Focus On Your Reader

Around 100,000 books are published each year by the Big 6 publishers in New York. That does not also account for the indie explosion and the e-reader boom. So do you still think that all you have to do is write your book and it will be read simply on the strength of your talent?

It has been said many times lately that writers today are small business owners. This means you are in charge of your own marketing and publicity. Think of any other business. They go out of their way to bring customers to them.

It is not your reader’s job to find you, but your job to find your readers (tweet this comment)

Down With Demographics

Ask most writers who their readers are, you might get something like, “women 35-45 whose husbands earn more than $80,000 per year,” or “urban teens usually from broken homes.” This type of broad marketing is as dead as the do-do.

Not everybody is going to buy a Ford or shop as Sears. Similarly, not every reader will buy you book. You need to find that one reader who will read your book and market to him or her. Consequently, you will find other like-minded readers. This type of marketing is the difference between creating readers and fans.

The Million Dollar Challenge

What if someone were to offer you a million dollars if you could sell 20 copies of your book in a day? The stipulations are that you cannot sell to family, friends, or anyone you already know. It must be 20 strangers. Also, you cannot mention the million dollar challenge to anyone you are trying to sell your book to. You can’t make and deals on the price, in fact, the price is doubled. You have to sell you book merely from the strength of your book and your ability to make it appealing to 20 other people.

Where would you look? Where could you go? Something tells me you will not be looking for all of the women 35-45 whose husbands earn more than $80,000. You also wouldn’t stand on the street corner and try to talk to everybody. You would try to identify who would be the kind of person most likely to enjoy your book and you would go to them.

Once you have identified that person, now you need to find out how to get in ouch with your reader. You might consider several options:

  • Is your reader affiliated with any specific organizations?
  • Does your reader hang out in any particular place?
  • Are there certain events your reader attends?
  • Does you reader like to read blogs, and which ones?

Once you’ve figured out how to find your reader, the million dollars seem within reach. The fact is there is no million dollar challenge, but a challenge still exists. The best part is, you determine if it’s millions of dollars or thousands of readers of hundreds of new friends. The kind of challenge is for you to decide, but now you know where to find your readers, so go get them!

You probably know plenty of writers who would find this article as valuable as I hope you have. If so, share it with them. The secret is that so few writers have a clue about how to find readers, this information will put any writer well head of the majority of writers out there today.



Filed under Creative Writing

2 responses to “Focus On Your Reader

  1. Great post, Neal! Also, many congratulations on making the finalist list for the Firepole Marketing contest! Woot!

    Now, when you’re a huge, best-selling author and all that, I expect you to remember me. 😉

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