Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Finding readers where you'd least expect

If you take a look at my Feedly list of blogs, most of them are exactly what you'd expect a writer/agent to have. Lots of writers, reviewers, and industry professionals. But then you'd find a whole slew of other blogs that have nothing to do with any of those topics. Blogs that focus on things like parenting, money saving tips, and home schooling. Not exactly publishing related.

But it may surprise you to know that these are exactly the kinds of blogs you should be on the look out for when it comes time to promoting your work. That's because readers aren't just readers. They are snow skiers, baseball fanatics, quilters, home brewers, and everything in between. So why not target these blogs and publications for a little book promotion.

They key of marketing to these audiences is to remember they aren't looking for marketing. Say what? It's simple, a magazine for knitters isn't going to run a book review or press release style article about your book, even if your main character is an avid knitter. However, let's say you taught yourself how to knit watching internet videos in order to build a life-like character. Now that's a story.

"Woman goes from Nitwit Knitter to Pro-Purler thanks to the Internet". You can talk all about the hours spent browsing the web for videos that made sense and how your character became more lifelike the better you got. Now, you have something a magazine can run with and you've drawn their readers into your story, without any of the traditional marketing copy usually found in blog tours and review sites.

Every story has connections like this, but it might take a bit more digging than a main character who likes to knit. Here's a list to get the brainstorming started:

1. What are your characters hobbies?
2. Do any of your characters have disabilities or diseases?
3. What kind of technology is present in your novel?
4. Are there any landmarks in your book?
5. Do any of your characters own unusual items such as antiques or collectables?
6. What kind of cars do your characters drive?
7. What kind of clothes do your characters wear?
8. Do any of your characters have a dialect?
9. What do your characters do for a living? or what do they want to do for a living?
10. Is there any historical significance in your book?
11. Do you use any mythology or religious themes in your novel?
12. Are there any animals in your book?
13. Does food play a factor in your manuscript?
14. What was the inspiration behind your plot, premise or characters?
15. Is there any symbolism in your book?

Hopefully, that list has your gears turning. I suggest you sit down and make a long list of all the different spider web ties that could be connected to your book. Identify the ones that are most likely to lead to people interested in your book and find a few websites or publications you can contact.

There are plenty of websites and publications dedicated to literature lovers, but most readers will hear about you from somewhere else. By looking where you least expect, you never know where your next fan will come from. 


  1. Sarah if you were trying to promote a book about the son of a fallen soldier, an Iraq war refugee, kissing and a military cover up where would you start?

  2. Since your book is YA you could target publications who write for military kids. You might also see what's out there for immigrants. I'm not sure how much research you did in regards to the military cover-up, but you might have something for one of the countless conspiracy theory sites/publications out there.

    1. Thanks! My military cover up is like an extreme case of what happened to Pat Tillman or something along those lines. Like that but worse.

  3. Very good ideas, Sarah. Thanks for the tips! :-)

  4. Oh, good. More places to look for fans. Thanks for the ideas.

  5. All good ideas, and I do love that cute potty pix.


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