In a follow up to Monday’s post, How to Find Your Audience, I discussed ways for writers to find readers. Today, get some advice from other writers. Special thanks to Marilyn Meredith, Cheryl Malandrinos and Cheryl Kaye Tardif for responding to my shout out via Facebook!
H’mmm, that’s an interesting concept. I suppose by having a blog that is interesting enough to attract a regular readership and gathering Facebook and Twitter friends who actually read your posts.
~ Marilyn Meredith
Facebook and Twitter definitely made a difference in the amount of traffic at http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/ but I would also say that you need to offer your readers some benefit–which at times I feel is lacking at my blog. While drawing attention to you and your work is important, you also need to give readers a reason to keep coming back–giveaways, freebies, tell them what is going on at other sites and blogs, etc.
~ Cheryl Malandrinos
Finding your audience isn’t as difficult as some writers may think, though sometimes you have to think outside the box.
The first thing you have to determine is who would read your book. That’s often determined by the age of your main character. In my bestselling novel Whale Song, the m/c is a young woman in her 20s who flashes back to a time when she was a child of 11. As a result, Whale Song has appealed to a young adult audience and to adults. So my goal is to reach both.
How do you find them? Go where they are. You’ll find a young adult audience in any junior high school or any youth organization. Offer a discount to groups or suggest they use your YA book as a fundraiser. You’ll also find a YA audience online at Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, Textnovel and more.
And here’s a valuable tip: ask yourself which books by other authors are like yours. Then search for these comparable titles on Amazon and scroll toward the bottom of the page where you’ll find Forums listed. Get involved. Don’t just pitch your book there; get into the discussions. Start a discussion. Start a disc for other YA authors to pitch their books, then pitch yours.
Also, search the discussions for your genre. There are a couple of people who frequent Amazon and begin discussions so that authors can pitch their books.
Find adult readers online using these same methods. Also search for bookclubs and reading groups in your area and beyond. Create a PDF discussion manual for groups. Offer incentives to groups.
Another valuable tip: list all themes found in your books. Then look for groups that focus on those themes. Whale Song has a large Native component. Having it reviewed by a native oriented magazine brought increased sales.
More importantly, you want people to find YOU. This means you must have a professional looking website and blog, and you must be active in online social networks, especially Twitter. You want to use the built-in viral marketing advantage and create word of mouth advertizing.
You want to be at least 3 pages deep on any search engine if someone searched for your name. And you want to have at least 7 of 10 links on the very first page. Go Google yourself. What do you see? 🙂
~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Bestselling suspense author and book marketing coach