Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

II. Publishing & Marketing Tips > How did you reach your audience?

Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Dear fellow authors, I am a new author in the market and one of the things I just realized is that: for some authors like me, it can be difficult to connect with the right audience.

I know that not everybody will like all the books that are out there, in fact I believe each book has an audience, be it big or small.

Now, the big question is: how did you connect with your audience? How did you bring your work to the readers you know would appreciate it?

If you can share your experiences in this topic here, it would be not only great for me to learn from it, but for other new authors who wonder about the same thing!

Thanks a lot! :)

message 2: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments I haven't really connected with mine. I think doing FB likes is very helpful. I have a fantasy/ paranormal historical romance....not sure where to go with it...

message 3: by Sue (new)

Sue Desautels | 89 comments Who is your target audience? I am also on Facebook, Snippets of a Christian Nana. As the name states, my target audience are Christians. I am writing to local book stores, and a local Christian radio station. I sent them a complimentary book along with a one page intro. If you were doing science fiction I would contact Comic Con and try to set up a table. I have a friends son who writes science fiction and he does well enough that he quit is job and pursues this full time now. Having a good blog helps too. I ordered 200 books, and I have 32 left, and my book came out in October. I would say that my book sales have been steady, nothing earth shattering, but I make a bank deposit every week......

message 4: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 144 comments My Peers of Beinan series is multi-genre, a factor of the detailed world building in my series and my numerous themes and arcs across the books. All the books are medieval science fiction, but each one also has its own sets of genres in addition to that. I explore various social issues -- historical and current -- within my storytelling.

Being that multi-genre means I'm not niche -- and makes it very hard to "find" my audience.

So I cannot say that I have yet. But I can tell you to never stop experimenting. Constantly tweek your book descriptions, social media posts, and how you approach people.

Probably my best tools to date actually have been my business cards and the Peers of Beinan bookmarks I purchased featuring the book three (still in process of writing) tagline "Resistance is NOT futile" with Princess Anyu holding a drawn sword.

What is good about bookmarks is that it offers your web address (keep it simple silly with these) and artwork from the book(s) in a useable item readers will keep with them. People love receiving them, especially if they really like to read.

message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments This is one of those questions to which it would seem people answer by saying what they try to do to reach an audience and who is there audience. Not to say everyone hasn't targeted their audience and that everyone can't but rather more people tend to know whom they are targeting and how they wish to. Now if these two things work and are successful then the how becomes a reality and sharing becomes a factor.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Arabella: Nice to know the Facebook page is being helpful. I am considering making one myself :) Thanks for sharing your experience!

Sue My audience is mainly people who likes Dark Fantasy, Mystery and Gothic stories as my fiction book is a mix of these 3 genres.

I know some groups here on GoodReads which are tailored for these people, but the problem is that I can't offer the book to them as it would be considered spam.
So I started building relationships commenting on those groups.

The idea of the Comic Con is nice. It is something I was already thinking of, but for an art book I have published, but now, it also makes sense to take my Fiction there as well! :)

I have a blog, but it is relatively new, I am trying to draw audience to that one too!

Thanks for sharing your experience, Sue!

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Laurel: Ow teh work you have done with your books sounds very exciting. Mixing History and SciFi, and these other themes as well sounds like a unique experience for the readers!

You now mentioned something which I also started to experience, even though my Fiction work is "dark" it has multi-genres and finding my audience is also being somehow difficult!

Nice thing with the bookmarks! I think I will also consider printing some for my works! Sounds very effective! Thanks a lot, Laurel and hope your audience will keep increasing :)

JustinNicely said! That was an inspiring insight! :)

message 8: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Filburn (tcfilburn) | 98 comments Doing the Comic Cons and similar events is on my list of things for next year. I need to get some more books out and order some physical copies of them first, but that shouldn't be a problem. Having looked at the costs, I'm thinking more in terms of 'spreading the word' with cards and conversations than making a profit on sales on the day, but I still thin it's going to be worth it.

Having been to one a few weeks back and walked up and down the aisles of author tables, there's plenty of competition, and getting noticed among them isn't going to be easy. Most of them have gone for the cheapest option of just a table (as I would), but what alot didn't do was have a pull-up roller banner of their own behind them (which you can usually do without adding to the cost of the pitch), so I'm thinking ordering one of them is definitely going to be worthwhile to improve visibility among the crowd.

message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 227 comments I'm gradually connecting with an audience through contributing short stories to indie and small press anthologies, but it's a slow process (not helped by the fact the main small press I work with has been plagued with delays to their publishing schedule this year).

message 10: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 144 comments Isis: thank you. I love historical fiction -- but am too much of a history academic and living history re-creator (20+ years in the SCA) to find most "historical fiction" all that palatable, especially in more medieval settings. The further back in time you go, the less hard data you have to work with. This incomplete surviving picture of the past means you have to redact and extrapolate a lot -- lending itself to more historical FANTASY than historical fiction.

I myself just don't want to go there. The other issue I find is that most people's concept of what was is so skewed by politics and religious interpretations that an HONEST sociological rendering will typically alienate casual readers. So my books are set on another world to bypass the problem -- just as Star Trek has always done.

That makes my work unique -- but a marketing nightmare. I agree with the remark that most people have more of a clue who their audiences are than how to successfully reach them. In some ways it is easier when your book fits the classic model of what a genre is and fits in just one. The moment you step outside the box, the "how" becomes much more difficult.

I am the first to say that 15 months into this, I still don't feel like I have reached my audiences. Not yet. But still working on it.

message 11: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Wheater (SharonWheater) | 15 comments hi,
as already said there I'd Facebook, there is Twitter, goodreads of course, try places like youwriteon, blabooks, iauthor, genre forums but be very careful about adverts read rules first, there are many book marketing forums on the net and fb, also speak to your local charity shop and ask if you cam put in a stand sandboxed a Euro/dollar/pound for every book you sell as a donation. speak to local paper, radio. go and speak to local book stores and shops not part of a chain like your local newspaper store. offer a book signing, convert to ebook and offer reduce price on ebook. write a couple of short stories and offer them for free so that people can make up their mind if they like the way you write.
There are many ways without costing an arm or a leg. Oh and build a website. people love to follow what your doing.
Sharon :)

message 12: by Bill (last edited Nov 27, 2013 08:39AM) (new)

Bill Habeeb (billyha) | 11 comments I've been exploring a lot of the same avenues as many of you with mixed success. I would also recommend running a Goodreads Book Giveaway. It offers your book exposure to avid readers. The people who receive the book or books are much likelier to review it, and those who don't win may list it on their "to read" list or be curious enough to purchase it. Whether or not the giveaway translates to sales for me is yet to be seen. But in about a week I did reach over a hundred people who I may not have connected with otherwise. They are fairly simple to set up.
Here's mine:

message 13: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Bill--I did a giveaway for The Elf Lord's Revenge...and got over a thousand people who marked it to be read.......that was in September. I still only have six reviews on Amazon....only a few more likes on my even with those to-be-read folks--I guess no one's read it!
If I don't get ten four star plus reviews I can't run a Book Bub ad or anything else. Ten reviews are the magic number...

message 14: by Bill (new)

Bill Habeeb (billyha) | 11 comments Well, the numbers you got on the giveaway are incredibly positive. At least you know you are in a genre with a big audience. (And great title, by the way.) I'm stuck on six reviews too. What is it about that number?

message 15: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments I've done everything logical that I can to promote yet I'm still looking for that unique way to reach my audience. I got my cards all out on the table and I'm ready to find that missing link of reaching an audience, I'm sure I'm like a lot of people here in circling around it.

message 16: by Abdelmjid (new)

Abdelmjid Seghir | 13 comments I'd recommend the following:
1- Start a Facebook page.
2- Start blogging.
3- Get some publicity. You will have to pay for it, but it's worth it.
4- give away free copies and ask for honest reviews in exchange.

message 17: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2189 comments I'm with you there D.L, I too haven't actively promoted in around the same amount of months. I have but just little things here and there but nothing big. It can be quite frustrating for sure but when you have time to sit back and sort things out and organize some plans for promoting it can go over good with some serious results.

message 18: by Regina (last edited Dec 03, 2013 07:18PM) (new)

Regina Shelley (reginas) | 135 comments I started writing a blog long before I published anything. So I had a pretty loyal audience going into it.

I have all kinds of facebook crap, but honestly, that's not setting the world on fire for me. I'd say the blog is doing the best job of getting me readers.

I don't do giveaways. I will, however, gift limited copies to, say, a book club (I've done that on here). You can get my book for a buck, that's nearly free. I don't see any value in giving out thousands of freebies, particularly since I have this massive amount of content available for free online anyways.

My blog gets scraped and splogged and my book's ended up on pirate sites. I don't care. The reason I don't care is that the scrapers and sploggers are basically advertising for me for free, and the pirates are at least getting my name out there in front of people. You can't really sell what nobody wants to steal. I doubt they're costing me sales. They're getting eyes on my book, so that's of value to me.

I run advertising blasts on Project Wonderful and similar, drive traffic to the blog, and drum up interest there. It's really working great for me, actually.

message 19: by eLPy (new)

eLPy eLPy | 86 comments Quite a bag of mixed results here! My book is a poetry book, a genre that already has a limited and smaller number of fans I would say but still plenty!

I'm in the group of people still reaching out to their audience but I will share what I am doing anyways. :-) I have a blog, obviously a GR acct, I'm on Shelfari, and LibraryThing. I've also registered my book with Book Crossing but haven't yet released the copies I plan to (which will be done this week!).

I've connected with people on GR & LT for honest review exchanges and am preparing to do an interview. I also take part in discussions here and elsewhere and post my information in threads that ask for it. I'll be sending my information to ALLi as a member for their Wednesday author showcase.

I've given away books to people I've met briefly (strangers). In addition I've done a GR & LT giveaway: 16 books given away total & with about 650 total entries.

I don't yet have a facebook page, emphasis on yet, and am working on an official release party, some readings including online recordings and more.

At the end of the day however all this doesn't amount to many sales but I'm holding out for a delayed reaction. ;-) I also have started a well discounted Christmas sale to last until the day of.

Justin's right about a lot of people talking about what they're doing and that this isn't exactly an answer to your question in terms of how we/I reached my target audience because I'm still searching.

HOWEVER, I think we're all sharing so you can get some ideas, try some ideas and maybe reject some. At the same time we all get to learn, so Bravo on starting the post. Hopefully we can come back here in the future and share positive results. So one more thing I'll say is it's definitely important to get to know your genre more and how people with stories like yours are doing. Case in point, I know poetry isn't a hot topic so I know I've got to put in my work.

Best of luck to you Isis and keep us posted.

author of "That Which Lives Within"

message 20: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (vanessaeden) | 509 comments uh huh

message 21: by J.L. (new)

J.L. (goodreadscomjloakley) | 25 comments In addition to social media, you should make connection on the local level. Having your work in book form is important for getting it into your local library (mine has been awesome) and for bookstores. Yes, bookstores. I have mine on consignment, but don't let that bother you. Go for it. I've done readings and this weekend I did the Indies First event where I was a bookseller for them. It was great fun and it gave the book more publicity. I support my indie bookstore all the time. An honor to be asked.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey guys, wow, so many great feedback going on here! I will be catching up from this weekend on! :)

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

T. wrote: "Doing the Comic Cons and similar events is on my list of things for next year. I need to get some more books out and order some physical copies of them first, but that shouldn't be a problem. Havin..."

Hi T. - that was very interesting. I have been to several events such as Comic Cons and must say you're very right in wanting to improve visibility. Such places are crowded and there's a lot to see, only the nicest images and visuals can grab people's attention!

I wish now for some time to participate in a Comic Con, But I only have one book out (two coming very soon) and I need to market these books better before i venture into such an event.

I do wish you good luck on breaking through your Comic Con events :) It is also nice knowing you are there not only to make profit, but first of all to connect with your audience. Great!

@ Andrew Hi! It's interesting how you reach your audience through the publishing of short stories! Delays are not nice, and can crash your plans, however, it is part of the showbusiness... We can only do our best to adapt to such situations.
Have you heard of ? There you can publish short stories, articles and reach some interesting audience too! :)

@ Laurel: Wow, nice background! You have been living "history" through all these years! I always appreciated the subjects, and enjoy most the last 1000 years of our History.

It is an interesting solution you found to present your work, adapting your setings to another worlds.

And indeed, I couldn't agree more about your words. Having a book fitting a classic model is so much easier when it comes to marketing... I am struggling too, as my story is something out of the usual as well.

15 months is much more time than i have used into marketing my fiction work. So good luck on the journey and hope you will reach more and more the desired audience for your works. I am just a beginner, I have much to learn on the way!

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

@ Sharon: Nice idea of the charity stand, also approaching local paper, radio and stores. I will keep that in mind! :) I am usign some social media such as Goodreads, Tumblr, Facebook and recently ReadWave - the last one is great to promote articles and short writings, but also novel excerpts!

@Bill: I am waiting for Spring 2014 to run a giveaway on my anthology :) Need to finish some illustrations and editings! I have ran a giveway for my first art book and got hundreds of people applying for it... however, it didn't translate into sales, just as it happened with Arabella. Maybe you have better luck?
Anyway, I can't complain, as I have connected with great people during the giveaway.

@ Abdelmjid: Nice, directly to the point tips.

@ D.L: Thanks for sharing your experience, it is inspiring and interesting. I guess it all comes to this: hard work, dedication and luck? Books are so subjective :)

message 25: by Carol (new)

Carol Strickland (carolartbeat) | 14 comments Laurel wrote: "Isis: thank you. I love historical fiction -- but am too much of a history academic and living history re-creator (20+ years in the SCA) to find most "historical fiction" all that palatable, espe..."
I just had to respond on the invented aspect of historical fiction. As a writer, that's where all the fun is. Otherwise, you might as well write a non-fiction history or biography. I read all the primary and secondary sources for my novel set in 6th-century Constantinople. What I added was how the characters felt, what they thought and said, what the setting looked like. Plus lots of action and atmospheric details to provide subtext. Those parts are speculation, true, but they should bring the period and characters to life.

message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol Strickland (carolartbeat) | 14 comments J.L. wrote: "In addition to social media, you should make connection on the local level. Having your work in book form is important for getting it into your local library (mine has been awesome) and for booksto..."

If you contact the person who schedules events at the library, you might do a reading, a talk or slideshow. I've done these for my art history book with a table to sell my books afterwards. Libraries are also open to displays for their cases if you can come up with something visually interesting.

message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 101 comments I was very lucky; Amazon gave the first book in my second detective series play on its 'deals' page for about a month and sales went insane for three months (in the thousands). For one week, I was actually at #39 on their list of best-selling mystery authors GLOBALLY.

Nuts, eh? Living the dream, for sure. It also landed me about thirty new reviews across my dozen or so books. Then it slowed down, and without much social skill or an ad budget, the sales gradually trailed off to the meager few hundred a month at which they now sit.

But it was quite a ride there for a bit, LOL.

back to top