Loyal readers, like any loyal customer, become invested in the person behind the book. They’ve read the creativity you’ve poured out on your pages. They feel a connection to you; they may even feel like they know you. So it’s important to be yourself.
Based on my experience working with some great brands, I believe a key component for success is maintaining authenticity. Consumers want to know who you are and what you stand for. This is especially important if your goal is to build a loyal following for many books to come, or perhaps looking to position yourself with a traditional publisher.
You have tremendous power to connect directly to your consumers through the use of the internet and social networking, but in order to be successful you have to keep it real. Consumers realize when they’re being marketed to, so start by simply engaging in a meaningful dialogue with them.
Once you’ve established who will buy your book, you will need to develop a message for reaching out to them. Naturally most authors take tremendous pride in their work, but when you ask them what their book is about they find it difficult to provide a clear, concise synopsis of their book or—what I like to call—the elevator pitch. As an author you have to position yourself with potential readers who are faced with an ever increasing number of choices. If you can’t clearly explain what your book is about and why they should be interested in it, they’re probably not going to buy it.
What makes a good elevator pitch? Check out this video from CBC’s business reality series, Dragon’s Den. While the video is a little hokey, it’s worth viewing and remembering as you create your own elevator pitch.