Build Your Audience: A Guide for Indie eBook Authors
One of the most challenging aspects that any author has to face is to captive the readers. You may have written the best story that is ever written in this generation but if it doesn’t reach to the end readers then that will not serve you not only financially but to the purpose of sharing your book out there, hoping to make an impact in this world. Your audience is the bloodline of your writing career!
If you are an indie writer or just starting in the self-publishing industry, building a niche of readers is so important, if not the top priority to be successful. Once you’re done with all the formatting processes, selected the best publishing platform and partnered with the best distributor for your eBook, then you are reading to build an audience.
Keep in mind that not because you have great book shall it land into your lap just like that. It doesn’t work that way. You have to go to the audience and create it. You don’t just wait for the fruit to fall from the tree; you have to do something to get the fruit! Even the successful, known authors of our time, do the work, the hard way.
So how do you effectively build an audience? Here are 7 suggestions to build an awesome readers-writer relationship:
- You have to have the gun loaded. You have to make sure that you have a “thing”; something so awesome err a book that has gone through a lot of perfecting process (writing, rewriting, proofreading and editing for countless of times) to give to the readers. You have to tell the best story you can ever tell to the audience.
Self-publishing industry is a booming business today and the competition is tough! It is the aim of every writer to get the right exposure and book visibility in the market. Sad to say, you-adding to the stream of hopeful writers makes it more difficult to build an audience in the eBook marketplace. The book should be wonderfully written, hence a masterpiece worthy of all your time and effort in marketing it, else you might fail without having the chance of launching it first.
- Slowly prepare your audience. Successful authors usually start making a buzz of a book launch at least six months in advance. That is the recommended span of time you need in order to build a relationship. Let them know that you are brewing a good story and a book launch is at hand.
Engage potential readers by utilizing the different social media platforms, hinting that you are writing something incredible. Get them under the radar and let them join the process. Let them help you decide the text or fonts, tease them with some lines and excerpts from your eBook, or maybe discuss a little bit about a character or a plot of the story but don’t blow the whole thing.
This is a good exposure as they will be anticipating more of your eBook. By doing so, you are slowing promoting your book, enough to build an audience once launched.
- Establish a genuine relationship. Although we cannot contest the great influence of social media platforms in today’s generation to spread the word out, we are somewhat forgetting that those are not just mere platforms. It is composed of people from all walks of life. And when we talk about people, this pertains to real people with emotions and feelings, they’re not just mere statistics or numbers – they are real!
Start an awesome readers-writer relationship through the social media platforms. Take that opportunity to engage and interact with the readers. Be honest and open to them, make them feel that you are human just like them…with all the difficulties and struggles, too.
- Be YOU! As an indie eBook writer, you are not only sharing your story to the public, but you are marketing your own creativity as the self-publishing author. So how do you like to be perceived by your readers? It is very important to be yourself! You have to be honest as to who you are. Readers will know if you are phony or you are just being friendly for publicity’s sake. Be honest with your thoughts and sincere with your emotions. Let them see that you are a source of creating expression and your stories matter to them, just as they matter to you.
You have to weigh this though. If you are not good at going public then don’t go out there and take a plunge. If you are good with the podcast, then do the podcast. If you are awesome with group shares and discussions, then take advantage of that. Identify where your comfort zone is and make use of it to establish your audience. As a budding author in this competitive market, the last thing you want is to lose more audience that you earn.
Offer the best options for your potential audience. The ultimate goal of independent writers and self-publishing authors is to generate income through writing. Without your audience, then that wouldn’t be possible. So, make it easy for the readers to have an access to your eBook.
Make your book widely available and accessible by doing the following:
- You can offer a preview of your book so customers can take a glimpse. This is possible by using the preview tools of your publishing platform.
- You might also opt for pre-orders. This is highly suggested for indie writers who offer eBooks in series. This gives the readers the impression that your eBook is a hot stuff and they need to secure an eBook copy before it even hits the market.
- You can also offer a free download. Free marketing is a great way of establishing a good audience. Readers appreciate it if authors give samples or excerpts from the book to download as they most likely buy the whole eBook, even the whole series (if you offer a series)once they like it.
- Once you were able to self-published the eBook, you can send your eBook samples to some trusted writers and influencers for collaboration through honest reviews and potential endorsements. Once they like your eBook enough, they may even promote it to their audience which is a good marketing strategy.
- You can do a book release option. This is where you will let your readers know that you’ve published an eBook and you give them the details as to when and where they can purchase it.
- Price is also very important. The last thing you want is to shock the potential readers by setting a very expensive price range if you are just establishing a name. Make it affordable for them but not cheap enough to disrespect your hard work and creativity.
Weigh this though because there are authors who offered their first eBook entirely for free to build an audience and were able to pick up financially on their succeeding eBooks. Always decide what is best for your book.
You may want to try a little bit of everything to build an audience niche. This means, offer something for a free download, send some samples for honest feedback and more book exposure, incorporate a book release by spreading out the details that your book was just launched, and always, always make it easy for your readers to purchase a copy of your work.
- Time is everything. There is a right time for everything. Building an audience doesn’t happen overnight. Every successful individual even outside the publishing industry (traditional and self-publishing) will tell you that it takes time to get there. They went through the whole process, dirt and grime just to be where they at now. And that’s what you need to do, too. Be patient, work hard, and just go out there, again and again, and again until the right exposure and perfect timing come your way.
- Take criticisms and feedback as your stepping stones. As an indie writer, you have to be prepared for the worst critics of your works. To add, expect that the worst reviews happen to come from a handful of your audience.
But that’s okay. Don’t take it personally! Reviews, online bashing, critics, commentaries, and honest opinions are very important for you to grow as an author. It might be harsh and raw especially if you are not used to it, it might sting a little bit, but that’s for your own good. Take those positively and use them as the driving fuel to motivate you to keep on writing and show more of what you got as a writer.
Building an audience takes a lot of time, dedication, and hard work. It is a process that you have to deal with in order to establish a good readership. As an indie writer, you have to really invest the effort to engage your readers. The audience wants to feel that you are very genuine when you connect to them. Don’t just build and captivate readers, establish a relationship that will lasts long.
Take time but don’t forget to chill. You have to enjoy being useful to your readers by continuous exchange of information through conversations as much as you enjoy writing for them.