I attended a workshop with my publisher last weekend and learned some reasons why my online efforts have not worked as well as I hoped. I realized that I have two target audiences:
Writers and Writer Organizations
Historical and Christian fiction readers
In order to promote your platform and speaking opportunities you need to decide who your target market is and then provide information, blogs, and workshops for those who are most interested. Many of us make the mistake of trying to reach too broad of an audience. Narrow it down.
If you write a specific type of book then find out who reads them. What genre? Fiction? Nonfiction? Where do your readers hang out? Where they are is where you need to go.
Join online groups that focus on readers. Get an author’s page on Goodreads. Develop your profiles at Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, and any other website so that you target your readers. Then, give them content that is valuable to them. Develop relationships, not just someone to pitch your books to. It’s okay to let people know when you have new books coming out or an event scheduled, but don’t let that be your only contact with them or they will feel like all you want is for them to buy your book, not become a fan.
Most of the writers I know personally don’t have the budget to travel to writing retreats around the country or the world. I Googled the topic ‘writing retreats’ and found them located in many states as well as other countries. Since I live in the United States I look for any close to my part of the country (Texas) and pour over the websites for those that look wonderful. Since I needed a break from my regular schedule and wanted to go to a writers retreat, I decided to look for alternatives.
Some businesses and organizations give personal days or mental health days to their employees. Since I’m an author and my other job is consulting. My husband and I own a business consulting firm with a partner. Since I’m a boss so to speak, I gave myself a writers retreat day – okay I did it on a Saturday – but it was like a retreat. A friend and member of a critique group spent all day last Saturday away from home, locally at her office. We had the quiet and the focus we needed. We chatted but worked on computer program tools that can help us edit manuscripts. We covered four chapters in both of our works in progress. It was great! We took salads for lunch and then met our husbands for dinner at a local Chinese food restaurant. We felt refreshed and energized – like when you come back from a retreat or conference.
Try setting up your own retreat day. It’s worth it.