By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about why text messaging can help you target readers who want to continue the conversation with you more often.
Oftentimes we as authors employ the basic components for a strong platform including a website, a presence on the popular social media sites, and speaking and book signing appearances whenever possible to connect with our readers in person. These components are essential to a platform for every author.
However, many authors have not stuck their toes in the water yet when it comes to adding a mobile messaging component to their overall outreach to their readers.
Text messaging has become an industry unto itself. You may be thinking: yes, I know this. But do you really know?
Here are some staggering facts as of 2008 from the statistics and insights from Nielsen Mobile on the CellSigns.com website. Nielsen Mobile is a service of The Nielsen Company, which directly measures billing activity through an opt-in panel of more than 50,000 personally liable, postpaid U.S. mobile lines across the top four carriers:
US Mobile Content Market = 68.7 million text users
- 86% of the US owns a mobile phone
- 265,000,000 mobile phones users
- 240,000,000+ text enabled handsets
- 65,000,000 text & web enabled phones
That’s just in the U.S. market alone. SMS (Text Messaging) is a breakthrough communication medium as evidenced by growth year after year. As of June 2008, over 75 Billion text messages are sent every month compared to just 18 Billion in December 2006. That number grew by 250% each year for these last two years between 2006 and 2008. And that was 2 years ago.
It has quickly changed the way people communicate and access information.
Think texting is just for the younger generations? Think again. The average 38 year old sends/receives 500 texts a month compared to 200 phone calls. That’s unbelievable… and that trend isn’t slowing down. Consider these other facts:
According to a survey conducted by Tekelec (a messaging company powering telecom operator applications), 60% of 45 year olds were found to be just as likely to use SMS as they were to make voice calls from their mobile device.
In addition, more than 80 percent of respondents across all age groups thought they would get a quicker response from a text than from an email or voice message.
Women preferred to let their fingers do the talking, with 40% describing themselves as ‘mainly texter’, compared to 30% of men. This is significant since statistically women buy more books than men.
Now, maybe you have a parent like I do who doesn’t text but who enjoys reading. That’s where books like Shawn Edgington’s Read Between the Lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style comes in – to help the different generations learn how to text and communicate using this growing technology available on their cell phones.
Text messaging extends throughout the world so you can set up a stream of text messages that your reader can opt in to – and by law, they must opt in. You can be creative and make it possible for your audience at a speaking engagement to instantly opt-in to your email list for your newsletter and at the same time opt-in to receive daily tips from you that are related to your book – right to their phones. The possibilities of what they can opt-in to as a text stream from you are endless.
Most importantly, text messaging gives you, the author, the opportunity to reach out to your reader in a continuing conversation that they’ve asked for while keeping you front and center in their minds each day.
Now that’s a great way to use your book as your hook… to keep a continuous dialogue going with your reader!
Jennifer’s show can be heard every week on Tuesday mornings at 9am when it is broadcast on WomensRadio.com and syndicated on Google News and Live365.com. Each show is archived for replay listeners in different time zones and countries.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.