Most fans will spread the word about your work, but sometimes you find some special individuals who go over and above the call of duty. They might be members of your street team, or just casual readers who buy every single one of your books and write glorious blog posts encouraging everyone to buy them. You may even become online friends with some of them, and they're all a valuable part of your writing life. When you want to show appreciation to these special fans, sometimes you want to go a little further than simply writing an exclusive story for the group. Whether it's virtual or physical, special gifts can let your best fans know how much you appreciate everything they do.
What little detail makes your book special and unique? Find a small item to send out that's connected to your book, and make it as personal as possible. When Hugh Howey sent out the first autographed copies of his book Sand, he scooped up some sand from the beach near his home in Jupiter, Florida, and sprinkled some inside every volume. Fans are still envious of those first few gritty books. Send out a souvenir from the town your book is set in, or something one of your characters might have made. Only the insiders will know how special it is.
Make a set of videos and send them in a newsletter to all your favorite fans. If your books are set in a real town, take them on a virtual tour and point out all the special places from the book. Record yourself unboxing new book proofs, to let the fans in on the excitement of your growing career they helped to build. Drop hints every week about the next volume in a series they love, letting them in on some inside secrets. Whatever you do, make it personal and give them the feeling that they're special fans who are privy to the inner circle.
Gifts From Your Characters
Every well-rounded character has some talent for something. Sometimes it's cooking or jewelry making, other times it's organizing small businesses or identifying plants. Whatever quirk you gave to your character to give her flavor, use that as a jumping-off point to choose a gift to make. Is she a baker? Create a small cookbook to hand out to fans. Type A characters might create a booklet on organizing your life. You might gift your favorite fans with small artworks from your creative characters, or original songs from a character who produces music for a living. Pretend the character himself is making the gift, and send it out just as if he were a real person. If your books end up popular enough, you may just have created a collector's item.
Keep the Faith and may the Force be with You!