Note: So no one is confused as to what I am saying, I am not saying you should promote ONLY to authors or nonsense like that. I’m saying that you should remember that authors are readers too and to completely cut someone out of your audience because they are an author is a mistake.
This subject has always been debatable depending on who you ask. People have different opinions about it. But let me tell you why you would not wanna cut out authors as your audience. Do you realize that no one, NO ONE on earth reads more than writers? Writers read constantly. We have to, plus we enjoy it. Writers became writers because of their obsession with reading. Writers and authors are a huge part of the literary audience. To ignore them would be insane. Now I understand when folks say you shouldn’t promote only to authors. Yes, that’s true and I agree, but for those who say not to promote to authors at all, sorry but I don’t agree. You won’t find many people who read as much as authors.
I know many authors and readers and in comparison, the authors read way more on a regular basis than the readers who are not also authors. I am a member of many online book groups and book club groups and let me tell you, most of the “readers” in there are authors, aspiring authors, book bloggers (reviewers), or reviewers. Some of the book groups I’m in have over 800 members, I’d say around 200-300 are active on a regular basis. Out of that active group, over half are authors. And they are not authors pitching their books or writing tips. No. They are authors buying books and looking for new books to read. Oh trust me. Authors are a part of your audience. I can vouch for that because many authors buy my books, and they are authors I don’t even know personally.
The trick is how you should promote to other authors. Most authors don’t do this correctly. In order for an author to become engaged in your book and your writing, you need to treat them like a reader. See what I’m saying? But most authors don’t look at it that way. You can’t just pop up and hock your book to other authors who are doing the same thing. Nope. You have to capture the reader inside that author and that’s by reminding the author that when you’re around, they wear the reader’s cap only. You have to switch your mind frame and stop looking at other authors just as authors but as readers because that’s what they are.
One way to do this is to make up your mind, are you gonna appeal to READERS or WRITERS? If you’re gonna do both then you need to be very creative because many people cannot do both effectively. They end up promoting to one side more and alienating the other. I would think that most fiction authors want to appeal to readers. I know I do. Because readers (even if they are also authors), are the ones who will buy your books.
So how do you appeal to readers only? Better yet, how do you remind other authors that they are readers when it comes to you? You’ve got to stop appealing to their writer side. You do this by making your promo reader-friendly. Let’s start with your website. Do you have writing tips on there or do you have stuff that advertise your books and tells visitors who you are? If you wanna capture readers (and the reader inside the author), then get rid of the writing tips, writing guidelines, etc. that’s on your site. You need to have stuff about your books, your work in progress, your news, and your events. Any and everything a reader would want to know. Readers don’t wanna know about your writing process. Writers wanna know about your writing process. I know when I’m searching for books to read and I go to an author’s site to learn more about them, I could not care less about their writing rituals or them telling me how to publish a book. Why? Because when I check out your site, I’m in reader mode. I don’t wanna get tips on writing. If I want that I know where to go. I want your site to show me stuff about you as a published author. I want it to persuade me to checkout your work. I wanna see excerpts, book covers, reviews, anything that appeals to the reader inside of me. That is how you remind writers that they are readers when they step in your domain. Once you remind them, they will remember and they flick on that reader cap and they become interested in you and your work.
The same thing goes with the mailing list. Your mailing list should appeal to readers unless you are writing nonfiction writing guides. I have seen author lists where it was 20% about them and their books, and the rest was all on writing tips yet the author was a romance author. You couldn’t tell that by her newsletter. I dropped her list because I got confused. When I signed up for her list, I expected her to send me some news about her books. I wanted her to share some blurbs, let me know when the next book was coming out. Except for her spending one tiny paragraph on her books, she spent most of her newsletter on writing tips and that was not fulfilling to me at all. So imagine how a reader who is not even a writer would be turned off by that type of newsletter. You need to appeal to readers. If you have a site or mailing list geared toward writers then readers are not gonna be interested. Some people might argue this point, but let me tell you that Sally Williams who is a school teacher who loves to read romantic suspense and has no interest whatsoever in being a writer does not wanna see How to Format Your Manuscript for Kindle or How to Make that Book Proposal shine when she comes to your site. Sally wants to see when your next book is coming out and why the heck she should buy it. If your site doesn’t appeal to Sally, she’s gonna get confused, pissed, and go to another writer who treats her like a reader.
Check out my site: http://www.stacy-deanne.net. I practice what I preach. Now I’m known for writing articles for writers and giving writing tips. Well if you notice, you don’t see any of my writing articles or writing tips on my site. My site is geared toward readers. If I wanted a site for writers, I’d create one. I’m trying to sell books and gain fans through my site. My writing tips and writing articles belong on the sites I write them for, not my author site.
Get the picture?
So let’s go over my points. Now I am not saying you can’t promote to writers and readers at the same time. Some authors do and do it well, but many don’t do it well. There’s a risk of confusing your audience if you can’t pull this off. If you’re gonna have your sites or lists geared toward both it should be done where most of the content is geared toward readers (and the reader inside the author). The 20% percent geared toward readers and the remaining 80% geared toward writers is not gonna work unless you’re selling writing guides. If you’re writing fiction, your site and your list have to reel readers in. You need to promote to anyone who reads your genre. That’s your audience. Once again, I’m not saying promote only to other authors, no. Heck no. I am saying promote to anyone who is your audience and that includes authors. Authors who write in your genre are your audience so remember that.
The Wild Life by Stacy-Deanne (Coming July 2013)!
Read more about it here: http://peaceinthestormpublishing.com/authorbooks/wildlife.html
Sign up for my mailing list (where you won’t get any writing tips whatsoever): http://www.stacy-deanne.net/newsletter.htm?newsletter=
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