There are tens of thousands of authors in the world, but most of them aren’t famous or professionally published writers. In fact, the majority of authors are the unknown, non-professional ones. More and more authors have been able to become relatively well-known through the use of self-publishing houses, but that doesn’t change the fact that most writers will remain relatively unknown for their entire careers. However, amateur writings will always have their fans and followers – no matter what. One of the best things about being an amateur author is that the writer has the ability to connect with their fans on a much more personal level than their professional counterparts. Obviously, a smaller fan base works in the favor of a small author who wants to get in touch with these fans. Here are five ways amateur authors can connect with their fans and followers.
For authors, old-fashioned letters are one of the best ways to communicate with fans. Allowing fans to write to an author shows some real commitment on the part of the author to his or her fans. A smart option revolves around setting up a P.O. box so that your actual address doesn’t need to be revealed to whoever wants it. As an amateur author, you shouldn’t be receiving thousands of letters per week, so this should be a good option for you. Be personal and write back to your fans with a hand-written letter as opposed to a typed one. A fan that sees that you care about what they’re writing will enjoy your own writing all the more. Of course, you shouldn’t be too surprised if you get a letter asking for some opinion on that person’s own writing. It’s up to you on whether or not to read their work and respond, but a true author should delight in helping out fellow writers.
Here are a few quick tips when it comes to mail between you and your fans:
* Use a P.O. box to avoid giving out your true address. It’s the safest option for yourself.
* Don’t type your response letters because that isn’t personal at all.
* Respond to as many letters as you can to show your fans that you care.
* Take constructive criticism if it’s given, but never forsake your own writing vision for someone else.
Not many authors – amateur and professional alike – use video chat services to connect with their audience, but it’s an incredibly great idea. Video chatting is about as close to meeting your fans as you can get. Luckily, you can video chat with a number of people simultaneously from anywhere in the world. You can really get to know the readers who enjoy your material, so what do you have to lose? Obviously, you should set a regular schedule for when you do video chats, and it’s a great idea to limit the number of people you interact with at any one time. You should be fair, so you’ll probably want to chat with different people each time you do the chats. Repeatedly interacting with the same people will just work to alienate your other fans that want to chat with you. No matter what, you cannot alienate any of your fans because that’s just bad practice.
Here are a few quick tips when it comes to video chatting with your fans:
* You should carry out video chats with only one to four people at any one time.
* Set a weekly or bi-monthly schedule for video chatting. You can’t do it every single day.
Of course, most authors use social media sites to get in touch with their fans and admirers. You have a bunch of options here, including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and plenty of others. Without a doubt, you should only choose three or four of these options because it’s difficult to manage a ton of social media accounts. All of them should serve a different purpose though, so don’t put the same content on each site. For starters, you can use Twitter for random updates about yourself and Facebook for connecting with fans and promotional things. In reality, it’s your choice for what you want to do with each social media site. You should always interact with your fans in some capacity on social media websites. You can ask for fan feedback on certain pieces or just chat with your fans about general things outside of writing.
Here are a few quick tips when it comes to using social media sites to connect with fans:
* Don’t use each social media site for the same exact content and purposes.
* Don’t use every social media site in existence. That’s overkill.
Question and Answer Sessions
A good amount of authors take advantage of Q&A Sessions, and you should too. Undoubtedly, you’ll want to allow fans to submit their questions to you in some type of forum. You can pick the questions you want to answer and post them somewhere on your website. On the other hand, you could even have a live Q&A Session where fans ask you the questions in a chat or podcast and you respond to the questions right there. The choice is obviously yours. Take advantage of fan questions because they can help you connect with your audience. On top of this, you can get to know your readers while they can get to know you too. Don’t just limit a Q&A Session to your fans asking about you; you can ask them questions about themselves too. Take full advantage of this tool.
Here are a few quick tips when it comes to doing Q&A Sessions with your fans:
* Ask your fans some questions too!
* Switch between live Q&A Sessions and ones that are just listed on your website.
* Answer interesting questions with interesting response. Don’t bore your readers.
* Limit your responses to a few sentences because most answers won’t take a novel to explain.
The face-to-face meeting is pretty unheard of for professional authors, but there is no reason that you can’t get personal with your fans, assuming they live in your area. Also, you need to feel comfortable with meeting some of your fans. We’re not talking about meet and greets at a bookstore though. Should you have a large fan base in the area you live in, then you should hold little events at some local coffee shop or park or someplace where you can get a small group together. Basically, you just invite a group of say 5 to 10 people to enjoy a couple hours with you. You can do lunch or a simple gathering or anything to connect with your fans. Obviously, it doesn’t need to be a formal event. You can just chat with your fans and admirers on a personal level. The event doesn’t even need to be driven by your opinions and material. Without a doubt, meeting your fans face-to-face is one of the most rewarding experiences for an amateur writer, so try it out a few times.
Here are a few quick tips when it comes to doing face-to-face meetings with your fans:
* If you like the idea, then you should do it bi-monthly or once per month.
* Don’t just base the gatherings on conversing about your life and material. Talk with your fans too.
* Do something simple like lunch, coffee, or a simple meeting in a park. Don’t get fancy.
That’s all, folks!
As you can probably tell, the previously mentioned 5 ways for amateur writers to connect with their fans are not the only methods to connect with your admirers. You have a plethora of options when it comes to doing this. Your fans will only enjoy you and your works more if you interact with them. Obviously, you have some advantages as an amateur writer as opposed to a professional one because you can reach your fans on a much more personal level. Don’t forsake this ability because it is such a rewarding experience in the end.