by John Koehler
In these uncertain times of fear and isolation, it is a certainty that people will continue to read books. Hopefully your book. In fact, you could even make the argument that “stay in place” orders, lockdowns and quarantines will force even more readers to read for entertainment, to escape, and to save themselves from boredom.
That’s the good news for authors.
The bad news of course is that if your book launches in the next few months or until the government allows face-to-face gatherings, you will not be able to host any group book events. Bummer for sure, but not game over. Certainly not the end of the world; in fact there is still great opportunity for authors.
Go Digital and Go Big
If you are an author, then you must place even more importance and reliance on digital forms of communication with your followers and readers. This means using your social media and your website. Chances are—if your book is launching in the next 3 to 5 months—you are already using social media.
Your author website remains the ground central for all of your social media. Buttons for your social media should be shown in a prominent location on your website so that folks can pick how they wish to follow you. Your current book cover should be prominently listed on the homepage, along with a synopsis and a buy button. These things were true before the virus, and remain true now.
Blog in a Personal Way
If you have a blog, feel free to write about anything you like, including helpful issues relating to the pandemic. Author blogs are intended as a way for readers to meet you. Write about anything you like, 300 to 1000 words, and with a photo or graphic (this blog post is about 470 words).
Be personal. Be professional, be yourself. You do not need to limit yourself to posts from your book. They are absolutely fine, but remember that your followers want to meet you, not just get excerpts. Tell them what you are thinking and feeling.
Use Your Comm Tools
Using Skype, ZOOM, FaceTime or other video teleconference tools, you can host events for readers and followers and other authors. Think like a business person who still needs to communicate with customers who can no longer meet face-to-face. Think about small groups of 4 to 10. You can do readings. You can encourage. Offer incentives and ask them to buy your book. Have a contest with the winner getting a free ebook or printed book you will send them.
Use the phone! Text. Email. Tweet. Post. In this digital world there are vast numbers of ways to reach out and touch someone digitally. So get touching . . . using social distancing of course!
You Can Do It!
You got this thing. You can do it. Be encouraging and change lives. Sell some books.
Good luck and God bless you. Be faithful that all this shall pass. Because it will.
John Koehler is the company founder and runs its day-to-day operations. He is an award-winning graphics designer, and the author of seven books. John lives in Virginia Beach, VA and is active in various churches. He has helped run a ministry dedicated to helping children with disabilities, a cause he is still very much dedicated to. John made an international splash in 1991 by winning the Boomerang World Championship in Perth, Australia and was a member of the Foster’s Boomerang 2000 Team, a touring troop that taught professional athletes, and others, the gospel of boomerangs.