Social Media Tip for Authors #7: Listen

we have two ears and one mouth for a reason...

we have two ears and one mouth for a reason...

Welcome to my Social Media for Author Tip Series, where I offer you tips to put into practice the your social media tips so that you can:

  • Connect with your readers and get to know them
  • Let them get to know you
  • Build your network
  • Create your author platform

And so you can sell more books!

Social media is: blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, other specialized online networks like yahoo groups, YouTube, etc.

Today’s Tip #7: Listen

What is there to say?


Sometimes we just need to shut up and listen to our fellow authors and most importantly listen to our readers.

Listening requires we turn off the internal chatter and turn all our attention to the other. hard to do, I know. I have one of the loudest internal chatterboxes, ever. So I am constantly shushing her to hear better the other. When I do that I relax and absorb their messages, both intended and implied and subconscious. Wow — there’s lots of levels of listening…

Listening is not the same as hearing. I can hear my husband say something… “Yes, dear!” But I didn’t really listen, and missed it. Whoops!

Listening is also not talking back even in our heads. And listening is not saying, “I know that!”

Why listen?

When we listen we learn. We make connections we wouldn’t already have made. When we listen we hear things in a new way, make new brain connections. We can actually rewire our brain by perceiving reality in a new way. We can learn the language of our readers. We can learn what they care about. And what’s important about that? When we learn what’s important to our reader we can make choices: do we want to give them what they want? Hopefully the answer is Yes! because what you want is perfectly aligned with what they want.

For example, I just read in a forum that a reader wants: “So im lookin for some books with Ass Kicking Heroines with paranormal aspects to it and romace with a big hunky guy oh and can it not be erotica (can’t stand that ) im ok with sex sences just not every page in the book. Im not asking much am i? (chuckle).”

I’m working on a book with about a Ass Kicking Heroine with paranormal aspects to it and romance with a big hunky guy, and the sex is not over the top. Working on it ! How cool is that? My interests and her needs align.

But how would I have known how to frame it the way she wanted without listening to here?! And also how would I have known how to engage with her, interest her in my future marketing (book blurb, social media chatting, etc.) if I hadn’t paid attention to her words?

I wrote: “Sometimes we just need to shut up and listen to our fellow authors and most importantly listen to our readers.”

How do we do that? you may be asking… (I’m asking!)

By going to our reader is!

Where are your readers? And where are they chatting about their favorite books or even books they don’t like. 😉

Live! And in-person:

  • bookstores: what what people buy; hang out as a book buyer and chat, ask questions with your fellow book browsers
  • libraries: your local wonderful ones! Support them! And see about connecting with your readers through a chat or asking the librarian questions. Librarians are one of country’s treasures!
  • book signings: yours or another author’s
  • book talks and lectures: yours or another’s!
  • fan conventions like RT or World Con or ComicCon

Online (Oh, where do I begin?)

  • Forums like Kindleboards or cat fanciers or horse breeders (Pick a theme in your book and see if there is a forum for that! *See pic below! I typed in my theme “kick ass heroines forum chat” and found a bunch of forums I should be hanging out in! On it boss!)
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Blogs
  • LinkedIn groups

Example of my quick search for forums on my topic of “kick as heroines forum” (Yep I even misspelled an important word!) :

Kick ass forum chat search

Kick ass forum chat search

Show up on Twitter and Facebook and listen to your buddies chat about your mutual interests. I covered how to do that using hashtags on Twitter in this post.

Where do you go to listen to your readers?

I’m doing a countdown for my 10 Social Media Tips for Authors. Previous posts in the series:

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