Build Your Audience Before You Publish Your Book

One of the biggest myths in writing (and most importantly selling) a book is if you write it they will come (Thanks Field of Dreams).

The reality is millions of books are written each year and in order for you to stand out in the crowded book market, you need to build an audience of people who care about what you have to say.

The best way to do this is to build your audience before you publish your book.

I must tell you that I’ve learned all of this information the hard way with the marketing side of my book Fish Food.

Though I asked my publisher how I could help with my book’s marketing, I didn’t get a lot of feedback. And though I did my best effort at the time, and was told that I was doing more than any other author in their catalogue, looking back, I had no clue what I was doing.

Now, years later, I have a better idea how I would market my book if I were to do it all over again. I’ll share some of these insights with you in this article.

Be a Part of the Community

One of the most obvious ways you can market a book is to be a part of the community in which you’re trying to establish yourself as a thought leader.

If you’re going to plant a flag in the sand and stake a claim to a certain bit of knowledge and publish a book about it, you should be part of the conversations that are already taking place.

So often, I see people try to start new conversations in their industry without ever taking part in any of the conversations that are already taking place.

It pays to be aware of the conversations that are already taking place in your industry and to be a part of them.

People will be more likely to listen to what you have to say if you’ve been part of the conversation the whole time. It gives you authenticity and credibility.

Being part of the community ensures you have an audience of people paying attention so you can serve the people you were meant to serve.

Now, you may be wondering, how do I do that?

Understand Your Niche

One of the hardest things for multi-talented people to do is really define what their area of speciality will be. It’s important to nail this down because it’ll be easier to build your audience if you really understand it.

What’s your niche? First, you should define it, then you should work to learn as much about as possible about it. Understand who the big players are. Understand the needs of the audiences and the different points of view within the niche.

Then, claim your stake. What position do you want to take within that niche?

For example, I have a blog called RaiSays.com where I empower women to heal and be their best selves after a breakup.

There are some relationship coaches in the field who try to help women win their exes back.

There are other relationship coaches who slam men.

Still other coaches approach the topic from a spiritual point of view, incorporating Buddhist ideas and values.

While helping women heal after a breakup is my niche, my stance is empowering women, while focusing on the four areas of health:

  • mental,
  • physical,
  • emotional and
  • spiritual.

So, now I ask you, what is your niche and what’s your position within that niche?

Develop an Audience

Once you have a clear picture of your niche, it’s your job to begin to build your audience. You want to start having conversations with people who’ve already expressed an interest in your niche. There are a few ways you can do this

  1. Participate in conversations that are already happening in your industry
  2. Add value to the conversations
  3. Find out where your people are hanging out online. For example what influencers are they already following? What webpages and social media accounts are they following. If you were to pick up their phone, what accounts would you find in their news feed? This is the type of research you should be doing right now.

Want more ideas on how to build your audience? Learn 50 Ways to Build Your Audience from Scratch.

Create Engagement and Interest

Once you learn your niche and you figure out where your people are hanging out online, become a part of that community. Be active. Create conversation. Care about other people’s interests more than your own. Be a giver in those communities not a taker.

Develop Relationships within Your Community of Peers

Going one step beyond creating engagement and interest, be consistent. It’s through your consistency that you’ll begin to develop relationships with your peers in the niche. This will help you begin to grow and develop influence.

Develop a Way to Communicate with Your Audience

As you people develop trust with you, offer them something in exchange for their e-mail address. Try to take the conversation off of the social media platform where you met and take it to their e-mail. You’ll need to offer them something in exchange for their e-mail address

What’s Next?

If you want to keep learning about how to grow your platform, create content or build your audience, visit one of my other articles or resources:

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