Are you a newly published author? Or perhaps an experienced author looking to expand your reach? You've come to the right place! Growing your audience as an Indie author can be intimidating to say the least but one thing to keep in mind is that your author business will continue to grow and become more influential as time goes on. If you launched your novel and didn't see the results you were hoping for, don't fret. The art of marketing your book is one that factors in time and patience. Trees don't grow in an afternoon and neither will your readership. The good news is that there are steps you can take as an author to help you and your author career grow.
6 Ways To Grow Your Audience As An Indie Author
1. Refresh Your Author Website and Newsletter: It may seem simple, but updating your author website and giving your newsletter a refresh each year can do wonders for your book sales. It's good to spruce up the way your website looks, to make it more efficient and easier to navigate, and to make sure your readers and potential readers can find what they want to faster. You can encourage potential readers to buy your books with an appealing website featuring your book's cover and blurb and keep them coming back for more with a newsletter packed with valuable and exciting information. Unsure of how to update things? Do some research within your genre. Explore what other authors are doing for their websites, take an online course detailing how to do your own web design, and ask your current following for feedback on what they like and dislike about your current set up.
2. Focus On Growing Your Mailing List: Tying into the first tip, focusing on growing your email list is a must if you're looking to grow your audience. For those who don't know what a mailing list is, it's your email subscribers. These are the loyal readers who are looking to support you beyond liking a few posts on social media and maybe reading your book's cover. They are the readers who will not only buy your novel (and those that come after), but they will leave reviews, feedback, purchase author merchandise and more. Think of them as your die-hard fans. Rather than focusing on how many followers you have on social media, turn your attention to building your mailing list- trust us, you'll sell books faster because your mailing list actually buys books.
Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps
In Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules, top literary agent Carole Jelen and tech expert Michael McCallister apply their combined 35 years of expertise to outline 14 practical, hands-on steps to create a presence that will produce high book sales and expanded audience. From pre-publication through book launch and beyond, authors will learn how to:
• Define goals and a unique brand
• Employ successful website strategies, content, social presence, media authority, and training
• Secure positive reviews
• Attract viewers efficiently without cost
3. Make Sure Your Graphics Are On-Brand: Every author, new or experienced, has an author brand. Whether you know how to use it or not is another story. Your author brand is every visual and descriptive aspect used to represent yourself as an author to your readers. It encompasses everything from your website, to your newsletter, to your social media, business cards and beyond. Once you have a designated "look" that accurately represents you, who you are, and who you are as an author it's time to do quarterly check-in's to make sure all of your social media accounts are staying true to you and your band. Social media is what you use to attract attention and make a strong first impression. Keeping your media looking the same across platforms, polished, and true-to-you can help present a unified and strong message to potential readers about what to expect from you as an author. Remember, consistency matters to build a healthy author reputation.
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4. Collaborate Where You Can: An excellent way to promote growth and expand your audience is to team up with other authors in your genre. Whether you're planning a giveaway, going Live on Instagram and discussing your writing tips, hosting a writing retreat, or teaming up to visit a writing conference together the more you actively establish connections with other authors the greater your reach and influence as an author will be. This is simply due to visibility. When you join forces everyone gains a new audience that has not been reached before- that means it's a win/win for everyone who decides to join in the fun!
5. Work On Outreach And Opportunities: When we say outreach, we're talking about approaching would-be readers and reviewers such as podcasts, bloggers, bookstagrammers, influencers, etc. and asking them to help you promote your novel. The goal here is to establish relationships and opportunities with those who hold influence within the literary industry. These are people who talk about, review, recommend, or promote books to their readership. As an Indie author, your strategy is start small and grow. This means you should start with reaching out to smaller industry professionals with followings larger than your own and work your way up to more popular professionals with massive followings. The reasoning is that it will be easier for an author who is not backed by a traditional publisher to receive feedback and consideration with smaller influencers. This is because those influencers want to build their own reputations and don't have the same higher standards that come with decades of working with books. Building up your smaller outreach partners over time will also help build your reputation and will make your chances of networking your way into a larger opportunity possible.
6. Recommend Books In Your Genre: What better way to grow your audience than to show them your own knowledge of books within your genre? By reading and reviewing books from your peers, you achieve two things: 1) You make connections with the authors you're reviewing, 2) you're showcasing that you're a valuable resource to your readers outside of your own writing. Readers are always looking for more books to read and establishing yourself as a useful source for finding those novels is not only smart, but effective. Bonus, it also boosts your own knowledge of the craft by inspiring and teaching you more about writing.
Focusing on growing your author audience is a lifelong pursuit. Don't feel pressured to do everything all at once, or let the fear of failure stop you from reaching your dreams audience. Take your time, and step-by-step you'll achieve the level of influence and readership you desire.
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