10 insights from the social reading landscape

Social ReadersI began this series by looking at the data around social readers then developed 2 Models for Selling Historical Fiction followed by Selling Historical Fiction Parts II and III. In the process, I offered several diagrams illustrating the changing ways readers and writers are connecting.

Survey data suggests that social readers are changing the reading landscape. I suppose I could have said that social media and a wide range of new applications are enabling social readers to emerge as a market force.

After drawing all these pretty diagrams, do I have any conclusions?

Below are ten insights for your consideration:

  1. Embrace social readers and those who influence them.
  2. Seek out blogs and reading sites for your genre. In my case this is historical fiction and what my former agent called ‘up-market women’s fiction’.
  3. Seek out blogs and influencers in geographic markets and specialty markets where you think your books will appeal. For example, one of my novels is set in WWI France, which suggests looking for bloggers and websites with an interest in WWI or a focus on France.
  4. Since social readers are more likely to purchase online, make sure you provide links to purchase your books every time you appear online.
  5. Talk to your readers. Determine where they hang out and join the conversation. Interact with them whenever they offer a comment. Invite them to make their opinions known through mini-surverys, questions on social media and other mechanisms.
  6. Make sure your e-books are available in as many formats as possible.
  7. Look for opportunities to interact with book clubs.
  8. Maintain an active social media presence that is two-way not one-way.
  9. Include your email address with your books and on your blog so readers can contact you.
  10. Get active on Goodreads – by far the #1 favourite site mentioned by readers.

Oh, and two more:

  • collect emails as you go so you can reach out to readers from time to time, and
  • don’t forget to explore other sites – those I’ve categorized as ‘reading websites’ and ‘reading forums’. For example, IndieBound, IndieBrag and IndiesUnlimited are a mix of book sites and retailers. Pixel of Ink offers free and bargain books. Mumsnet and the Yummy Mummy Club are parent sites with books sections. Wattpad allows you to present chapters for reader comment, you can even serialize your book and test it out. Book Daily offers free book samples so that readers can do the equivalent of reading the first few pages of a book. Some of these sites may be suitable for guest posts, to engage with readers or as a marketplace for your books.

Whether you’re a reader or author, your opinion is important. Please let me know what you think of how social readers are changing the reading landscape.

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available in paperback from Amazon and in e-book formats from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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