I love all the advice from Shawn and RJ but I want to know why when I do all these things I still cannot get one person to sign up for my email newsletter which goes out (or will when I have readers!) once a year!!!!!!
Seems to me there is a magic wand involved and something else which no one can name but the lucky ones have.
Well I will persist in my efforts but I do wonder.
Here are the tips for gaining a list of readers and a hint about why we all need beta readers.
Shawn & R.J. from Book Marketing Tools
We all know the story: you write a book, find an agent, get rejected, get signed with a publisher, excitement! Joy! Then they ask, "Send us all of the people in your audience, so we can get the word out." Some publishers won't even give you a book deal unless you already have a built-in audience. That is what has made self-publishing so appealing for many authors. But, the need for an audience is still there, no matter which publishing path you take.
We here at Book Marketing Tools have told you... "Build a list..." But we say now, "Build an audience and own that audience."
There are subtle, but major differences between those two approaches...
A list is just a group of people represented by emails.
An audience are those same people, but who get engaged and who are highly interested in you and your books.
A list can be passive with little conversation between you and them, usually in one direction (from you to them).
An audience is the group of people who you are highly engaged with, those you talk with and those that talk back.
A list is numbers.
An audience is real people.
The reason you should build and own an audience over just building a list is because those who own audiences have more leverage and have the ability to sell books at will.
I said that right, "sell books at will!"
Think of brands and people that own their audience: Apple, Oprah, Coke, Zappos, Stephen King, Amazon, etc. when they sell their latest widget, book, product, or service it's not a question of who will buy, but how much... They are selling at will.
Ok, so you've learned how to build a list, but how do you build and own an audience, so you can sell at will...
Here are some basic tips to help you get started:
• get your list more engaged by asking for their input. At BMT we have begun to do this by regularly asking our audience / list what they think about things. This one act has created a stronger audience than when we first started just building a list.
• ask your list to be part of what you are doing for project and books. I was shocked to see the response when we did this at BMT. Every 6 months we ask all those that have been on our list for at least 6 months to be part of our guest blogging program, this has allowed our list to contribute to our growing blog and it has given them visibility among their peers.
How can you do the same?
We'd love to hear what you think would be good ways to get your list engaged with you, contributing ideas and feedback in your business, with your books, etc.
Believe me, we know all too well how hard it can be to share your work. You created these vulnerable characters; you built this fantasy world. What if the readers don’t like it? What if they do? What if they think you are terrible/amazing/stupid/mediocre? As long as your story remains tucked away in the confines of your laptop, it is safe.
But surely that misses the point of writing. We write because we have something to say. We believed in our ideas enough to spend all that time writing and editing; now we need to believe in them enough to share them with others.
A good first step for a lot of writers is to find a community of beta readers. These are real people from around the world who love reading and love giving feedback to writers. They are not professional proofreaders or editors; rather, they relish in setting their eyes on fresh writing and being the first to find the gems.
There are a number of online communities that exist to help writers find beta readers, including Wattpad and Scribophile. We also like a new app called Penned, which allows you to read and share stories right from your phone.
So go on. Be brave. Put it out there and see what happens!