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Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing Part 3

 

lady with coffee

Is this lady your target reader? If so- how do you reach her?
Once you have thoroughly exhausted the ways in which you can lure your nearest and dearest into reading and (hopefully) reviewing your book, you now need to consider how to reach a ‘wider’ audience.
The first thing that you must decide upon is your ‘target audience’. It might be a cliched marketing phrase, but it is actually pretty crucial. For example, I spent a bit of time, and a little bit of money in advertising on Twitter. Unfortunately, it got me no extra sales- why? Because that is not where the target audience for my novel is looking- I can’t reach them there and knowing this will save me time and money in the future.
So, what worked best for me? Without a doubt, sending out press releases to the local and national media has worked best for my book. Try to find an angle to use in your pitch. For example, my novel was inspired by my father’s childhood on a Scottish island, so this was the story that I wrote. Try to target newspapers and magazines that reflect the themes of your novel e.g History, hobbies/craft or cooking. Have a browse through the shelves of your local newsagent to get some ideas and jot down the name of the editor- so that you can write an accompanying e-mail and address it straight to them.
Try to engage with your readership face-to-face as much as possible- you want to develop a personal relationship with your readers and they will give you valuable advice about what works in your book and what doesn’t. You can use social media to achieve this, but also get out to local bookshops and ask if you can organise an evening event. You can even try local schools- particularly if you have written a children’s book or a fact book- school librarians are often very keen to take part in ‘outreach’ events.
There are lots of classes available that teach you how to use social media to promote your products, so you don’t need me to tell you any of that. All I can impart are my personal experiences. My main advice is to start local and take it from there; cards in the local shop window can work well if they are nicely designed and tie into a local event.
Don’t try to be too big too quick- it takes time to build up your readership- get them involved in your characters and start to write them more and more books- they will reward you for your hard work in the end!!

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