Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Why Authors Should Be Involving Readers From the Start

4 min read
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When authors involve readers from the beginning, they continue to increase their chances of a successful book launch

As writers, we are always searching for ways to grab readers, which can be difficult when you are first starting out.

As a writer, we are working to instill trust in our readers.

We want to show them that our work is worth reading. We want them to know their money will be well-spent. And we want them to want to come back and read more.

And unfortunately, this can be a tough thing to do.

So, how does one begin instilling this trust with their readership?

I know that not many people believe this, but social media is the best place to start.

This is because people are already there for you to connect with. Readers are there ready to discover your book and writers are there to answer questions about the writing aspect. And it's a free tool!

Some ways that you can grab the reader's attention are:

  • Post about how you just started writing a story in a specific genre and how excited you are

  • Posting about your characters (helps to add a visual too!)

  • Reveals (Location, character, description)

The best thing about this is that you can start doing this as soon at the beginning of writing the book.

It’s actually better to start doing this early on because you then build the momentum as the project grows. You build anticipation among readers. And you also see their comments and feedback as you go.

Another way to involve readers is by showing them your process.

Sounds strange, right?

For example, say you are having trouble deciding on a cover for your latest book. Do your fair share of research for the cover in accordance with your market first, and then create a slew of choices. Once you’ve done this, share it on social media and ask readers what they think.

You never know what will come out of it.

For example, my latest book is in the young adult genre and was untitled. I was torn on the title and the cover, unsure which one readers were going to gravitate towards since I’d only done one cover in this genre before. So I posted all three and asked readers what they thought.

Cover 1

Cover 2

Cover 3

I figured already that cover 2 wasn’t going to be a winner as I wasn’t sold on it. It was plain and didn’t reveal much to the reader.

What didn’t expect was the type of feedback I received from my social media followers.

Writers on Twitter were able to give me constructive feedback on composition and appeal. Readers on Facebook gave me feedback on why they loved the cover they chose. And believe it or not, it told me a lot about what drew the reader's eye and how it appealed to them.

I definitely thought that they were going to be drawn to cover 1 but they actually all chose cover 3.

Here was some of their feedback:

Facebook feedback

Twitter Feedback

By doing this, not only did I engage with potential readers, but I instilled a trust that I valued their opinion.

I made sure to thank them for their input when they answered. I also made sure to send out another post afterward about which cover I chose alongside a quote from the manuscript. Giving them a little taste of what they could expect later.

on Instagram

on Facebook and Twitter

When you take the time to involve readers early on and instill trust with them, you build a following.

When you build a following during the process of book creation, you increase your chances of having a successful book launch.