A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Keeping in Touch with Readers

As authors, we hope to connect with readers through our books, through the characters we create. Increasingly important, however, is to connect with readers on a more personal level. But how do we do this?

One of the best and worst creations for authors is social media. Why do I say that? Because it is a fantastic platform to reach out to new and existing readers. BUT it is also an ever-changing landscape, a minefield of new updates and tools, an almost impossible challenge to conquer.

As well as social media, there are a few other platforms we can use to keep in touch with readers, such as book signings.

How do we know what works best? What do our readers prefer?

Recently, I undertook a small survey to understand how my readers like to keep in touch with their favourite authors. I thought it might be useful to share the results with you.

I must qualify the outcome of this survey by telling you it was a small poll, run through my Facebook reader group. As such, it is likely to favour Facebook over other social media outlets. However, the reason for me running the poll in my Facebook reader group is that I get more interaction from that group than via other platforms.

So, here are my findings…

The question I put to my reader group was: How do you stay connected with your favourite authors? (Please tick all that apply)

The options provided were:

Facebook author page (Rank 1)
Facebook reader group (Rank 1)
Instagram (Rank 2)
Goodreads (Rank 3)
BookBub (Rank 4)
Other (e.g. book stores) (Rank 4)
Twitter (Rank 5)
Book signings (Rank 6)
Snapchat (Rank 7)
Author blog/website (Rank 7)

The results:

An overwhelming majority of readers preferred to connect with authors via Facebook. There was no difference between the number of readers who preferred a Facebook author page or a Facebook reader group. Although, I will note that visibility within reader groups tends to be higher than the visibility of posts placed on professional pages (this is due to Facebook’s settings).

The second most popular way to connect was Instagram. This was around half as popular as Facebook.

The third preferred method was Goodreads, with 25% of readers saying they use the tool to keep abreast of author updates.

Tied, in fourth position were BookBub and Other. Those who selected 'other' preferred book stores and recommendations (options which are less tailored to specific authors).

Fifth position was taken by Twitter. I found this a surprising but useful insight, as Twitter is a forum I have always tried to work with but have never found much success.

Sixth position was taken by book signings.

Hanging in the bottom were Snapchat and Author’s own blog/website.

My take away from this is to concentrate more on Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads, and relax a little when it comes to the other forums. (Both for reason of sanity and efficiency. We can’t do it all!)

I don’t profess to be a scientist but I hope this is helpful for some of you.

Laura x

If you are considering setting up a Facebook reader group, or would be interested in joining one, please feel free to check out my group, Laura Carter’s Chic Cats ( I do give readers insight into my WIP, as well as sneak peeks and giveaways, but more often we discuss other books that we are reading.

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Anne Marie Becker said...

Thank you for sharing your results with us! I've found that, for my own sanity, I have to limit my social media to 2-3 platforms. It helps that I like Facebook more than the others, and can link my author page posts to Twitter, so I'm tweeting at the same time. ;)

I had just scribbled down earlier today that I need to do more on Instagram. I set up an account, loaded a picture, and haven't done much since. ;)

I also enjoy Pinterest. An author friend recently mentioned she does a secret board for her book projects, and then makes them public when the book is out, so everyone can see her inspirations for setting and characters. Loved that idea!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks for sharing this information, Laura. I guess that means I should really set up a FB author page...

Laura Carter said...

Anne Marie Becker, yes! I also love that accounts can be linked. Instagram links to both Twitter and Facebook (you can have it linked to you FB timeline or your author page) and I use that tool a lot. I have actually played with Pinterest but I get nervous about pinning celebs and faces - in case readers don't agree with the image in their minds. I also found I didn't use it as often as other tools so I had to ditch it, rather than doing a half-hearted job.

Marcelle Dube, please don't take it for red! Like I say, I carried out the poll via Facebook but in my own experience Facebook is definitely where I get most interaction.

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