How do you find your ideal readers?
You start by listing out the characteristics, as far as you can describe them, of your ideal readership. Why would they like your work? What exactly would attract them to it? What else do they like that’s similar in some way to your work? And, crucially, are there places where these types of readers ‘hang out’? Magazines that they read? Groups they might belong to? Other purchases that they may have made?
There are a lot more questions you could ask, but you probably get the idea. Nail this audience down, broaden it out, get really familiar with it.
Do you then ‘spam’ them? Of course not.
The best guide to how to approach a group of potential customers - for anything, not just books - is yourself.
Do you like being spammed? Perhaps more importantly, does it ever work to spam you? When unprompted ads appear in front of you - either as you walk along a street, or when you are shopping, or when you are browsing through social media or watching TV - what is your first reaction? If you are like most people, you ignore them, right?
Only those ads which hit the exact mark, which appeal to an immediate need or interest, which grab your attention by aligning themselves with your personal world at that moment in time, get any kind of response at all. But, though Facebook and Google and all the rest have grown smarter at finding out those personal things and tailoring their marketing to it, the truth is that there is still huge waste in the marketing industry - millions of ads are wasted every day by missing all the marks above, even when they have been designed to be as precise as possible.
The basic reason why is because the advertisers are still treating you as a commodity - as someone with a set pattern of interests and purchasing who, if ‘programmed’ effectively, will buy. And the final, ultimate product that they are going for is just that, a purchase.
When you try to spam another, even when you have ascertained that that person might be warm to what you have to offer, you are treating them as a target and not as a rounded individual.
How do you overcome that?
Isn’t it impossible to approach people in such a way that, though they have never met you and perhaps live in the other side of the planet, they will still be interested in what you have to sell?
No, it’s not impossible. But it’s almost a lost art.
You have to treat others as you yourself would want to be treated. You have to develop relationships with people over time which don’t treat that individual as a ‘customer’ but recognise that they are a living, breathing person.
Stay tuned for more soon. If you can't wait, get my book.