|How do you manage online marketing to those unlikely to be online?|
I've been turning the cogs over in mind this week (they're a bit rusty and need a crank every now and then) about finding your customers when you self-publish. It occurred to me some markets are easier to find than others.
The first step is to work out who your average reader is. I don't mean vaguely like 'romance readers', but specifically have a stereotype in mind (in this example perhaps your particular romance appeals to women 30-40 with children). Do you know? You really need to work this out if your novel is finished and ready to go. Try visiting sites like Goodreads and Amazon for similar style novels to see who their market is.
I know not every reader will be the same, but you want to work out who your majority of readers are. For instance violent thrillers written by men are most likely to have a male readership. The more I think about this market, the more I think it's the hardest to reach if you are not a previously published author.
Some men do circulate online, but many for this market don't. They don't browse Amazon for unknown writers and don't spend a lot of time 'browsing' in bookstores. They buy a book because it won an award, because it was recommended on a reliable source, like their favourite newspaper or ABC radio-programme. Problem is, if you are a new writer, it's unlikely you'll be mentioned in these sources. But I thought long and hard. There is a way to get your book in this reluctant hand. Through a more reliable market. Women.
Many times books my dad has loved have been novels I've purchased for him, or gifts from his female friends or my sister. He would never have gone looking for this novel, but once given it, he reads it. This market doesn't like to waste a gift. A couple of times he's enjoyed a book so much he's asked me where he can find more in the series.
My dad will never visit a blog, spend time on Facebook or even know that Goodreads exists, but people who buy books for him do. So if you have a difficult market to reach online, try reaching them through their networks instead. Market your book to those people as the perfect gift idea.
Although not talking about novels, this marketing blog, LEADSexplorers, refers to this sales approach as targeting your customer's 'trusted parties'.
I'll blog more on this topic soon, about ways to find those buyers who do circulate online. Together we might be able to find a plan :)
But first I'll be going offline. Just for a couple of days. I'm taking on a challenge to write 30,000 words in only 3 days. I'm doubtful, but I hope to at least finish the first draft of MY ZOMBIE DOG. Wish me luck!