Reach readers and convert them into advocates

When it comes to “Crafting Marketing Plans like an Authorpreneur.” It’s easy to understand why you’d need to be clear on your compelling benefit, and deliver a story that readers love so much they’d tell their friends and family about it (see previous articles on these topics). What’s harder is to determine how to find your readers and sway them to buy or read your book. Each author’s case is unique but generally, start by identifying who would be most interested in your brand promise. This can be defined via demographics, behaviors or psychographics. Romance readers in the US, for instance, skew 82% female, and tend to be 35-39 years old [Source: summary of NPD “The Romance Book Buyer 2017”]. For this to be actionable, you’ll need to hypothesize which segments of this broad group will be most attuned to your message.

Once you’ve defined this target, the next step is awareness. You’ll need to make them aware of you as an author, and what’s unique about your work. Captivate them with well-crafted copy (tagline, ads), compelling and consistent visuals, and of course, quality of the end product. Even fast moving consumer goods might only convert 10% of the people reached. Perhaps only half of those will come back again (or repeat purchase). And even fewer will become loyal advocates willing to spread word-of-mouth. So make sure to communicate to a broad group of relevant people with your messaging.

Part of the art of marketing is then thinking about where best to communicate with them. Your platform are the places where you can credibly reach those readers. Some places to generate broader reach include:

  1. Distribution (bookstore, library, digital)
  2. Paid and organic search / SEO
  3. Paid or earned media (online, print, radio, TV)
  4. Media appearances and interviews (national, regional, local)
  5. PR – editorial (leverage news-worthiness / topical aspects, check out
  6. Write articles / columns
  7. Membership in organizations

Ways to achieve more targeted reach include:

  1. 1. Social media (organic and ads): Nurture relationships before selling. Make it easy for advocates to spread word-of-mouth (e.g. sharable posts)
  2. 2. Mailing list : Build and communicate via your email list, giving readers value (FREE=most powerful word)
  3. 3. Website / blog
  4. 4. Partnerships / guest contributions: Give and request book reviews, interviews, blog posts, etc.
  5. 5. Events, speaking engagements (e.g. books clubs, bookstores, library, reader event); create retail-tainment
  6. 6. Reader, review & sharing communities e.g. Goodreads
  7. 7. Your network of influencers

Wishing you good fortune finding and reaching your readers. Next time, we’ll discuss why quality of execution converts.

Happy writing,

Carol Van Den Hende, MBA

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