Getting to know you: How to build your fanbase
What should authors concentrate on when answering questions in interviews or just what they should do to create the most impact on their book buying public without becoming overbearing, pompous or downright horn-tooting obnoxious.

The first thing I tell them is get out of the mindset that you’ll be getting on peoples’ nerves with all this horn blowing and get on with the matter at hand.  You are out to sell your book.  Without you tooting or someone else you pay to toot for you, you might as well kiss your book sales goodbye

Author @AdrienneKress tweeted: Gotta say it. People who use social media to only promote themselves and otherwise vanish until they have an update on how they rock bug me! and

I have no issue at all with self promotion, but there should be other things to share as well.
Her books: Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, and Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate.
Author Joanna Karaplis (@jo_words) agreed with her in a replied tweet: Exactly. I prefer to see self serving intentions hidden behind a mask of caring about others, is that too much to ask?? Karaplis’ new YA novel FRACTURED, comes out in Fall 2010.

Knowing what common sense rules to follow when promoting your book takes practice and experience.  Unless you are out there noticing how other authors are promoting, you probably haven’t a clue.  Are those emails coming from a certain author, publisher or publicist who has added your email to their email lists getting on your nerves by their promotional email blasts?   Number One rule is never sign up anyone to your email list without their permission.  I know no one is going to heed my advice but when this happens to me, I’m quick to delete and hit spam.  However, if it is someone with whom you have connected in the past, they’re open bait and if they wish to unsubscribe, delete, hit spam, that’s on them but the odds are in your favor they’ll stick with you.

Researching your subject after the book has been written sounds a bit confusing, doesn’t it?  Let me explain. Joe has written a book on fly fishing while Mary has written a romance novel.  Both Joe and Mary have elected to promote on their own.  Joe goes about the normal promotional procedures like putting up a website and/or blog and wishing for the best, but Mary decides she’s going to put her book subject in Google Alerts to find out what others are talking about relating to her book.  Mary also loves to blog so she has elected to visit blogs that concentrate on her genre. Mary also has decided to pick out certain topics, locals, etc., within her book and researched them to find other like-minded people out there blogging about the same subjects in her book.  Joe feels all alone in his self-promotional journey while Mary has made lots of friends, which has resulted in lots of sales.

Networking, schmoozing and generally getting your fans to adore you rounds out my third point which ties into researching your subject.  Once you have found the many people out there who absolutely loves your work and loves to hear as much as they can about your book and you, treasure them like gold nuggets.  These are your fans.  These are the people who follow you like shadows on a moonlit night.  These are the people you need to nurture.  These are the very people that you must pay close attention to and never let them feel you’re just another name on another book.  They are your book’s lifeline.

When you can find that happy medium between what your book buyers want to know about you and what you should know about them, book promotion gets a little bit easier.

© Dorothy Thompson All Rights Reserved

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.  Visit us at www.pumpupyourbook and let us take you to the virtual level!

This is the blog of author Alexander Chee. My first novel, Edinburgh, is in paperback from Picador. 

My second novel, The Queen of the Night, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It’s helped me get teaching jobs, kept me in touch with people and introduced me to new people I would never have met, people I wanted to meet. Also, it’s helped me drive traffic to online sites posting my work. In the case of a writer like Tayari Jones’ site one thing her blog does is give her a way to give back to her fans, in appreciation for their support. Blog your process. Write posts related to reading you might be doing or research on your novel, and tease future work appearing before you announce it fully, and when you do this, link to previous related posts—so, if working on a story. This gives your readers a deeper sense of connection to you without making you feel overexposed to them.