How Authorpreneurs in Kenya Can Connect and Gain Loyal Followers

As an authorpreneur in Kenya, you may be wondering how to connect your brand (you as an author) to your target audience in order to gain loyal followers who will not only purchase your books; but also share your fiction works with their friends and networks as well. You will need to apply a kind of marketing called inbound marketing in which you attract, convert, sell and delight your target audience. There are various ways of engaging with your target audience and achieving those four goals. Today I want to share four effective ways in which an authorpreneur can do so.

Authorpreneur 101 pic

1. Create a blog and post on it consistently
As a fiction writer if you don’t already have a blog, you need to create one right away. There are many reasons why any brand should have a blog, and for a fiction writer such as yourself – this applies to your brand as well. It is a very effective way of connecting with your audience; as well as sharing your sample fiction works and updates about your brand or any other interests you would like to share. You can write short stories in your blog which your audience can read to get a better understanding of your talent and style of writing as well as the genre in which you write in. A great example is this blog on Romance in Nairobi. You can also choose to share helpful and relevant information in any topic; whether it is geographical information about locations you write about, or helpful tips to writers who are beginning to write fiction stories. This is your own space online that will attract your target audience and let them know more about yourself and possibly convert them to become your loyal followers.

2. Create social media pages and engage with your audience
Once you attract your audience, it’s very important to engage and interact with them. The best way to do this is on social media since that’s where most of them are as well. If you don’t already have accounts, create pages for your brand in which you will connect and engage with your audience. You can choose two or three social sites that you feel comfortable to start with, instead of opening numerous accounts that you cannot keep up with. Examples are; creating a Facebook page for your brand image, opening a Twitter account and then you can add another social media site such as Pinterest or LinkedIn depending on whether you want a visual based social site or you want to network with other authors. You don’t have to get a third social media account, if you are comfortable with only two, stick with that. Make sure you post consistently on your social media sites and use the 80/20 rule; 80% helpful and engaging material and 20% promotion on your brand products i.e. Fiction books.

Elly Kamari - Author FB page

Elly Kamari – Author FB page

3. Create accounts on self-publishing sites
As a writer, you need to be available in sites that are used in your industry because that is where majority of your target audience will be as well. Two main examples of these sites are Smashwords and Amazon. They are important since they sell fiction books to their customers and this is a ready market for you to attract. This is very important especially if you are a self-publishing fiction writer. If you don’t already have accounts in these sites, make sure you open them as soon as possible. You will be able to create a profile for your brand as well as share your writing to your target audience as well.

Self publish on smashwords.com

Self publish on smashwords.com

4. Visit industry-related events and festivals
As a fiction writer, it is necessary to connect with other writers in your genre and area; as well as readers who have a major interest in your industry. Great places to connect with such people are poetry and spoken word events, festivals such as the Storymoja Hay Festival which offers a chance to meet great authorpreneurs in various genres and master-classes that offer insightful discussions and information on various industry-related topics. These kinds of events will be visited by both your potential target audiences – avid readers interested in meeting authors and learning more about their interests. You will also meet and network with other authors; those who have been in the industry for long or new fiction writers beginning to write seriously such as yourself. Therefore ensure you are always on the look out for such events; so make sure you attend the Storymoja Hay Festival in the Nairobi Museum starting on the 17th of September this month.

Come to the Storymoja Hay Festival in Sept. 2014

Come to the Storymoja Hay Festival in Sept. 2014

Get started on doing the above things and you will be on your way to creating a strong and loyal following for your brand as an authorpreneur in Kenya.

Do you have any other sites or tips for authorpreneurs to visit or follow? Please feel free to share below.

This post appeared originally on the Storymoja Hay Festival Blog

Blogging for the Storymoja Hay Festival

I discovered about this Festival last year from my sister who is a writer, so when she told me the Hay Festival was back, i was very excited and decided I would definitely attend. She then told me that she would volunteer and that they were taking volunteer bloggers to talk about the Festival. She asked if I would like to be part of it. Of course I agreed and I recently went to a meeting for the Storymoja Festival Bloggers. I had the priviledge of meeting very talented, intelligent and creative writers and bloggers; I’m very glad to be part of the team. I wanted to share abit of history on the Festival and share the blogs of my creative blogging colleagues. I will be blogging about the Festival and will be glad to share this journey with you all. This is new to me since I am mainly a business blogger, not really a creative writer. However, I love trying out different activities and meeting people doing wonderful things. That is why I’m glad to meet writers who prove the misconception of Kenyans not being readers – very wrong and I will work hard to be worthy of this great movement. ^_^

History

The Storymoja Hay Festival was started in 2008. Quoting from their brochure being the best way to describe what they do:

It is a 5-day celebration of stories, ideas, writing and contemporary culture through storytelling, books, live discussion forums, workshops, debates, live performances, competitions, mchongoano and music.  It is organized in collaboration with Storymoja Publishers, the Hay Festivals (UK) and other local and international partners. The Festival, held every year in Nairobi attracts the most exciting local and international writers and thinkers. The Festival promises both engaging and stimulating discussions as well as light-hearted entertainment.The Schools Programme and the Storyhippo Village caters for families and children, as well as teens with programs and interactions that will be remembered for years to come.

Dates and Venue

Storymoja Hay Festival will be held on September 17th to 21st, 2014. It will be held at the Nairobi National Museum.

The theme for this year is: Imagine the World! Waza Dunia!

My Fellow Bloggers for the Festival

Below are the blogs for the bloggers who volunteered to write about the Festival this year, they are an exciting and interesting team. I’m sure we’ll have fun. Make sure you plan to attend the Hay Festival and follow the blogs below as well.

SheBlossoms (@sheblossoms) – by Juliet Maruru

Uhuru For The Poor (@NthepaMoitsheki) – by Martha Nthepa

Thinking Out Loud (@azizmola) – by Aziz

ATWMAGAZINE (@Ngunu_)

Mkate Nusu (@anneodengo) by Rose Odengo

Will This Be A Problem? & My Brain is in my Bra (@DontCallMeLiv) by Olivia

Reneeissance & Perfectly Woman (@TheReneeissance) by Renee Murrey

The Real G Inc (@MagungaWilliams) by Magunga Williams

Julie’s Writing Room (@mamayaimani) by Julie Muriuki

#HLeagueTravels by Mwangi Muriithi

www.smartkenyan.com by Emmanuel

TTYL Don’t Feed The Bloggers (@adamkiboi) by Adam Kiboi

africanartagenda  (@AgendaArtAfrica) & Awuor Ongango (@SojournerMagere) by Awuor Ongango

I’m sure this will be an exciting and enlightening journey and I will be glad to share with you all.

Stay tuned.