Amidst all the advice authors receive on how to market and sell their book(s), it's easy to forget about who you wrote it for in the first place—your readers. To help you build your readership and sustain those all-important relationships, we've added Belinda Griffin of SmartAuthorsLab to our Team. Join us in welcoming her as she introduces herself...
When I speak to authors and they tell me that being a full time writer is their dream, that they hope to quit their job someday and have their writing support them financially, I can fully relate to that desire.
And I can relate to the pain of a dream not being realised.
As a teenager, my dream was to become a professional contemporary dancer. But I didn’t make it.
I have experienced the euphoria of being an artist, of being in my flow. And I have felt the disappointment of it coming to nothing, of being rejected, of not being good enough. I know the frustration when all the hard work isn’t enough, when someone tells you ‘no’.
It can be all too easy to make excuses to not follow our dreams. Yes, sometimes the decision is out of our hands. But sometimes we simply need to find our courage and the right people to learn from.
That’s where I can help. I support authors and show how it’s possible to achieve everything you desire with your writing, because when it’s the right dream, it really can come true.
Dancer Turns Editor
So, as a former dancer, how do I know how to help authors?
Writing was my first love, the thing I was good at at school, and when I left dance due to injury, writing is what I turned to. I trained as a magazine journalist and became a magazine editor. It was a much more secure job than dancing and allowed me to settle down. Marriage and a little girl followed and the three of us live in the beautiful English countryside with our very yappy Border Terrier and two squeaky guinea pigs. I worked in editorial for 15 years, until, just like most writers, I found myself in a marketing role entirely by accident.
A digital marketing position at the magazine I worked for saved me from redundancy during the global economic crash, even though I knew zip about it. Because no one else at the magazine knew anything about it either, I could figure things out in my own way on the job. And it turned out that I love marketing!
Now, armed with a Certificate in Professional Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and seven years of digital marketing experience, I’m on a mission to share everything I’ve learned about readership building with authors.
SmartAuthorsLab Is Born
With that in mind, I left my magazine career, having been with the same title for over 10 years, and founded SmartAuthorsLab.
My experience learning to promote a magazine in an overcrowded (and struggling) market worked because I focused on growing readership into loyal audience. This is not so different from what indie authors face. After pouring their heart and soul into writing their book, they discover that isn’t the hardest part. The hardest part is identifying the people who will love it, letting them know it exists, and enticing them to buy.
At SmartAuthorsLab I work one-to-one with authors who understand that what works for one person won't necessarily work for someone else, and the same strategy is unlikely to work as time passes. Inside SmartAuthorsLab we embrace experimentation to see what works for you. You can find out more by grabbing my free guide How To Get Your Book Noticed With Fantastic Results.
Focus on Your Readership
Without a doubt, the smartest authors focus on readership building. Knowing who your readers are, learning how to reach them, and doing everything you can to serve them well is what is going to allow you to succeed.
So this is what my articles for BookWorks will focus on—growing your tribe of loyal readers, who will support you throughout your writing career. We’ll explore how to find out who they are, where to find them, how to reach them with your marketing, and how to keep them once you've welcomed them into your world.
I’m excited to be on this journey with you. If you want to know anything else about me, you can find me hanging out on Twitter.
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