Okay, we totally made that up. It's not really "Think Like a Reader" Thursday…but maybe it should be! If you're not thinking like your readers today—in fact, everyday—you're probably not reaching them, engaging them or selling many books to them.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make the switch from author mindset to reader mindset:
- What type of experience are my readers looking for? Just like some moviegoers enjoy the edge-of-your-seat fear experienced during a horror film while others gravitate toward the feel-good moment of a happy ending, so it goes with readers and books. Readers are looking for a certain kind of experience. Their relaxation time is limited and they're protective of these emotional breaks from their busy lives. That's why they gravitate toward the type of reading experience they enjoy. Have you ever asked your readers what they're looking for in a good book? If not, start the conversation. You might be surprised by what you learn.
- How do readers feel about my stories? Taking the first question a step further, have you ever asked your readers how the feel about the experience you offer in your fiction or nonfiction book? Does the reading experience that you're providing match their expectations? It's crucial to understand this if you truly want to connect with readers. As writers, we get very close to our stories. This perspective and feedback only readers can provide often leads to valuable insights. Don't be afraid to ask.
- How are the most successful writers in my genre talking to their readers? One of my favorite authors to spotlight on this topic is Paulo Coelho—who currently has 14.7 million followers on Twitter! If you read his social posts, you'll notice that he engages his fans with inspirational, aspirational and thought-provoking content. It's genuine and perfectly in keeping with his books. As one of the best-selling authors of all time, he's worth studying. Find the masters of your genre, study and learn from them. How do they talk to their fans?
Okay, time to act! Head over to Bublish, think like a reader, and create an amazing book bubble for this week's Weekend Reader Marathon and Bublish Floating Bookstore. Give those readers a book browsing experience like no other! Don't know what a book bubble is? Visit Twitter @BublishMe to see all the creative ways authors are sharing their bubbles with readers.