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Marketing you books is largely a mystery to most authors.  Writer Chris Fox give this interesting tidbit:

 

"My target reader is a 40 year old male who is likely proficient at IT, and likely works in some technical field... (Chris writes space operas)  What movies does my 40 year old male see?  What books did he read in 1995, 2015, and 2020?  What movies did he like during those time periods?  What hobbies did he have?"

 

Chris goes into some depth when he is identifying his target market, and it's immensely helpful for him targeting readers.

 

Do you put as much effort into it?

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To be honest, although I have read posts here about targeting, I have never thought about it, except for my children's stories. I guess I need to for my books.

 

Where Is Father? Someone interested in the history of the Oregon and Bozeman Trails. Someone old enough to have read about them or to have played the game. Probably a woman, because it is a woman writing the diary, a woman traveling with her mother. What movies would my reader like? Probably Westerns, maybe John Wayne. Oops, I'm probably making this woman somewhere near my age. At least I didn't suggest Randolph Scott!  

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1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

Do you put as much effort into it?

 

While it's important to find your core audience, I wonder if it's risky to narrow it down to such a specific type of person. Wouldn't that limit your reach? 

 

I don't see my books as high-performance sports cars that only appeal to young males who love to go fast and look cool. I want to be the solid, dependable, versatile car that appeals to a wider consumer base. So I don't think I'd market it to such a specific buyer demographic.

 

But I'm not a marketing expert, so that could be my mistake. 

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I think that what Chris Fox means is the difference between writing for no one and just hoping your book sells and giving some to who you might be writing it to first.

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I don’t know...isn’t John Wayne kind of timeless?

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23 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

So how many people remember Randolph Scott?

I remember him :) Then again, I watch a lot of the old Westerns :D  

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6 hours ago, carolinamtne said:

So how many people remember Randolph Scott?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I follow Chris Fox on YouTube and recall a lot of what SW is saying.

 

I think Chris Fox is saying  you need to identify the "core" group who will buy your book to get sales going. If you can write to or get them interested to buy it, you can do well. But they will not be the only ones to do so. There are people who will be interested but not "converting" as Chris Fox calls it. 

 

I was never able to target my audience, mainly because I don't do social media well (or at all) and I wasn't able to find or get into a discussion group that might be my audience. Other than here, this forum has been good to (for) me. 

 

Chris Fox is also a big believer in a "Quality cover" (stresses on it quite a bit), blurb (as we've called it here), and tag line. If you have those, the ones who are interested but not buying yet, might convert into a sale. 

 

I think I've got a good cover, and blurb. But I've never been able to come up with a tag line. I didn't write to a specific audience or network on social media so I have to rely on those to convert sales.

 

God (as always) and word of mouth, which can be the best and worst thing, is the only other thing I've got. If my story is good enough, one person will tell another and soon (hopefully) the whole church will buy it. And then the next, and the next and so on.

 

So, @suspensewriter has a great point to consider, marketing, the next page of writing.

 

Did I fail to market? Yes. Should I have? Probably. But I've been working hard on trusting God instead of myself, I don't think that's a mistake for me.

 

And I know who John Wayne and Randolph Scott are. Would,nt have come up with Randolph right away though. Seen both of their flicks. They're both good. Yup, I'm old.

Edited by zx1ninja
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Hey @zx1ninja, God might be throwing posts like this in front of you to encourage you to look into marketing more. If you want to make money, or just get more people to buy and read your book, it is an active step you can take. God leads us beside still waters, He makes our cups to overflow, but we still must drink ourselves. It is that mystery of free will vs. divine sovereignty that had driven so many of us Christians batty over the years.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

If you want to make money, or just get more people to buy and read your book

If only sells enough to pay for costs I'd be happy, but if doesn't I'm fine with that as long as 1 person gets something out of that. That would make me ecstatic. 

 

As for marketing now, yes, I've already started looking into what I can do. Thanks for the reminder though. 

Edited by zx1ninja
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1 hour ago, zx1ninja said:

If only sells enough to pay for costs I'd be happy, but if doesn't I'm fine with that as long as 1 person gets something out of that. That would make me ecstatic. 

 

As for marketing now, yes, I've already started looking into what I can do. Thanks for the reminder though. 

 

Well, if you've got any good tips, do share them. I think we're in the same boat, because (outside of this site) I didn't have a presence on social media either. But now I do...sort of.

 

Anyway, what I've done so far is:

1. Submitted the book to various book promotion websites (there are scads of them out there, some free, some paid.)

2. Created a simple website (it's absolutely bare bones, but creating it was rather fun.) I'm not sure this would be worth it for just one book, but I'm working on a series.

3. Created and Author Profile on Amazon's GoodReads website, and joined a handful of groups there to request readers/reviewers of the book.

 

That's it so far, and I am already tired. I'd like to just get back to writing...

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Did you sign up on Amazon's Author Central?  You should check that out.

 

No, hadn’t heard of it. But I will now.

 

I should also say there are about 20 billion book blogger websites, many of which offer free reviews for books. However, most seem to be swamped with requests. 

Apparently racking up reviews for your book is a pretty big deal. I had no idea...

Edited by Zee
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Zee said:

most seem to be swamped with requests. 

Apparently racking up reviews for your book is a pretty big deal. I had no idea

Me neither, trudging through one at a time.

 

As a side note, found the book on Goodreads that Mom and her friend wrote. fandom is for the young, or one convention too many. Sat down and read it for the first time today. Learned a couple things about my mom.

Edited by zx1ninja
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On 5/7/2020 at 9:26 AM, zx1ninja said:

I was never able to target my audience, mainly because I don't do social media well (or at all) and I wasn't able to find or get into a discussion group that might be my audience.

It is a challenge for those of us who are social media shy to get a good handle on a target audience. I know the struggle well! This Chris Fox guy sounds interesting. I’ll have to look him up. :)

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15 minutes ago, Dramedy Writer80 said:

This Chris Fox guy sounds interesting. I’ll have to look him up. :)

He shares pretty freely. 

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