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 the customer service provided by you as an author.
“Customer service” is an anomaly for authors. It is usually associated with products, services and companies. However, as an author, your books are your business and so customer service must therefore be a part of your overall platform.
Wondering what “customer service” means for you as an author?
Let’s take a few moments to better understand the nature of what customer service is. By definition and simply stated, a customer is one who purchases a commodity or service according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition. The word service means the work performed by one who serves – i.e.; a contribution to the welfare of others (Merriam-Webster).
Your book is a commodity purchased by others, namely your readers. You wrote it in service to and as a contribution to the welfare of them, whether you entertainment, educate or enlighten them with your book.
Therefore, there is a responsibility you have as an author to provide good “customer service” to the audience and following you’ve cultivated.
There are easy ways to provide this so no need to feel this is a daunting task. Much of it can be accomplished via a simple website with a few specific sections that make you more accessible to the reader – oh and the media.
In service to readers:
1) Make it easy for them to find your website by using your name and separately the name of your book. Own both domains and make sure that each one leads to the other.
2) Include a calendar of appearances so readers who want to meet you in person and hear you speak can find you.
3) On this same calendar, be sure to list media appearances. This is not only so readers can watch and listen, it also informs other journalists and media reps that you’re available for interviews and guest spots on their shows.
4) Provide a blog where you share your thoughts on writing, ideas for your next book and a place where readers and fans can communicate with you through comments. This requires less of your time and at the same time provides interaction opportunities for your audience.
5) Consider a social media forum. Set up a Facebook page where you can easily be found posting and engaging in a short dialogue with readers. This is another place you can show up when you want to and interact through comments. For those who are bolder and more consistent, try Twitter, a 140-character forum where you will need to take some time to learn the lingo to have quick, snappy exchanges with readers and the press. You can also create a simple automatic stream of the posts you want to make on both Facebook and Twitter using social media scheduling tools like HootSuite and Social Oomph.
Most of all, keep writing. The best customer service you can provide in service to your readers is to write your next book. If they like the first one they read, they’ll certainly be on the lookout for more.
While your book is your hook to more readers and the media, it’s also your job to use it responsibly to continue to deliver great value while creating an ongoing conversation with those who consume it and come back asking for more.
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.