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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finding Your Audience by Suzanne Rock

Marketing your book can be an overwhelming task. There are so many options out there, some that cost money, others that cost time, and many that cost both. How do you know which one to choose? Well, before you do any book marketing campaign, you need to establish clear goals. What is it that you hope to achieve?

For most of us, the answer is easy: we want to sell books. Lots of books. Heck, we want to sell so many books that we retire from our day jobs and buy a sailboat and take off into the sunset. Am I right? (If I am, shout AMEN!)

It's important to get out of that small-world view, however. If you are in this for the long haul, then you want to write more than one book, which means that you want to sell more than one book, and that leads to building a fan base.

Instead of trying to push a particular book, it's more resource efficient to push your author brand. An author brand is a theme or slogan that goes across all of your writing. It's what people think of when they see your name.

Many writers think that this is genre specific (she writes dark paranormal romance), but this is not necessarily true. It can be a style of writing, or a theme. (She writes humorous, feel-good romances. He writes how one person's actions has a ripple affect in a community.). Before you begin any marketing campaign, it's critical to establish an author brand.

Once you have a brand, it's important to build an author platform that will promote your brand to readers. While your brand is your slogan, a platform is the tools you use to announce your slogan to the world. I'll be talking about the different things an author can use to build a platform over the next few months.
Promoting your author brand as a whole is much more effective than promoting an individual book. The hard truth is that it is tough to measure whether any promotion has worked or not based on book sales. Many won't buy your book, but your name will be cemented, or "sticky," in a reader's mind, and may cause them to buy your book over another one at a different point in time. For example, the next time the potential buyer wants to read a good cozy mystery, they'll think of you. When they browse Amazon looking for something to read, they'll recognize your name and read the blurb.

Things like this are difficult to measure. Take heart, however. The more you get your brand out there, the "stickier" it becomes in people's minds. Promoting an author brand is a compounding effort, meaning marketing that you do for your first book will help sell the second, third and forth. Marketing for your fourth book will help push your backlist, and so on.

Promoting a brand is more about promoting you as a person, rather than a story. People are online to make personal connections, not to hear a sales pitch. Forming these relationships is the first step to gaining a fan base who will not only buy your first book, but keep coming back for more.

For example, take my author brand. People know that I write dark, erotic romance. If they want a light-hearted chick-lit book, they know they won't find it there. If they want an emotional, fast-paced, sexy read, then they'll check out my books.

Who are your favorite authors? Do they have a brand? Are you an author with a brand? What is it? I want to hear about it!


Award winning and bestselling author Suzanne Rock resides in central Massachusetts with her college sweetheart and two daughters. She started writing paranormal erotic romance in 2009 and sold her first story, Spyder’s Web, to Loose Id in June of that year. She has recently added erotic contemporary stories to her list of works. In addition to writing, she teaches courses on craft and the publishing industry through Romance Writers of America and Savvy Authors. She’s also is the social media coordinator for Pink Petal Books.

Website: www.SuzanneRock.com
Blog: Romance on a Budget: www.suzannerock.wordpress.com
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/SuzanneRockAuthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Suzanne_Rock
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/Suzanne_Rock


Ebook and Digital Publishing: Is it for me?

Digital books are becoming more and more popular. Devices such as the Kindle, iPAD and Nook have brought ebooks into the limelight and provided many new and exciting publishing opportunities for writers. Despite this, many are still confused about the epublishing process. This course is for beginners who want to learn more about digital publishing and determine if it’s a good fit for them. We will touch on big vs. small epress, self-publishing, vanity publishing, contracts, promotions and dealing with epirates. By the end of class, the student should have a good understanding of the options available and have the tools they need if they wish to move toward digital publication.
Here's the link for more info on the workshop:  http://my.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=377

1 comment:

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