Today’s #BookMarket Tip: More important than new readers: make those readers come back for more. Reward repeat readers. #writing
Authors have to work very hard to win over new readers. It’s important for the author to keep those readers coming back for more. It is certainly a great deal easier (and cheaper) to sell books to established fans than it is to keep selling them to new readers.
The nice thing about established fans is that they keep telling everyone else to read the book.
However, getting a reader to read you a second time is not that easy, either. They really don’t become established as a fan until they have had two, or maybe even three great book experiences.
There are ways to reward repeat readers. The key is to make them feel like they have something special when they have your books. Here is a short list of ideas off the top of my head:
- Give them a free short story or article as a thank you.
- $5 off the purchase of next book, or similar coupon offer.
- $5 rebate when they supply proof of purchase of second book.
- Specially printed thank-you cards.
- Special booklet only available to repeat customers.
- Free consultation.
- Discount on seminar attendance.
- Premium gift, such as a bookmark or imprinted pen.
- Newsletter packed with author news and extra information or short stories.
- Opt-in email list with additional material.
- Free access to subscription-only blog.
- A phone call to thank them.
- Behind the scenes MP3 video.
- Holiday greeting cards from you directly.
- Holiday greeting cards for them to mail to others.
- Invitation to special author events, only open to repeat readers.
- Invitation to join your book club, where you sell your books at a discount.
- Databases and a copy of your raw research.
- Specially printed bookplates.
- Wall poster.
- Bumper sticker.
- Computer-screen wallpaper.
- Fanclub membership with lots of extra goodies.
Whatever the reward, it’s important that it be heartfelt, useful, unpretentious, and unexpected. It should not feel like a marketing gimmick. And for the love of letters, don’t make them regret giving you their email address. Don’t harass them. Reward them. Thank them. But don’t spam them.
What do you do to reward your repeat readers?