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Book Marketing Tools

Ep 003: “How To Find Your Readers”

Welcome to the third episode of The Author Hangout, a “Hangout on Air” designed to help authors, especially self-published and indie authors, with marketing their books and improving their author platform. Authors struggle with various aspects of marketing and we are here to help!

How To Find Your Readers

“Great webinar today!”– Sally Sue Ember

“Thank y’all so much. This was great.”– Alison G. Bailey

“I learned so much guys… THANK YOU my brain is FULL.”– William Rock

“Thank you – your hard work and generous sharing is much appreciated!”– Melanie Perkins

One of the key things that self-publishers need to realize is that they are in charge of marketing. If you do not market your book, who is going to market it for you?

One of the best ways to market your book is to find your readers. They are online, they are waiting to learn about books like yours, you just need to find them.

We were joined by bestselling author Cristin Harber who sold 20,000 books in 1 month!

Watch the video below, listen to the podcast, read the writeup, and learn how to find more readers for your books!

The Author Hangout – Episode 3: “How To Find Your Readers”

Episode Resources:

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Free guide for authors: The Ultimate Author Checklist

About Our Guest

Cristin Harber is a self-published author who began publishing in September 2013. Since then, she averages 10,000-15,000 book sales a month and has even hit 20,000 sales in a month! WHOA!

She previously worked in politics and she used a lot of the same strategies to find her readers, as she did to get the vote out in her previous work.

She joins us and answers many different questions from Shawn and the audience and her answers were fantastic! See the write up below!

How do I find readers in __________ genre.

We had a lot of questions from the readers about how to find readers in this genre or that genre. The process is really the same no matter which genre you write for. Cristin offered one suggestion for many of these questions:

“Look at Goodreads. The interesting thing about Goodreads is that we can look at genre specific fiction. We can join groups, participate in discussions. A lot of the groups give the opportunities for authors to post their books, what they’re working on, and things like that. Just interacting with fans and building relationships.”

The key is to find where readers are hanging out online. What sci-fi blogs do they read? What romance reviews blogs do they get their book suggestions from? What Facebook groups are they in? Go there!

How do I find readers of a specific age group?

First, Cristin reiterated her endorsement for Goodreads:

“Goodreads is huge and you’re going to find different oriented groups there.”

Then, Shawn talks about how to find readers via Facebook groups:

“You can search for keyword specific groups that may be in your areas. Simply go into Facebook and type in [your genre/book topic], or simply back out of Facebook and go into Google and search… and that will net you a lot of opportunity for that type of readers.”

The conversation took a turn, and Cristin explained why she loves Facebook advertising, especially for finding new readers:

“You can also target Facebook advertising by age and various other demographics so if you were going to run an ad, you could target that by sex, age, education, location. I love Facebook ads.”

Watch the video to see some great tips and techniques for tracking the effectiveness of her Facebook ads, and some other ways she targets specific people via Facebook ads!

Building Relationships with Reviewers/Influencers in Your Genre

Cristin talks about the relationships she has with reviewers:

“I have probably 20 or so Facebook pages that I follow as a reader. I sent my ARC to them for a review request. I also met a ton of other Facebook reviewers that have blogs also… and we now have an established relationship. I did a blog tour. The relationship has been building over the last 6 months.”

Watch the entire video to see what specific technique Cristin used to keep that relationship going, and what many other authors do that actually HARMS those types of extremely beneficial relationships that help you reach new readers using other peoples’ audiences.

Any other ideas for getting book reviews?

“I spent so much time. I spent like 2 straight days of contacting book reviewers, filling out forms, and sending out e-mails. It didn’t really net me anything. So, I put 1 book into NetGalley (see resources above). It was expensive, I think almost $400. It was a big risk, but it paid off.”

Watch the video to see why this approach, even if expensive, was worth it for Cristin.

Also, read our blog post: 6 Ways To Get More Book Reviews

Cristin also mentioned how she reviews for her critique partners as well, which leads us to…

How important is it to have a critique partner in the process? How to get a critique partner?

Cristin responds…

“I am a HUGE believer in cross promotion. My critique partners do not write romantic suspense, so you might assume that our readers might not cross genres, but we all do read and write romance. We share readers, we pimp each others books on our pages. They might be the single largest source of my word of mouth readers. It’s such a great opportunity.”

She also discusses some other great ideas for cross promotion, and how to really engage your readers, so be sure to watch the video for those ideas!

In the comments of the event section, Cristin expanded on the concept of critique partners:

“I use a website called Critique Circle. I started out in the ‘newbie’ queue and eventually found a core group of constant critters who I enjoyed working w/ as much as I enjoyed their take on my story.”

It is free, and you can find a link to the site in the resources listed above.

How did your experience in politics play a role in marketing your book?

“I learned that politics have to fight for every book, like we have to fight for every book sale. You need to have a book marketing plan, like a campaign plan, that is multi-faceted. They knock on doors, they introduce themselves to people, they have commercials, they show up to county fairs.”

She shares some great ways for authors to have a multi-faceted approach to book marketing, so watch the video above!

Cristin then continues to talk about an approach she used that she learned directly from politics:

“In politics, if you want to find a new voter for a new candidate, you would say, ‘ Candidate A is very similar to Candidate B. You like Candidate B, so would you consider Candidate A?'”

She then explains the exact way she translated that into an awesome book marketing skill that really paid off.

Getting Started With Marketing Is The Key

Shawn stumped Cristin by bringing up some obscure date from her fairly recent past. She had no clue, but it was the day that Cristin first joined Twitter. He then went on to read her first Tweet: “I am trying to figure out Twitter.”

Shawn then gives some very sage advice for all who are getting started with book marketing and you’re getting confused about stuff like Twitter and such:

“If you’re doing anything with marketing your books. There comes a day when you just need to get on Twitter, you just need to get into a Facebook group, you just need to get in a LinkedIn group, you need to just figure it out, because it starts one day. Now we’re looking at 6 years later, and she is a self-publishing rock star.”

To see Cristin’s face and reaction being stumped by Shawn was classic. You have to watch the video above to see it!

She then gave a fantastic quote that all authors who are trying to market their books should pay very close attention to and follow through on:

“What one thing can I do tomorrow to sell more books?”

She followed it up with some of the steps she took to accomplish that task every day.

What are you currently doing to capture more readers?

Cristin shared a lot of great ideas that she is doing to get more readers, many of which include cross promotion.

One of the ideas was Facebook launch parties.

“I think Facebook launch parties are HUGE at the moment. Authors are more comfortable cross-promoing with each other and readers are coming to realize that they can share these events and go with their friends, and really interact and have a great time.”

This is a fantastic idea. Be sure to watch the video for more great ideas of things she is currently doing to promote her book and engage with more readers.

How do you engage with people on social media?

Cristin explained some of the ways she connects with people on Twitter, so see the video for that.

Shawn then talked about how he studied Cristin’s profile, how important it is to study leaders such as Cristin, and follow in their path.

Here are a few ways that Cristin interacts that Shawn identified that you can implement:

  • Be yourself,
  • Engage naturally,
  • Engage frequently,
  • Engage in multiple forms,
  • and Create a sense of excitement.

Follow those steps, and you will definitely be able to connect with more readers on social media.

Please Leave Us A Review

Just like authors do with their books, we need reviews for our podcast! Reviews for our podcast help other authors to learn about and learn from The Author Hangout. Can you take a moment to leave a review for our podcast? If you don’t know how but are willing to leave a review, please go here to learn how to leave a quick review for our podcast. It will only take a minute, but it will help a lot.

Thank you so much!

How To Watch/Listen

There are many ways to watch and listen to the show:

Jump to a specific spot in the video!

Click the “read more” link in order to see all of the video timestamps to jump ahead! A great way to see the entire video and get specific tips for how to find more readers.


Other Episodes

Get caught up on the other episodes of The Author Hangout that you may have missed:


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