Setting Up The All Important Readers Group in 10 Easy Steps (Part II of Alyssa Drake’s Guest Blog on Reader Groups)

TEN STEPS TO SET UP YOUR READERS GROUP

In her last blog, Alyssa expertly covered the reasons ‘Why every Author needs a Reader group?’ So may be this is what you want to say to her…

That’s wonderful, Alyssa, I’m sold, but how do I go about building a Reader’s Group?

So here she is back again, answering the very same question…Over to Alessia.

Great question. I wondered the exact same thing several months ago when I was recruited by a boxed set organizer for her anthology. She sent me a list of requirements: website (check), Facebook page (check), social media (check, check, check), reader’s group…wait, what?

I froze, a deer in headlights, and reluctantly admitted I did not have a reader’s group; it was something I meant to do, but never got around to creating.

“I’ll wait.”

Oh. Okay, I’ll do it right now. So, here we go…

TEN STEPS TO SET UP YOUR READER’S GROUP

1) FACEBOOK PROFILE

Make sure you have a Facebook profile. I realize this seems very basic, but you would be surprised by how many people forget this step.

2)CREATE A GROUP

Create a group. Yes, it’s that simple. Facebook makes it very easy and the process is similar to setting up a new page. If you need help working in Facebook, this post is not for that kind of detailed explanation. But you may reach out to me separately, if you wish.

3)NAME YOUR GROUP

The name. Seriously, this was the most difficult part for me. Pick a name that resonates with you, either based off your name (Alyssa Drake’s Dreamers) or off your writing (a friend of mine uses Bella’s Heartbreakers). I’ve seen some extremely creative names and some borderline inappropriate (watch out for FB police). Go, with what you are comfortable using and posting.

I bounced a couple ideas off the boxed set promoter. At this point, I really did not have anyone to ask and I was extremely grateful for her guidance (one of the bonuses of a reader group).

4) SETTINGS OF THE GROUP

Privacy settings. I do not recommend keeping the group ‘public’. You need some control over group members (although I’ve never denied anyone or had to ban them yet). Most groups are set to ‘private’.

5) THE LOOK

Banner and profile pictures, just like your regular profile and author/PA page. Make sure they reflect the flavor of your group. Don’t be shy for this is about promoting YOURSELF and YOUR BOOKS. This is all about you.

6) INVITING MEMBERS

DO NOT INVITE PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION! This is a huge no-no, do not add people without receiving consent. It is at best annoying and at worst can get you reported for spamming.

So how do you get members? First, I messaged my close, personal friends and authors that I worked with and ASKED if I could add them to my group. Then I posted to my profile page and author page and invited people to join. Every newsletter and every takeover also has the link to my readers’ group listed somewhere.

7)INCREASING THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS

Pumping up membership. Slow going, isn’t it? Some days it seems like that. If you are happy with membership trickling in, then you’re doing fine. If you want them faster, you have to go out and get them.

How? That is the million-dollar question. I’ve tried several new methods recently to incite more readers. First, I offer reader group only giveaways and ask my members to invite a friend (but only if they want to join). This worked so well, I’ve done it twice now. Second, when I post giveaways outside the group, I’ll announce that members of my group will receive better prizes if they win (i.e. swag, chocolate, or whatever your group loves) or a second entry merely because they are a Dreamer. This has had moderate results. Third, I just opened the group for author takeovers (this brings in new fans and encourages your members to interact more). This is a new experiment for me, but I’ve seen it work well in other groups, so I’m trying it out for a two-month test period.

8) THE FIRST POST IN THE READER GROUP

Your first post! Do I remember my first post? No, did I agonize over what my first post would be? Yes. Did I write it and delete it several times? Oh yeah. Here’s the thing. No one remembers my first post. Just go for it!

9) STOP WATCHING YOUR NUMBERS

I know that sounds like strange advice.

Your group is organic and people will come and go. You have writing to do, focus on that instead. Have fun with the members who want to be in your reader group and do not compare yourself to the membership of other groups. This is not a contest; it’s a support system.

 10) KEEP POSTING

Now that your group is up and running, it’s important to remember that your readers are there for you. They want to hear from you. Start talking.

https://www.amazon.com/Alyssa-Drake/e/B01FGHTOVW

 

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Author: loganivy

FIRST THINGS FIRST Simply put I am here because I love books... I am extremely passionate about stories especially those steeped in mythical folklore, ancient myths, and legends and suffused with the magic of unique realms and supernatural worlds. I believe there is an alternate universe where magic, mysticism, and wonder still exist, a world where no reality is impossible. Discovering ourselves is an ongoing journey. From reading the next logical step was writing. I am the author of ‘The Breach’, an upcoming supernatural fantasy.For when I write about these worlds I become a part of them and learn more about myself each day. A PEEK INTO MY SOUL I am a realist but at the same time also a dreamer. To me, reading is a window into the hearts of others . Writing is the window to my imagination drawing from my glimpses of the world around me. The beauty of writing lies in the mind’s eye – what we see, the way we interpret it and finally how we translate it to paper. HOW I VIEW MY CHARACTERS To me, every character is multi-dimensional. There is no mere black or white perspective to a character. If a person is strong, we have to delve into what contributed to making them that way? Similarly, what are the fears, likes and loves of a character. That is what makes each one of them unique. It makes them what they are. No character should be just a filler in a story. If a character is evil, why is he or she that way? If a male character is not the central focus of a story, if he is okay with the girl in his life taking center stage I don’t see him as weak. I think he is a great guy and the kind that any girl would be lucky to have in their lives. Looking for the prince who rescues you from the dragon or the lecherous villain should be passé. Real men may not have muscles but they have good hearts. I write about such princes, the guys who are also okay with the girl playing hero in their life, being rescued by them too. I love reading and writing about girls and women with flaws because all real women are that way. Not the most beautiful, not the bravest, not the thinnest nor the richest. They find strength in their family, in their love. My girls do not compete against men; only circumstances and the challenges they throw up. The men who support them, stand by them are the ones I like to read and write about. Through this blog I hope to share more about inspirational characters and the beauty and richness a book contains. MY INSPIRATION Is it possible to cherish and to love something all your life without really analyzing it or understanding why? ‘Stories’ fired my imagination since I was a child….it started with my father, who would spend thirty minutes each night weaving supernatural tales of troubled ghosts in a bid to awe, shock and above all bond with his daughters. He never realized and neither did I that he was also weaving those little quirks into my personality that later on in life would go ahead and set me apart. During class breaks in school, I would share the same tales with the class, now adding my own embellishments, peaks, and lows so as to hold their attention and leave them shouting for more. As my dad got busier and we got a little older the stories seemed to have trickled off but not before transferring that hook for the beginning, the narration, the mystery and the spectacular end. Books and Movies became my magical time machines capable of drawing, pulling, and holding me. Friends and colleagues would decide to read books or watch movies after I brought to life with words what I read or saw on screen. Even love came to me through books when the first time I met my husband we fell in love over a discussion on ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’. One day I realized what I should have known all along – Stories; they lived in my soul. I had worlds to create, people waiting to be brought to life and stories to share. So I share what I love.

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