‘Tis the season of giving thanks so let me start by wishing you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Giving thanks is a great way to connect with people and show them you care and that they matter to you.
I’d like to explore a few classic ways you can give thanks to your readers:
- Thank your readers on the Acknowledgement Page of your book. Thanking those by name who have helped support and encourage you, proof read and edit your works, assisted with marketing and promotion and those in your community who were among the first to read your book and offer comments is a great way to show appreciation.
- Another way to expand on your thank you is by thanking people who were first to read your book via social media. “Thanks so much to Susie Smith, Tom Tinker and Ben Barber for being willing to read the first draft of my book from cover to cover. Your friendship and comments meant so much and truly had an impact on the end result. And if you can add a photo of the readers with your book or a group/selfie with you included – all the better.
- Say thank you to the first readers and promoters of your book by offering them a special deal. One entrepreneur and rather famous networker, Scott Ginsberg – “Hello My Name is Scott” had a clever way of saying thank you. When his book, Ideas Are Free, Execution Is Priceless, first hit the stands he made a special, limited time offer to his community. If they went on Amazon to buy his book and then sent him proof of purchase, he’s sign another copy and send it to you for free. I kept the book he signed and gave the book I purchased to another friend of mine. Then I talked about his book on my social media sites. It was a great way for Scott to gain readers, garner word of mouth buzz and say thank you to his readers.
- Throw a Thank You Party! Consider turning a book signing event into a thank you party for those who have read your book, supported you along the way or helped bring your book to market. A great twist on a “customer appreciation” event, you can offer simple faire such as lemonade and cookies, and then contact other local vendors and invite them to provide services. You might ask a local Avon representative to set up a table and provide free makeovers. A local hair stylist could offer quick and easy comb outs and up dos. Consider asking the owner of a local gym or fitness center to provide free bone density scans or demonstrate easy chair exercises people can do at their desk during the day. Create local buzz around the idea of saying thank you to your readers and potential new readers by having a fun party. Remember to promote the event in advance via the local paper, press releases, newsletters and social media so that you have the best possible attendance.
- Write a personal note of thanks to people who take the time to review your book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, et al. Visit your author page once a week and leave a response or send an email to thank the reader for reading your book and taking the time to share their thoughts. It is just good business to send these thank you regardless of the review – one star comments can be as valuable as those who praise your name with a five star review.
Back in 1983, long before email and social media, I read a great biography of Henry Fonda written by Howard Teichmann entitled Fonda, My Life. Mr. Fonda met with Howard and provided the content which Howard edited and put into book format.
I loved the book! I loved it so much that I typed (on an electric typewriter) a letter to Howard sharing my thoughts as well as mentioning the fact that I thought he should write about Katharine Hepburn.
Within four days of my mailing my letter, he sent me a typed note back thanking me for my note. I still have a copy of my letter as well as his response:
“Thank you so very much for your letter about the Fonda biography. He was a dear man and a good friend and I found it both joyful and painful to write the book.
It is curious that you should mention Katharine Hepburn. Both she and I have discussed an authorized biography. I expect to see her within a week or two. Thank you once more for your generous words.”
That simple thank you meant so much that 32 years later I still have note! Sadly, he died four years later before writing another book.
Bottom Line: Personally connecting with your readers and thanking them for their patronage is a great way to build your community. If they know the author really cares about them they will be more likely to seek out other books talk about you to their friends.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time to thank you, my faithful readers for visiting our site and reading my articles. I truly appreciate you!