It’s a scary thing, to have a book up for sale, to watch your rankings stay the same and your sales never grow.
I know a lot of Indie’s lose heart and wonder what they’ve done wrong. They’ll waste money on promotion, they’ll spam their friends and family on Facebook, email and Twitter and wonder why they don’t see any sales. The focus on the numbers, the sales and lose heart when no one buys their books.
I’ve said before that I think it’s important for indie authors to focus on their readers and not their sales – but it’s kind of hard when you’re just starting out and you don’t know who your reader even is. It’s even worse when you have multiple books up for sale and you still don’t know who your reader is.There’s a moment of panic (okay, there’s a lengthy period of panicking) when you realize that if you want readers to buy your book – they have to first know about your book.
So where do you start?
When you’re writing your book, who are you writing it for? For me, when I wrote Finding Emma and Emma’s Secret, I had one specific reader in mind. What about you? Are you writing the story for yourself or for someone else? That’s the first step to figure out. Think about your genre and who the ‘general’ readers are – for instance, with YA/NA – are you writing for the teens/young adults or are you writing for the mothers who read this genre? If you write WF or Romance or…(insert genre here) – what’s your reader look like, where does she/he work, live? Does she have kids or childless? Make a list and keep growing it.
Who is your reader?
Say you have a book out already. Take a look at your reviews on Goodreads, Amazon etc. What kind of reviews are being left? Do they talk specifics – what they loved or hated about your book? That’s a good indication of who your reader is.
Take a look at your Facebook page. Do you have a separate author page? If not, why not? The people who like your page and comment – those are your readers. Start interacting with your readers. Talk to them, ask questions, post pictures. You’ll discover, little by little through the comments, the likes and shares who your reader is and what they like.
I know who my reader is. Now what?
Now comes the fun part. As your relationships grow with your readers – as you communicate with them on FB, Twitter, Goodreads etc … the more they get to know you and you get to know them, the easier it will be to market your books – which means – the easier it will to sell your book. Why? Because you now know where to find your readers. You can place some FB ads and actively market knowing your parameters. You know where to find them, what they like. You know what type of blog posts to write, how to conduct a review tour ( meaning, you know what types of blogs your readers read so you don’t have to waste your time posting on blogs that won’t benefit you).
Knowing who your reader is will not only help you sell your books but it will help you write books. I had a plot decision I needed to make in Emma’s Secret – and it was such a huge decision that it would have changed my book completely. While the creative part of me loved the idea … I knew right away that my readers wouldn’t. I knew that if I went with this plot choice, I should be prepared for the reviews and the lack of sales to come my way. I also knew I would lose my readers. And that wasn’t something I was prepared to deal with. So the choice was easy.
Be sure to check out the other Indie Authors who are taking part of the Indie Life blog hop.