Writing & Publishing: Building Audience With Avid Readers
(This write-up is different from others I’ve done. Mainly because researching these are all tied together. There are many good articles describing how to utilize these social media to build audience. And no real need to paraphrase them here. So I’ve just put a list of links I’ve found after these short notes so you can read, test, and conclude as you see fit.)
The mindset I’m coming from in finally investigating social media for authors is to build audience by finding uber-readers. (The people who are constantly reading and needing to find new books and new authors.)
Avid readers are the ones you want on your “also-boughts” on Amazon. Because they are generally connected to each other and will push your book up Amazon’s charts. Since Amazon is generally 50% of your sales, it makes sense to go where they are looking. (This idea came from Chris Fox’ “Six-Figure Author”)
In searching these out, I found the common term used was “avid reader.” (Fox uses “serial reader.”)
The point of each of these sites as social media is to get more eyeballs on your works. These four are the places where avid readers seek out new fiction and lists of books to read.
(See below update: this is now two sites – Wattpad and Medium.)
General approach to any/all social media is: Allot and time yourself. Use a 30-minute egg timer. Do 30 minutes on each site once a day. Period. This includes your research into using it. Answer your Instafreebie emails maybe twice a day, as these are fast. And you’re done. No Facebook, no Twitter. Have IFTTT syndicate your blog posts to them. As Tim Grahl points out: your own use of social media doesn’t sell you many books. Other people sharing your books on social media might.
Authors should spend all possible/needed time writing.
And a similar amount of time reading.
Promotion is all done in the other third of the day/week.
The general success on Wattpad is: first publish your book (wide) and then serialize it on Wattpad, with (books2read.com) links to where they can buy the book at the beginning and end of each book in the author’s notes.
The simple approach to Wattpad is here: http://creators.wattpad.com/resources/build-your-audience/
Follow those advices. Period.
See also “The Ultimate Guide to Wattpad for Authors” as linked (PDF.)
Some key points from this:
Complete your full profile, as in all social media.
You shouldn’t post to Wattpad until you have at least a complete first draft (as your followers want weekly installments in a serialized format.)
Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings are the most popular times for reader activity. So post ahead of this.
Put author’s notes before and after chapters. But KISS (Keep It Short and Simple.)
Read as well as write. This is probably better on their app (although it has required ads.)
You can enter your work into competitions using the ‘Community’ dropdown menu. (Like the annual Watty’s.)
UPDATE: This Lindsay Buroker PDF on Wattpad now available, scraped from her 2012 blog posts.
UPDATE2: Wattpad has developed a portal with data just for authors. Here’s the key link: https://www.wattpad.com/writers/resources/build-your-audience/
Goodreads, LibraryThing, & Medium Key Points
On Goodreads, you should get into their author program:
Follow the links on the side menu to work all this out.
LibraryThing has benefits for publishers (and also author pages:)
Medium can and should be used by Fiction Writers:
Wattpad for Avid Readers
More on Avid Readers, Goodreads, LibraryThing
LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program/Giveaways
Using Medium For Fiction
Other links from my 5-year-old and recent research:
And Luck to all of us…
UPDATE: July 20, 2019
Only two of the four horsemen are left: Wattpad and Medium. Because, these are ones you can control and do something about. You publish your books here (after they were accepted by Amazon) and then directly link to your site where they can subscribe to your mailing list or buy your book via Amazon et al.
Goodreads and LibraryThing will accept your paperback book to mail out as freebies and for reviews. But you can’t do any boosting of your own book. So you might as well concentrate on writing more and publishing more.
On Wattpad and Medium, you get attention (eyeballs) by regularly posting more material. Very simple. Set up a publishing schedule and stick to it. I know it’s a slog – and something I’ve got started and then dropped multiple times. But consistency is the key.
If you have a WordPress-based blog, you can post there first. Then a plug-in will enable you to post to Medium, which you then tweak. Then copy/paste into Wattpad once you have the chapter breaks right. (Always end on a cliffhanger. Always.)
Your next point of getting in front of readers is to get your books recommended on Bookbub. If your readers leave recommendations anywhere, they should be on Bookbub and Goodreads. If Amazon has any scraped Facebook data on you, they’ll nix anyone who has “friended” you or otherwise associated with you.
Getting in front of avid reader groups online isn’t about selling books. It’s about building audience that you can then get to subscribe to your email list. Then you can cultivate that relationship and get them to buy your books.
Nothing is easy about this. Especially in fiction writing. It’s all long-haul work.
The approach for a beginning author is to publish on Amazon and syndicate through Wattpad and Medium. And always invite people to join your email list. Simple. And a lot of long-haul publishing work. Prepare for it, execute your work.
An ideal application would be to write in series, publish the compiled work to Amazon, then syndicate your finished work to Medium and Wattpad. Just play catch-up with these last two on a weekly basis – best per most reports is to publish on Friday to Wattpad, Thursday to Medium and your own site.
If you liked this article, or got something out of it…
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Also published on Medium.