Author Tips: Giving Back to Your Readers During COVID-19
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For me, one of the best things about writing books is going out into the public to actually meet my existing readers and/or gain new ones. With all of the social distancing laws put into place due to COVID-19, events all over the country have been getting cancelled and rescheduled, but that doesn’t mean we (as authors) can’t find a way to still get the word out about our books.
As authors, it’s important for us to give back to our readers when it matters most. Giving back doesn’t mean you have to do something elaborate or something that will break your pockets. For example, during this pandemic I’ve done two separate giveaways. The first one was simply because I was doing some spring cleaning and saw that I had a good amount of paperbacks that were just collecting dust. Therefore, I went through all of them and grouped them into ten different bundles. From there, I was able to have interested people enter by simply sending me a screenshot of the email they received from me or a simple DM on Instagram or Facebook with a screenshot of my social media post announcing the giveaway. Boom! Ten readers ranging from the east to the west coast were gifted bundles of my novels. The only cost I incurred in doing that was the shipping. For leftover books that didn’t fit into a bundle, I also gave readers the opportunity to tell me if they wanted some and I mailed them out as well.
A few weeks later, I did the same thing with my children’s books. Since so many schools have been closed all over the country, I wanted to do something that would keep reading at the forefront of children’s’ minds while at home. Like other authors, I miss not being able to get out and about to meet and greet, but this has proved to be a really great workaround for me.
Other things you can do:
· Offer a free sample (just a chapter or two) of your latest book to your email subscribers
· Do a paperback book giveaway
· Gift a few readers free copies of your e-book via Amazon
· Donate a few of your paperbacks to your local library (if they are currently open and will accept them)
Do a free reading of your book (chapter if it's a novel or the whole book if it's a children's book) on social media (i.e. Instagram Live or Facebook Live)
From one quarantined home to another, I’m wishing you and yours continuous good health and well-being. P.S. If you've got any more ideas on how to give back to your readers, leave a comment below!