Finding (and Feeding) Your Herd

I know how you must feel.

All you wanted to do was write, right?

Then you learned that publishing companies weren’t going to really market you, so you’ve had to get a crash course in marketing and promotion. But as you started to plan your assault on Borders and Barnes & Noble you read the news that the large brick and mortar booksellers are closing BY THE THOUSAND nationally. And the reason, the ebook explosion. Now you’re researching Nooks, iPads, Kindles, and smartphones. Making yourself dizzy with all the information coming at you. You do know that Amazon.com will be essential to your sales success but how will you get people there?

So you’re on facebook one day when you have an epiphany! What about social networking? You get excited, create a facebook fan page, launch an advertising campaign specifically targeted at people who like books and authors like your book. Your fan numbers begin to climb and you can almost smell the money and notoriety coming your way! So now you’re reading the social media blogs and benchmarking yourself against other authors on facebook. You’re trying out different engagement tactics: promotions, contests, trivia, questions of the day, inspirational quotes – but the reaction from your “fans” is lukewarm at best. You create an Iframe for your fanpage so you can sell your book right on facebook, but can’t get more than 5-10% of your fanbase to actually buy the book directly from you.

Now you’ve spent hundreds in advertising but can’t justify continuing to spend anymore of your money on a disinterested fanbase.

So it’s basically back to square one…

Well, I’ve got some good news for you. There are places online specifically designed for readers. Places where readers go to share books, buy books, and interact with their favorite authors. Communities with millions of active readers who want what you’ve got! These reader communities are tailor made for all your hard work creative ideas, and budget dollars. So what are you waiting for?

Check out these sites, find your herd, and keep them well fed with great content. For ideas, check out how other authors are engaging their fans and then follow suit. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Online reader communities:
1) Goodreads
2) Weread
3) Shelfari

Good luck and happy herding!!

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