Building Readership

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I tend to talk about the mechanics of writing. Honestly, it’s the part of writing that I’m comfortable with. I can discuss characterization and plot and POV. It’s not that I think I know it all; I just have solid opinions based on experience that I’m happy to share.

When it comes to finding new readers and enticing them to pick up my books? My experience is rather pathetic. This extends to my professional life as well. I’m not a salesperson. Even when I was a kid and we were tasked with selling M&Ms for the band or trying to get pledges for the swim-a-thon, I didn’t know how to approach a potential customer and convince them they needed my product or wanted to support my cause. And who can say no to melt-in-your-mouth goodness!

Part of me feels that if my product is good enough, enticing enough, buyers will find me. I know now that’s BS. There is literally a sea of books out there and you’re asking a reader to swim into the ocean and find your book.

Here are some things I want to focus on to keep my name out there.

Write! My goal is to publish short stories or novellas when I’m not publishing full length novels. And if I don’t have any of that going on, I want to guest blog with other writers in my genre so their readers get to know me.

Utilize my website. My website is my calling card. I have multiple domain names linked back to the same primary page so wherever the reader is coming from they’ll find me and my other pseudonyms. Even my professional writing leads a potential customer back to these pages. Who knows where the next reader will come from?

Social media. This is one I’m not utilizing enough but it moves almost too fast for me. I haven’t carved out enough time in my day to post the multiple tweets or TikToks or whatever that readers use to connect with an author. I need to work on this more. I do have a Facebook page. I even have a Twitter account, but both are rather dormant.

Newsletters. I think to build a readership you have to talk to them, and a newsletter is a start. Short and sweet seems to be the key to success in this avenue of marketing. But newsletters are the way to talk about your new release in more details than social media allows. There are also chapter newsletters if you’re involved in a professional group like Sisters in Crime or RWA. Local chapters may offer marketing opportunities so use those to your advantage.

C.A.S.E. Copy and Steal Everything. Watch what other successful author do and take your lead from them. They’ve already walked the path so following in their footsteps isn’t a bad way to go.

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