Images of being hunched over the computer for hours peddling your book on social media or arranging book signings only to have your mother be the one person who shows up haunt your thoughts. Many authors think these are the only means to market a book.
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The key to selling books is to connect with readers and build a community. One effective way to grow your audience for both fiction and nonfiction authors is through magazine articles. Writers may be able to reach a couple thousand people with a Facebook post , but one article has the potential to gain so many more readers. From a niche publication like Gluten-Free Living , which has a circulation of ,, to a consumer magazine like Shape that has a circulation of more than 2.
Plus, you get to spend time writing and get paid for it if you choose the right markets. Think about platform as an imaginary stage you stand on, and the audience is made up of people you are connected to. They can be friends, family, colleagues, or others you have met via social media or events.
A book of articles by different authors???
Agents, editors, and publishers appreciate it when fiction authors have an established platform or are working to build one. But for nonfiction authors, who are positioning themselves as an expert in a certain area, a platform is essential. The size of your stage and the size of your audience can have an impact on potential readership for your book. You can have 10, Twitter followers, but if you never interact with them and thus give them a reason to care about your book , that number is irrelevant.
An author with only 1, followers who consistently interacts with her audience has a much stronger reach and better rapport with her following and therefore a much stronger platform.
Magazine articles allow you a genuine way to connect with many potential readers. Your words provide information, encouragement, or entertainment. The article also gives you something to highlight on your website and on social media. It provides credibility and shows that you have a strong understanding of your subject matter.
For nonfiction writers, selecting topics for magazine articles is pretty straightforward. Your book is already filled with great facts and information you can break down into smaller tidbits to write about. For instance, some of the material for this article I garnered from my book, Guide to Magazine Article Writing.
Finding the right topic is less straightforward for fiction writers, however. There are many key elements, topics, and themes in your book that can be the basis of great articles. K Wiles. Ten years, glasses, a new hairstyle, and a gallon of dye work better than plastic surgery.
Kristin would rather smack Devon than work with him, but with money tight and no other job options on the horizon, she sets out to finish the job and keep her identity and her emerging desires private — at least for now. You want to start by thinking about the overall ideas that will then be broken down into smaller topics. In the end, the resulting articles may not tie directly to your book, but the goal is to reach the ideal reader of your book.
Here are few broad concepts from my book:. Look at your own novel and identify key themes that you wrote about or fields that you had to research in order to make your fiction come alive on the page. What subjects are you best suited to write about? Once you identify your themes and topics, think about the ideal reader for your book. This is a key element in building a strong platform. You must know who you are writing for so you can then effectively find and target those readers.
Granted, readers in other demographics may enjoy your book, but at this stage, you must focus on your ideal reader. For example, J. Rowling did not write the Harry Potter series with adult readers in mind; she wrote those stories for middle-grade readers. The fact that the books became a huge success with all ages, including adults, was a bonus, but they were not her target audience. For Showtime Rendezvous, the ideal readers are: Women in their 30s to 40s looking for a romantic comedy with a little extra steam to it.
One way to do this is to create an idea map for each subject. Get a blank piece of paper and write one topic in the middle of the paper. Draw a circle around it. Between The Lines: John Bishop.
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