Finding Your Readers

I’ve wanted to write this post since the Emerald City Writers’ Conference ended on the 28th, but between edits and my website’s issues, I had to wait. Now I get the chance to share with you my epiphany. My light bulb moment might not be unique, special or blog worthy. But here goes.

I’ve got a confession to make. I only made it to two workshops at ECWC. One was on copyright and contracts that I was assigned to moderate at too early an hour on a Saturday morning when the night prior was spent consuming too much alcohol. The second workshop was an industry panel consisting of indie authors, a small press senior editor, the founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker, and the co- founder of Entangled, Liz Pelletier.

Though I only attended two workshops — the majority of my time spent networking and enjoying a kid and hubby-free weekend — I learned a lot. The most important piece of advice came from Liz Pelletier of Entangled. Her advice was to stop blogging and concentrate on finding your readership.

How? First, use a social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, etc.) outlet that works best for you and engages your audience. I love Twitter, but find I get better results with Facebook and my Yahoo groups.

Liz said the focus should be on finding a readership outside of our fellow authors, and to comment on others’ blogs whose interest you enjoy and might have in common, but not necessarily another writer’s blog. After all, the ones who comment on our blogs are fellow authors, not readers. Do you find that to be true and consistent on your blogs or websites? What has worked for you in the past to help you find those voracious readers?

I have plans to find my readers, but will wait until the New Year to implement them. Why? Well, it’s all about the timing. By next year, I’ll have three books out, the holidays will be over, and people might have enough of a breather to go and spend their Amazon, or Barnes and Noble gift cards.

I have to admit, self-promo is hard. Not enough of it and an author can get lost in oblivion. But, too much of it can put an author at risk for what I term in-your-face fatigue. Yes, comment and share news related to your work, writing, or promo on social media and loops, but do it in small doses.

I plan to self-promote on Facebook, my Yahoo loops, or on my website in small doses, but I’d like to try something new outside of social media. Well, new to me, anyways. I plan on enlisting my friends, scattered across the country, to help me promote. Think bookmarks and swags filled with goodies and autographed trading cards at local shops, small bookstores, college campuses, and libraries. What are your plans for promotion?