favors going online to interact with the reader-base rather than hosting physical events.
We have discussed, previously, a number of ways in which you can make a virtual more interesting and convert this interest into sales (see Making Your Virtual Book Launch Memorable During the Pandemic and 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do in Your Book Launch).
What can you, as an author, do to increase the engagement of your fans across the globe once your book has been published? It’s quite natural for the hype to die down a few weeks after the launch. The key is to figure out ways to keep your readers interested, and to attract new readers even months afterwards. That is why authors need to keep interacting with their audience by giving them new content to be excited about.
Here are three online events you can host for your readers, to keep the hype for your book up, and to increase your sales.
1. Author Q&As
Readers love hearing their favorite authors answer their questions, and confirm if all their sleepless speculations were accurate. Hosting an Author Q&A session is the best way to get these readers to participate.
Make sure to gather readers’ questions before the event. If you have set yourself a time limit but you have too many questions to be answered within that period, pick questions out randomly. You can even allow a few lucky fans to make appearances and ask you their questions in person.
2. Webinars and Online Workshops
Webinars are live online video conferences that gained a lot of traction during the pandemic. As an author, you wouldn’t just have mastered your skill of writing—being a published author, especially a self-published author, means you need to master a variety of other skills. You need to know the basics of designing to design your book posters and covers; you need to learn the techniques of marketing and promoting to find your audience; and, most importantly, you need to figure out the most efficient ways of budgeting.
You can host a series of online webinars and workshops to teach your readers all these valuable lessons you’ve learnt during your publishing journey. You can also make easily shareable slides and infographics with tips and tricks to extend your reach.
3. Behind-the-Scenes Events
An author’s writing space is where all the magic happens, where the characters come to life, and where the plot thickens. That is the place readers would be most excited to see—is it a writing desk like the one they themselves use? Or is it something more flexible, like the outdoors or a favorite coffee shop? How often do they get disrupted by their mischievous pets?
You can host a simple live event on Instagram Live or Facebook Live to take your readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of the writing life—and make sure to give them a glimpse of your bookshelf too! You can even use this opportunity to give them a sneak peak into your newest drafts, which will be sure to drive your readers crazy.
If you need help building your author platform, Kelsye Nelson is leading a course called Small Town Writer, Big World Audience on Gutsy Creatives. If you enter the discount code BLOGGISH you’ll get $25 off the cost of the full course. Click here to register.
Best of luck on your publishing journey!
Shafeeka Hafeez grew up escaping into a world of books where she discovered a love for writing and a fascination with trees. When she’s not taking up a new marketing skill, or typing out a blog post, you can find her Googling the best therapy for abandoned cats.