Do you even know who your readers are? Who is your target audience? Before you start writing that book, you should know exactly who you are writing it for and why. If your answers to these questions—who and why—are vague and frivolous, I wouldn’t even bother producing that book. On the other hand, if you are writing a book for a specific audience because you know this is a popular genre or because you know there is a need for a book on a particular topic presented in a certain way, then you are more apt to be one of the minority—a successful published author. Yes, successful authors are in the minority—nearly 78 percent of authors fail.
So why do you need to know who your audience is? So you have an inkling as to who to promote to—who to direct your marketing efforts toward. You need to know where to find your readers—what they read, which sites they visit, where they congregate, how they buy books and so forth. If you don’t take these things into consideration, you are going to have a miserable few months of disappointment with your book and probably quit before you figure out how to succeed in this hugely competitive business.
Here’s what I advise authors:
• Identify your target audience before writing the book.
• Make sure you have a large enough audience to support a book on this topic or in this genre.
• Keep this audience in mind throughout the writing process, so you are giving them what they actually want.
• Study the publishing industry early on—particularly focusing on promotion.
• If you don’t have a platform—if people don’t know you as an expert in your field or as a novelist, start developing one. If you have a platform, build on it.
• Create a marketing plan based on your strengths, skills and opportunities (to travel and speak to your readers, for example). And develop new skills and aptitudes.
• Start implementing your marketing plan even before your book is a book. (Build a website, collect a massive emailing list, start blogging and so forth.)
Your audience is your key to your book’s success. So many people today write books for personal reasons—to fulfill a dream, to heal, to get something off their chest or to change minds, for example. Authors who write for themselves without regard for their audiences seldom succeed. Just keep that in mind.
To learn more about promoting your book, read “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author,” (Allworth Press). It’s available at Amazon.com in print, Kindle and audio and at most other online and downtown bookstores. Or order it here: http://www.matilijapress.com
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