Bad enough writing is a lonely profession. It’s even worse when you find out that you have to market your writing on your own. If you have a publisher helping you with this then that is frickin’ wonderful! For the rest of us, performing market research is an essential part of being a successful writer.
So how do you get into the heads of your potential audience without being a mutant? Here is a list of the top five ways of finding marketing tactics for your writing.
1) Read popular books in your market. Of course don’t just read them for the story or for story ideas. You need to focus on why people like these books. It won’t take long until you start to notice a trend. Once you do then you can place this trend or trends in your own story and gear your marketing to exploit this trend or trends. I placed this as number one since this should be performed before you write your story.
2) Follow the social media sites of popular authors. You need to look at some marketing tactics these successful authors are doing. What is a better way in doing so than studying what they do on their social media sites? Of course you will notice that most successful authors do the same things to market to their audiences such as giveaways, coupons, virtual book tours, and writing advice. However, the important thing about this is how they are doing this. Maybe you will also find out their audience’s demographics if the information is there. I like it when people use photos of themselves on Facebook on my author’s page.
3) Create a blog and gear it toward the market you want your writing to be in. Then create polls, as well as awesome blog posts, to ask your targeted audience questions such as how do they find their favorite books, how do they spend their time when they don’t read and what was the most memorable book they had ever read and why. When you get your answers it is up to you on what to do with the information. If I found out that most horror readers like to surf YouTube in their spare time then guess who would start a video blog?
4) Think of how you find your favorite books and what makes you buy them. I know this seems really silly, but it works. Ask yourself if you use the internet to find books, if you just go to the bookstore and browse, or if you find out about a book because of advertisement. Ask yourself if you are drawn to a book because of its cover art or its description. I find my books through the internet, mainly by searching online forums. I am drawn to the book not by its cover art, but by readers’ recommendations on the forums. I make the decision to buy the book because of the story’s description. So one marketing tactic I always perform on my books is hitting the online forums that relate to my market and getting recommendations from readers. This is usually done by contacting them via email, telling them the email’s purpose in a very professional manner and then giving away my book to them. And yes, before all of that I make sure my book’s description is awesome!
5) Head to writing clubs to learn what other authors have done. You know a writer’s time is precious so why waste it performing a marketing tactic that is a known failure to other authors?