Writing a book is a leap of faith. Authors must believe there’s an audience for their work and have faith it will be discovered. An author has to keep the faith to endure the many hours needed to write a book. Fortunately, authors don’t have to wait until the book is done to start finding their audience.
Knowing your audience
Building a habit of sharing content should be your priority. Finding the right audience can be overwhelming so don’t get discouraged if it takes time. Before looking to a broader audience, start small and reach out to influential voices— librarians, educators, beta readers, and bloggers—in your specific niche genre. Having a focused approach can pay off big if you recruit influencers who’re willing to share on your behalf.
When trying to build relationships with influencers, your outreach should be generous. This means taking the time to read other people’s work. It also means participating in the conversations around that work. E.L. James gave us a great example when she developed Fifty Shades of Grey by writing fan-fiction around the Twilight series. James showed us the power of connecting with fans and finding an established audience (thanks to Peter Armstrong for this example).
Your readers don’t always self-identify
People will often read in specific genres even when they don’t personally identify with a niche. For example, a reader might say “I don’t read young adult,” but then buy the whole The Hunger Games series. Make your giveaways relevant to your audience by finding a specific book or author (not genre) for comparison. Saying “if you like this then you’ll enjoy…” or “people who liked this also enjoyed…” is a great way to build a connection and attract interest.
Understanding what people want allows you to offer more compelling giveaways to build your audience.
An effective method to develop a profile for your audience, once more, is being in the conversation about other people’s work. You can learn so much about specific interests, likes, and dislikes. Understanding what people want allows you to offer more compelling giveaways to build your audience.
The more you get to know your audience, the easier it will be to deliver interesting content. Don’t wait to start learning about your readers until your book is finished—start the habit now of sharing early and often.