10 Ways to Serve Readers with Your Book
Readers look for compelling content, but they become delighted and loyal fans when they discover added benefits in your books. As a writer your main objective is to connect to readers and solve their most pressing problems. Christians have the benefit of godly wisdom as a source for issues many readers encounter, but Christian authors are also called to share their gift of writing and teaching with excellence. These tips outline how indie authors can serve readers well while incorporating book marketing and thoughtful planning to represent the Lord well with your craft.
A Good Brand Says It All
The fonts you type, the textures you select, the tone you use, and the color palette you choose start to tell a story about who you are and what readers can expect from you. Choosing photos in your online presence based on your niche tells the reader who you are on your website, email signature block, social media accounts, book covers, author posters, and more. Take time to identify your brand and all its elements, then use your branding every time you are speaking or writing as an indie author.
Design a Customized Bookmark
Create a custom bookmark to coordinate with your book and send readers to your website with your web address and/or QR code as an added treat for readers. They will appreciate the fun gift and use it to connect with you.
Symbols Enhance Your Story
Use a specific icon, design, or drawing at the beginning of each chapter to establish a cohesive look while giving insights about the message in your text. Repeat the design on your book cover and include a lesson about the graphic in your text to tie together all the elements of your self-published work.
The Power of Quotes
Quotes from notable people add depth to books, and they can approach the subject from a different angle. Use epigraphs to open each chapter to invite the reader to wade into the subject of the chapter. Insert quotes, word definitions, or scriptures throughout the text to enhance the reader’s experience while reading.
Touch Your Readers
Drawing your own signature and including it in the introduction section of your book helps readers connect with you. A hand-drawn mark signals to them that you are a real person, and they relate to that as they read. Use your same signature in your email signature block, welcome email sequence, and newsletter as a personal touch for readers. Add personal touches to social posts using some of the social media post ideas shared by a fellow indie author.
A Place to Land
Roll out the welcome mat to readers when you offer a specific landing page for your book on your website. Include this unique web link in the text of your book as a private welcome just for readers. Use the page to give them behind-the-scenes insights into the book with a longer format author biography, different photos related to your indie book, or why you were prompted to write the book for them. Include buttons with links to free downloads or inspirational printables that connect with your written content again. Be sure to include a link to your newsletter sign up form so you can keep serving them via email throughout the year.
Remember the Fun Factor
Include a fun feature on the cover of your book like a custom sticker with “Local Author” or a QR code sending your reader to a landing page. Also consider ways you can insert a flip book feature, handmade drawings, sketches, quote blocks, or photos throughout the text to give readers a place to rest while they read. By including these features, they will be able to digest the content and absorb the lessons so they can enjoy the text on a deeper level. In non-fiction books, these resting places give readers a spot to begin to think about how they would apply what they are reading in their own lives.
Photos Speak Volumes
Your author photo should be inviting while representing the depth of your message. Be sure your image holds a bit of mystery in your smile to make readers want to hear what you have to say. Use the same author photo each time you market your book including your book cover, press releases, media kit, social posts, or author one-sheets at conferences. Do not use a casual image or a pretty picture from a social event as your professional author photo, but take the time to curate a professional image to represent your work.
There is More in Store
Readers often respond to the invitation to use what you recommend or what you talk about in your book. They want a way to stay connected with the message of your book, so build an online store that provides digital downloads, printed items, shirts, and other products related to your book. Curate a selection of products you use and recommend on Amazon like pens, notebooks, etc. and provide a link to your affiliate store.
Get Readers Together
Reading connects people, so invite readers to read your book in a group setting. Promote a group book study, including the use of questions or activities at the end of each chapter. Encourage group book studies in your newsletter and in social posts on a rotation throughout the month.
Some of these methods are easier to implement with a self-published title that you sell directly to customers, but by thinking creatively, you can connect with readers wherever they buy your book. Include an invitation to join your email list at the end of your author bio in your book, or post the invitation on your social accounts every 3-4 weeks to begin to reveal these features to your readers.
Authors who think of the needs of their readers in each aspect of writing will touch people’s lives and connect with them beyond the words on the page. As a Christian writer, using these methods to serve readers and share His Spirit will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.
Kelly Brinkmann is a working artist and author reclaiming every part of her heart to align with God’s best design. Look for the ways she uses these 10 tips in her book, Art for the Soul: Growing Your Faith Through Creativity, now in bookstores or at https://amzn.to/3ShoFC2. She shares lessons with readers from her travels to see art and from her pottery studio in her book linking art to faith in Jesus. See her writing and speaking website and social accounts, (@officialKellyBrinkmann) at https://www.KellyBrinkmann.com