They want YOU! Interacting with your readers and fans

Screaming Fan - NAMU 2008

Image by CC Chapman via Flickr

Our highly connected world leads to a natural leveling of the field. People aren’t limited to to a small group of friends they’ve personally met. Social networks make it easy to expand personal networks to thousands, if not tens of thousands of people. Remember the “promoting” post from last week? Yeah, you’re going to be come a highly connected person. Get ready.

This assumed familiarity (“Hey, you’re connected with Samantha on LinkedIn who knows Enrique, and we went to high-school together!”) opens the door to personal communication not possible a few short years ago. Readers, fans, peers, stalkers and the wide band in between will think nothing of reaching out to you as if you were regular drinking buddies.

No, you can’t opt out of this. Welcome to digital publishing… or specifically, successful digital publishing.

Don’t worry – your horde of readers and fans are a lot more like happy houseplants than screaming babies. Both need regular care, feeding and watering, but not constant attention.  With time, practice, and some good tools and techniques to master this skill, this interaction will become a natural part of your work.

If you’re worried about how your readers will see you, put that aside. If you’re a curmudgeonly old writer, you can be curmudgeonly in your interactions with fans. They dig that. If you’re aloof and regal, do that. You don’t need affectations or masks. People want to interact with you, so give them the real you. If they don’t like you so much but love your work… well, one less person to interact with. That’s not a bad thing.

The relationship between interaction and success in digital publishing is well documented. We’ll bring you case studies and interviews, as well as tips and tricks to keep you sane while the public clamors for your attention. Because you’ve got another book to write, right?

Interacting is the fifth phase of our Digital Publishing Lifecycle. We’re covering a different phase each day, and welcome your thoughts and input.

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