Thursday, April 21, 2011
Where is my audience?
I’m embarking into a new journey of the publishing world as a newly self published author writing under the name Suzie Grant, I am struggling to pull my name out from under the pile of other authors on the list. So I’ve managed to compile a list for anyone enduring the marketing fiasco I simply call a four letter word I am not allowed to say here lol.
Do some marketing before your release. Of which I did not do and now look back and wish that I had. I am an introvert by nature and am finding this part of the writing process extremely difficult. I wish I could be the social butterfly and twitter my way into people’s kindle, but...it’s difficult. With that said, do try to start your audience before you even release your first book. Stretch your social wings and fly – even when it makes you cringe to think about it.
Branding. And I’m not talking about the good ol’ fashioned cattle brands. Creating your own brand is probably one of the most important writing tools you can use to your advantage. It took me forever to figure out what my brand was. Not only was my voice very historical but with the influence of classic adventure stories like Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe I was bound to end up with some action and adventure in my stories. But I didn’t realize until several manuscripts later that it was my calling. I recognized the theme in each story and have now begun to expand on it. So that’s become my brand. I write action and adventure historical romance. When you go to my website you get a sense of adventure, my covers will reflect this brand as well. Anything attached to my name (either Melissa Dawn Harte or Suzie Grant) will reflect some sort of sense of action. Find your strengths and work those into your brand.
Find your audience. Once you find your brand it’ll be rather easy to find your audience. Under the name Suzie Grant I’ll be writing fast paced westerns and I searched groups and forums for western lovers. I’m hoping to engage and not just promote. I think that’s the key. Establish a good dialogue with readers and show them that you love this genre as well and they will start to listen. When every post you do is all about self promotion, then many readers are going to learn to skip your posts and ignore what you have to say. Engage your readers, share their passions and they’ll return the favor.
Think like a businessman. And while you’re engaging your reader do remember this is a business. You’re there to sell a product but not just any product; you’re selling your name. Part of who you are goes into every book so remember to carry business cards, discuss your business at every opportunity, and do the leg-work because in the end this is your job. It’s not easy to sell yourself but you can do it if you put your mind to it. We have to sell ourselves to agents, publishers, and now it’s time to sell ourselves to the readers.
So go out, have fun, and find your audience. They’re out there and they share the same passion you do. Twitter, facebook, and any other type of social networking you use, does very little good if all you use it for is self promo. Do you have any marketing advice to all us noobie’s who’re just sticking our toe in the proverbial marketing pond? I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice!