Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How to reach your audience & #WritersLife Survey Results

Hey Guys. It's March. In like a lion, right?

Welcome to my Insecure Writers Support Group post...
Thanks to Alex and his team of hosts this month and every month.

Can you tell I'm in a ho hum mood? It could be the winter blahs. Or it could be I'm in a rut. I guess that's what happens when you don't seem to be making any leaps and bounds progress. With the slow, tedious, time-consuming, snail's pace of the writing process, I often wonder how I ever became a writer! I'm more of a make-it-happen-right-now! person. I've never been one to wait for things to happen to me. If I want something, I have to go for it - and that's' not the greatest trait for some things. So maybe that's why I'm here - to grow my patience, even though I'm a pretty old dog.

So for IWSG this month, I'm going to share some tips on How to Wrangle Up Your Readers! Because sitting on your duff waiting for fans to come to you isn't how it works anymore. You must wave your arms, whisper sweet nothings, or tackle them - and all by using your words!

How to Reach Your Audience:

Step 1: Identify your audience - What age group or type of reader will enjoy your book? - and don't kid yourself by saying EVERYONE! Narrow it down, sweetie.

Step 2: Understand your audience - Now that you're being realistic, what else does your audience like to do? What are the interests of your target age group? What's their latest fad? Do a little research about these prospective readers.

Step 3: Find your audience - Where do they hang out? THIS IS IMPORTANT!
  • Bookfairs are the best.
  • Schools are great too, if you can get in.
  • Conferences are hit or miss, depending on the genre and location and many other considerations.
  • Bookstores are also hit or miss depending on the traffic, genre-again, and advertising.
  • Niche stores are questionable, I've only heard one or two success stories...
Step 4: Perform for your audience - Now, you should have enough material to put together a presentation and go share it! Easier said than done, I know. I will elaborate on Step 4 next month with a whole post on Presentations. It's not as bad as it sounds and it gets easier the more you do them.

Step 5: Appreciate your audience - Don't break the bank, but do bring something that you won't mind if they throw away, because that's usually what happens to bookmarks, book cards, and other small swag - it genuinely is the thought that counts

And now, here are the results from my Writers Life Survey #4 - Getting Creative!

What Writers are Working On...

Here are a few choice words about their WIPs!

Four in Darkness... the Vampire, the Alien, the Lycan, and the Shark

Alex O’Hara is up to her ears in mysteries, investigating potential boyfriends, and following philandering spouses - what a job!

Eszter, Marie, and Caterina feel very lucky they escaped, as they return to the world of the living, traveling and relearning how to do basic things, but there are holes in their hearts for those who didn’t escape with them.

Paranormal murder mystery set in alternate 1959

When Farmer Brown and his family neglect their chores, chickens take matters into their own wings.

How Writers Improve Their Craft

Do you have a Daily Word Count Goal?

And here are a few teasers... It was a dark and stormy night...

“Ah, you’re awake.” The voice came from a white-haired bearded man who stepped within her line of vision, but he didn’t look old.
“Who are you?”
“Ezra Merlin at your service.” I thought you might sleep through it, but you are just in time to see Atlantis rise.”

The man threw his head back and cried out, his back arching off the bed. He collapsed. His chest heaved with each breath. Waves of white energy rippled off his body.

“A little help here,” I called out from the dressing room while holding up the front of the most beautiful dress I’d ever tried on.
“Here, let me—” Ellie burst into the dressing room. “Oh. My. God. Alex, you are gorgeous.”
I wasn’t so sure about gorgeous, but I looked pretty darn good in the emerald satin strapless gown with a side slit that showed way too much of my thigh. Thank God for all the running I did almost every day.

Days like this, Kinley had no strength left to hold herself together.

Mme. Druillet could only give her back material items, and Officer Sauveterre could only promise to try to regain more material items. They were unable to give back any live people, any meaningful links to the past. As the train sped back to Paris the next afternoon, Marie cradled the fur coat in her arms, feeling her last spark of hope going out.

"But they won’t do any good, he’s dead already. I know. I killed him."

November thought she just might be happy for the first time ever.

Pulling off normal was harder than it looked.

They shook their heads and said, "Lazy chickens!"

I really enjoyed these lines and blurbs! I hope you did too. Next month I'll be asking "Where do writers LIVE?" Hope you'll join in!


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Slow and steady, Tara. Like a tortoise. But then again, that's pretty much my speed anyway. :)

Yolanda Renée said...

Love the survey!
Trying to come up with a subject for 'live' video's - not such an easy task. Looking forward to more information. Need the inspiration, for sure!
Good luck!

Fida Islaih said...

Those are good and important tips!

Crystal Collier said...

I think that's the hardest part--finding and reaching your audience. And it grows over time, but having the faith to keep moving forward while growing, that's the hard part.

Christine Rains said...

Great advice about finding your audience. I hope we come out of these winter blahs soon. And thanks for all the survey info.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great blurbs.
Finding where your audience hangs out. That's a challenge sometimes.

LD Masterson said...

Interesting survey results. Now we're checking to see where we fit in the pack.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks for using my blurb.

Book stores are big-time hit or miss. Niche stores work if it's where your target audience hangs out. Coffee shops are also good. Especially if they have a wine tasting night because drunk people will buy anything.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara - when you start out - it's 'so difficult' to work out what is meant .. 'your audience' who are they? But so it goes and we just need to narrow our guideline slightly, but keep the story within those parameters ... and then adjust ... blogging and presumably FB and Twitter help ... cheers Hilary

M.J. Fifield said...

Always love seeing the results of your writers surveys. The sampling of lines and blurbs were great. Thanks for sharing!

I did a presentation for an audience as part of a local author forum in December, and ended up selling five books. Not a ton, granted, but it was the most I had ever sold in a single event. And a big part of that was, I think, the presentation.

Heather R. Holden said...

So sorry you've been in a rut lately. I've been feeling the same exact way, when it comes to my art. Definitely not a fun mood to have!

Loving these tips, though! Reaching an audience is something I struggle with constantly, so these will be very helpful, for sure...

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

I have the winter blahs. I'm so ready for the snow to GO AWAY. But it keeps snowing. Make it stop, please. *sniffles*

Rhonda Albom said...

Love this, especially the word goal. My book got shoved onto the back burner, but this reminded me that I can have a goal of only 500 words per day, and probably actually achieve that. Sorry about your winter blues. Change of season is coming.

cleemckenzie said...

Great suggestions! I'm setting a new goal every day--get up and enjoy the heck out of the day! After that things seem to fall into place.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I don't do a daily word count. I'm more about putting in the time to write. Thanks so much for the tips about audience. All the best to you.

Juneta key said...

Really enjoy your surveys and the results. Hang in there. A friend of mine has a saying, "All that comes to me is for my good." Never give up. The words "for and my" is the grace in the statement.

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

dolorah said...

Uhm, you put a lot of work into this procrastination effort, lol.

Hey, being slow isn't a bad thing. It still gets done.

Good luck Tara.

Diane Burton said...

The survey is great. Love your steps. #4 is the hardest (for me).

Optimistic Existentialist said...

As a research nerd, I enjoyed reading the survey results :) have a great weekend, Tara.

H.R. Sinclair said...

I love the surveys and charts! The blurbs were great. I'd read those.

New Release Books said...

Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing!

DMS said...

How fun those survey answers are to read!

I also liked the advice. I agree that book fairs, conferences, and schools are a good way to reach your audience. I find I hear about the book fairs and conferences too late, but I am working on that. :) Thanks for sharing.

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