Swipe Right: Author Lessons from Tinder

Let me preface this post by saying, no … I am not on Tinder. Nor do I have any desire to take part in the shit show that is online dating. For those of you who brave those tumultuous waters, I bow down to you. My husband and I often joke about how screwed we’d both be if we had to navigate dating in this day and age. Therefore, he’s never allowed to leave.

Even still, there are lessons that we, as authors, can learn from Tinder. The idea of “Swipe Right” is so insanely relevant and obvious for authors, that we need to stop and take a moment to really appreciate the simplicity of it all.


Lesson 1: On some level, we’re all vain.

Let’s be honest here for a moment. When something looks good, you subconsciously stop in your tracks and check it out. It could be an insanely delicious-looking recipe in a magazine, a provocative ad on Facebook, an attractive person walking down the street, a gorgeous Instagram account, or yes … even a book cover on Amazon.

Beautiful, shiny, pretty little things make us stop.

Our goal as an author in an over-saturated world is to get a potential reader to stop and take notice of us. If–and when–we do this correctly, we get a proverbial “swipe right.” Therefore, we must be thoughtful and intentional about the content we put into the world. After all, it is a direction reflection of ourselves.

Lesson 2: People enjoy intrigue. 

Just like a pithy, creative profile can make a potential date smile and “swipe right,” we, too, must create the kind of smile/intrigue/je ne sais quoi that causes a potential reader to want to know more. This can take the form of what we select as teaser copy, ad testimonials, our book tagline, strong visuals that evoke an emotion or make a reader question.

Once we capture their intrigue, they inevitably want to learn more. In our case, this means that they look deeper into what the book is about, consider the price, and ultimately click the buy button.

Lesson 3: It’s all about the pursuit. 

Book marketing does not fall under the Field of Dreams philosophy of “If I write it, they will come.” You have to put yourself out there and find a way to make someone want what you’re selling.

Authors need to fall in love with the pursuit of new readers. We need to tease them. Lure them in. Constantly “woo” our readers (but not in the sketchy Joe Goldberg way a la “You” by Caroline Kepnes). We need to give a reader a reason to take a chance on us and keep coming back.

We cannot (and should not) rely solely on book bloggers and other industry influencers to carry this task for us.

Why? Because it’s not their job. It’s ours.

As an author, we are chief executive everything. And our success therein lies within our own abilities to execute a campaign that resonates with our readers and moves them to action. It is the authors who can do this most effectively and deliver upon the promise of the book that will be able to successfully grow their business.

Find this edition of the authors helping authors series helpful? Be sure to click the little blue button at the bottom of the page to follow me or subscribe to receive an alert right in your inbox whenever there’s a useful new post that goes live. 

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