All these posts have been to help you set up Tim Grahl’s Connection System. So how do we connect with readers? Through outreach.
Outreach is how you drive traffic to your newly optimized site and get new subscribers to your list and new readers to your books.
The best way to grow your audience and find your tribe is to ask other people for an introduction to theirs. Take advantage of the other authors in your genre as well as podcasts and book blogs. Be sure to share your interviews and guest post with your audience so the influencer you’re connecting with also sees a bump in their growth. Sharing is caring after all.
Outreach is really important for your platform.
It’s how you’re going to sell books and grow your email list. But it’s also the hardest part. Before you start, you need to think back to Tim’s definition of Marketing: Making long-lasting connections with people and being ridiculously helpful. Podcasts need guests to keep running, you’re helping by asking to be a guest. Make sure you tell the host why you’re a good fit for their audience. The same with blogs. Bloggers need to come up with content often to keep their site moving.
Here’s what you need to do:
If you don’t have a book out yet
you still need to begin your outreach. In a perfect world, authors would start building relationships with influencers (podcasts, bloggers, bookstagramers, and other authors) long before they have something to sell. The easiest way to be relentlessly helpful is to not need anything in return.
As a mother of three, listening to this Being Boss podcast episode on how to manage your business with children was… frustrating. It’s not their fault. The transition from no kids to one is a huge change and can be challenging. That wasn't the case for me. My oldest napped at the same time every single day and I could work during that time because I had no other kids.
No one likes criticism and sharing something you've poured blood sweat and tears into for weeks, months, or even years, is never easy. But there's a Brightside to the thing that's got you down. And I'm here to show it to you.
If you’ve been in the indie game--or publishing in general--you’ve heard about email lists. We have several articles about them on this site because it’s the most effective way to build an author career.
But not all email subscribers are created equal. Just like each card has a different value when you play a game, each subscriber is different. You may have noticed this already. If you have an email list of 7k that are all Freeloaders, you won't sell many books and might be frustrated with publishing and book marketing in general. That's why I wrote this article. I’m going to go through the different levels of subscribers and how to get the ones you want and how to avoid the ones you don’t.
We've all been there. Those days when you just can't find the time or the will to write. One day isn't so bad. When a day turns into a week or a month, it's hard to break the cycle.
Focusing on my email list, I tripled my income from fiction in 2022 from the year before.
Writing a query letter is a great skill to master regardless of how you plan to publish and here's why. They get you used to reducing your story to just a few sentences. Remove any spoilers and you've got yourself a back cover/product description.
Getting book reviews can be one of the harder parts of book marketing. You have to actually ask people to read your book and then judge it. Publicly. That can be scary, and resistance can set in pretty hard.
So, before you get to work on this particular task check your mindset. Remember, not everyone will like your book. But all reviews (aside from those from trolls) are valuable. The more people you find who don't like your book the more targeted your efforts can become, and readers will self-filter when they see a review mentioning something they would or wouldn't like. Remember, if you don't have any critical reviews, you're not marketing your book hard enough.