Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.
Natalie here. Today I’ve got a great tip on giving back to your fans by Maria Dismondy, who has shared several other great tips with us. Maria is the author of THE POTATO CHIP CHAMP: DISCOVERING WHY KINDESS COUNTS
So here’s Maria.
Giving Back to Your Fans
As authors, we write books to share a story with our audience. Our fans purchase our books, which makes it possible for us to keep writing. It’s a wonderful cycle of doing what we love, and being rewarded in return. But have you ever stopped to give back to your fans? Here are some simple ways I like to show readers my appreciation.
Everyone loves a prize! So I like to give away trinkets at my book signing events. The Oriental Trading website is my go-to for inexpensive items that I can buy in bulk. To pick the item, I find an object that relates to my book’s theme. Things like baseballs, stars, cookies, etc. work great. Bookmarks are always nice, too. And even though candy is easy (and delicious!), I like to stick to ‘things’ vs. anything edible. Whatever you choose, include purchasing information and book images for an added special touch.
“Can I Have Your Autograph?”
Readers love having a book signed by the author. Even I have waited in long lines just to christen my book with my favorite authors’ John Hancock! Giving fans a chance to meet you in person is an exciting opportunity. Bookplates are also a nice option – simply sign and mail to any fans that request an autograph but can’t make it to your event. To set up a book signing and let the fun begin, simply contact your local bookstores – they’ll know the drill!
Sign, Sealed, Delivered -- Fan Mail!
As a former teacher, we studied a different author each month. We spent time reading their books and learning about their writing styles. At the end of each study, we would write a letter to the author. It was always a treat to receive something back in the mail. We didn’t always get a hand written note, which is completely understandable, but the handwritten ones were treasures we held onto! Open the door to receiving fan mail by setting up a P.O. Box in your pen name. Then post the address on your website and watch the letters roll in!
When a blogger reviews one of my books, I like to say, “thanks” by sending a free, signed book their way. Then they can give it away to their own fans and keep the circle of gratitude going! Coffee gift cards are another one of my go-to gifts.
Free, Fun Downloads
With each book I write, I offer a free download on my website. For teachers/parents, this includes lesson plans and activities that correlate to my book. (I’ve written Reader’s Guides myself but, more recently, I’ve hired teachers to create the lessons.) For the kids, I offer coloring pages designed by the illustrators of my books. It’s added touches like these that go a long way in the eyes of your fans – young and old!
Maria Dismondy, mother of two (with one on the way), reading specialist, fitness instructor and bestselling children’s author living in Southeast Michigan. You can find Maria at:
Here’s a blurb of THE POTATO CHIP CHAMP from Goodreads:
Champ and Walter Norbert Whipplemoore are about as different as two kids can bewell, except for their love of baseball and potato chips. Champ had everything, but always wanted more. Walter had very little, but was never seen without a smile on his face. In the end, it is Walter and some crunchy potato chips that teach Champ a lesson about character that can't be taught in school.
Hope to see you tomorrow when I have a guest post by debut author Kit Grindstaff and a giveaway of THE FLAME IN THE MIST, a MG creepy fantasy.