Mar 13 2009
Here are some brief tips for stimulating visitor loyalty on your site.
1. Encouraging intelligent and civil comments has helped enormously. We did that by proofreading our comments and setting up review forums to give our guests a feeling of ownership.
2. Post consistently. Try to post at least something brief every day or two to remind your readers that you exist. If your creative juices are really pumping and you write five or ten posts, have your website release them one day at a time. That will help you stretch out your material.
3. Involve your readers in your content. Ask them what they want.
4. Be friendly with your readers! This is especially important for younger authors because our main advantage is that we’re easier for younger readers to relate to. In contrast, older authors pretty much destroy us in name recognition, credibility, polish, etc.
So why does loyalty matter? When you submit a novel proposal to an agent or publisher, your main objective is to show that your novel will sell. One of the most important components of that is the quantity and quality of your audience. Do you have many dedicated readers already? How many?
Publishers are understandably skittish about betting tens of thousands of dollars on an unproven author. Fortunately, Google Analytics can help you prove that you already have many dedicated readers through a blog or another website. We’re most interested in the readers that come back again and again, because they’re most likely to buy your book.
Well, 9000 of our readers have visited 10+ times and 4500 readers have visited 50+ times. If a publisher’s bar for success is to reach somewhere between five and ten thousand copies sold, my impression is that this proposal will be credible. That’s very reassuring to me. I’m submitting queries for the SN writing guide to literary agents this week. Thanks for your support!