Build An Audience

Author’s from the 80’s, 90’s, and the 2000’s need to build an audience. It is the only way to put yourself in a position of success. The more people who know you and read your book, the better chance you have to sell that book.

Let me repeat something I just said, because you may not have registered it: “to put yourself in a position of success.” If you do not write a terrific story with even better mechanics, then all the people in the world who know about your book will not matter.

The four keys to any author:

1. Read

2. Write

3. Market

4. Publish

Let me help you with marketing and building that audience. Here are some things you can do:

* Website: Do not worry about all the “bells and whistles.” Have a couple pages that talks about who you are and what your books are about. Keep it simple. The more content and text you have, the less people will care.

* Blog: It is not easy to be a blogger, despite millions of people doing it. You have to be good at blogging. Just like writing a bad book, a poorly written blog can sink you.

* Forums: Participate in publishing, writing, and author forums. There are plenty to choose from. Give your comments on blogs about writing. Everyone who comments on this blog, I remember. Being remembered is what building an audience is all about.

* Surveys: On your website or Facebook, conduct a survey about publishing. (Not yourself.) This will get your name out to others in the publishing industry.

* Newsletter: Go to Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) and sign up for their free trial. Put together a professional newsletter that helps others.

* Magazine Articles: In Venice, Florida where I live, the local magazine accepts articles written by authors. The pay is small, but two things happen: You get noticed by millions of people and you can say that you have been published. Research magazines in your area.

* Other Websites: Connect with other authors and share information on your websites. At UP Authors, we do this all the time and help build an audience for several authors at once.

* Social Networking: Everyone says that this is what you should do. I was forced by my manager to sign up for Facebook, but I’m glad she pushed me. I’ve met so many wonderful authors and others in the publishing industry. Check out Linkedin.com. It is about the purest networking around.

* Press Release: Before doing this, get details on what makes a great press release and where you should send it. I could do an entire blog on this subject.

* Events: Like a politician, shake lot’s of hands. Hold an event or join an event, it doesn’t matter. Meet people and hand out paper marketing items. (Bookmarks are best.) It’s not about selling books, but rather building your name.

* Public Speaking: I do not charge for public speaking, because the rewards are high. I’ll speak at any club, school, church, fundraisers, bookstores, etc… It doesn’t matter. Get in front of people and do your best.

* Volunteer: Any organization related to your field or genre would be helpful. In the long run, volunteering gives you rewards that I cannot explain. Also, if you sign up to be on the board of directors for just about any organization, that is a plus.

* Co-Author: This is a tricky move, but if you connect with another author and write a book together, your audience will double. James Patterson has made a living off this system.

* Book Trailers: I love book trailers on YouTube. However, the ones that want to look professional, often look horrible. If you are on a low budget, use that to your advantage. Make a low budget trailer, but do not try to be something you are not.

Relationships: Connect with others in the business. Just remember, whether you are on a first or third date, it’s better not to push the relationship, but rather let it flow naturally. If you become demanding, that will be a turn-off and you will get dumped.

Rolodex: Keep track of everyone you spoke with and make lists of those in the publishing industry. Do favors for others, instead of always asking for favors. Nurture and stay in touch.

Email Lists: Whether you are at an event, writing conference, or on Facebook, keep track of emails. Do not abuse their trust in having the email address, but rather use it to help others. In time, they will help you.

Soft Marketing: I’m probably beating a dead horse, but get to know others before you start asking for lot’s of favors. People ask me for advice all the time, but when someone asks me for a referral, and I do not know the author, I will ignore the request. If I do not know you, I cannot help you.

Literary Manager: Hiring a literary manager changed my career overnight. The best in the business is Melissa Link. melissa@scbranding.com

Building an audience does not happen in a week or even a year. It is a never ending process and part of your job as an author. Keep reading, keep writing, and keep building your audience.

When the time is right…you can publish.

Ron Knight

Author of “2-10”

Free Six Chapter Preview: www.upauthors.com/authors/ronknight

Literary Manager: Melissa Link

Contact: melissa@scbranding.com

Ron Knight

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