Tag Archives: Instagram

How to Identify your Book’s Target Audience in 3 Easy Steps

“I’ve written a book with a capable heroine main character that my little sister would like… with a villain my crazy uncle would relate to… with a sci-fi setting my science teacher would get lost in… with a love interest my bff would ship… so who is my book actually for? Everyone? Or just one of these people??”

Oh yeah. We’ve all been here. Our books- like ogres- have layers. And that means they’re beautiful, complex works of art with aspects that many different people would like.

Although all those people may like your book, you can’t cast such a wide net. You need to fish with one niche lure and target that exact “perfect buyer.” So how do you do it? How do you figure out who your perfect buyer is/identify your book’s target audience?

 

Easy, friend. You simply follow these three steps:

 

  • Compare your book to similar books
  • Create your perfect buyer avatar
  • Be where your people are (and sell, baby!)

 

 

What does all this sparkly stuff mean? Let’s find out.

 

 

1. Compare Your Book to Similar Books

Now when I say “compare your book to similar books” I don’t mean the terrible thing we all do where we read an amazing book written by a best-selling author with years of experience, compare it to our own work of fiction, then immediately use our books for kindling.

 

Nah, bruh. That’s straight up unhealthy. What I mean is, dissect your book and make connections from your story to other popular novels out there. See how your work is similar to another popular work or series out there.

 

So for example, let’s say that your main character is a she-elf who lives in a magical forest. Let’s say her best bud is a morphing dragon and the two travel the world in search of lost treasure. What other books would this story most relate to?

Perhaps you thought of:

 

The Hobbit

 

The Lord of the Rings

 

Or even Eragon

 

That means the readers who loved those books would also enjoy your novel!

 

Now what if your novel has more complex elements than this? What if your book is a morph of two genres? Like a sci-fi/fantasy or a contemporary/fantasy mix? Again, always consider similarities between your book and another popular series out there. Even if your story relates to books in various genres, you are still narrowing in on a smaller audience than you might think.

 

So take a moment to write down two to three books that are similar to yoursno matter how small the similarity! What’s the point? The readership for these books are your readership too!

 

So what do you do with this information? Find forums, Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags and otherwise celebrating these books and join them! Discover why these books are so celebrated amongst your potential audience. Likewise, read one or two of these books yourself so you know what your reader expects from your story too.

 

So now that we’ve cast a smaller net and figured out a readership that is similar to your own, it’s time to think even smaller. Yep, I’m talking about one perfect reader.

 

 

2. Create your Ideal Reader Avatar

Your ideal reader is out there. But before you hunt for them, you must create them. What in the heck do I mean by that?

 

Consider right now who your ideal buyer would be: What do they do for fun? What are their favorite books? What social networks do they use? How old are they? What do they drink at Starbucks? What brands do they wear?

 

(Does any of this info really matter Rae??)

 

Believe it or not it does, precocious petunia. See, by figuring out these seemingly insignificant details about your perfect reader, you’re also figuring out who your real-life ideal buyer is too– someone who would looooove your book as much as they love playing RPGs or watching Black Panther on loop. You write for this *ONE* particular person, and you are going to sell to this sort of person as well.

 

More importantly, once you have that ideal reader avatar figured out, you can start honing in on where to find them and how to market YOUR BOOK to them in a way that will interest them. So how do you mold your ideal reader from the raw clay of imagination?? You take this free download and fill it in accordingly, friend!:

There are no right or wrong answers here. This worksheet asks the questions that matter to you as a teen-bean writer. Answer the questions based on what YOU want most in a perfect potential reader– not what you think matters most, or what you think your potential reader might be like. The more details you add, the more you’ll start to figure out who your real-life ideal reader is, where they can be found, and how you can sell your book to them!

 

Yeah, this avatar may be imaginary and yeah you may never find an exact living replica of this avatar, but you will start to figure out who your target audience is, what they generally look like, do for fun, and most importantly- what they READ!

 

 

3. Hang Where They Hang and Sell your Book, Baby!

Where are your readers gathering? What social networks are they on? If your audience is more teen based, then you’ll want to forgo networks like Facebook or Pinterest. Pay more attention to networks like Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram instead. There are marvelous ways to connect with potential readers on these sites and pitch your book in creative ways.

 

But don’t limit yourself to just an online presence. Check out local cafes, bookstores and any other relevant shops your ideal reader might be at and ask to hang posters promoting your book. Or take it a step further and ask to display some of your books (signed) in their storefront. I know many small bookstores will support local authors so be sure to emphasize that you are a local, self-published author.

 

Take it a step further by joining book fairs, cons that your ideal reader would be at and get a booth for yourself. And don’t limit yourself to just book fairs. This is where figuring out your ideal reader’s other interests come in handy. If your ideal reader also loves Pokemon, Mega Man and Spiderman, then try to get a booth at comic con and sell your books there too. Or simply bring business cards with you to these cons, a few free books to hand out and get to know potential readers face to face in this super awesome environment! Heck, even farmer’s markets are a fantastic (and fairly cheap) way to set up a booth and get the word out there to your ideal potential reader, if that’s where they’d be found!

By Rae Elliott
Source: barelyharebooks.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

 

Here’s How to Protect Yourself Against Social Media Trolls Now

I’m not sure how you’re feeling about social media right now, but it’s hard out here for many of us. I’ve never seen a nation so divided or divisive, and I observe this daily on Twitter and Facebook (more than other channels), particularly as a sexual abuse survivor with a large author and advocacy platform.

I fully realize, and accept, that by being vocal about my stories, experiences, and beliefs on public channels, and sharing content on controversial topics (gasp: violence against women, sexual assault, rape, and the F-word: feminism) puts a huge target on me and I take the good with the bad (more on that in a moment). Oftentimes, it’s men in particular who have Something To Say about what I’m supposed to say or should do or present myself a certain way. It’s pretty comical.

Until it becomes threatening and scary AF.

I follow who I want to follow, I unfollow, mute or block who I don’t want to interact with. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. I’m often attacked by others who don’t approve of the way I’m sharing my stories, or even by others who want me to do things for them and when I decline, I’m somehow the bad guy. I also see so many survivors are consistently harassed, stalked, doxxed, and even threatened — it’s become seriously disgusting.

We must protect ourselves.

Social Media Trolls

Twitter and Facebook agree (finally), and have given us ways to cut down on interaction with these trolls. Because my business (as BadRedhead Media) is doing social media, I realized I’m maybe a bit more aware than others on how to maximize these options so I want to share some of these tips with you today.

Why? I still believe in the many wonderful benefits of social media: forming community, finding support, learning, connecting, building bridges, camaraderie, a laugh when we need it, the brilliant commentary, and the many forces for good.

Social media is what you make it, so mold it to be the experience you need it to be, and disregard the rest.

Here’s how.

Twitter Trolls

Change Your Settings on Twitter 

Most people don’t know how to or don’t bother doing this, yet Twitter has made it soooooo easy and you have many options as well.

First, look at your toolbar, click on the Notifications tab and you’ll see a Settings tab. Looks like this:

Screen-Shot-2018-06-11-at-1.25.48-PM-1024x407

Click on the Settings hyperlink, and you go to this screen. You can see how I have set my Notifications right now on my @RachelintheOC Twitter account:

Here's How to Protect Yourself Against Social Media Trolls Now by @RachelintheOC

Another option here is the Advanced QUALITY FILTER, which allows you to mute specific words or phrases from showing up in your notifications. For example, if you’ve just had it with Trump, you can add that as a word that will always be muted, regardless of the tweet, and you will not see it (whether it’s from followers, news articles, quotes, trolls, whatever).

Screen-Shot-2018-06-11-at-1.28.52-PM-1024x235

 

Reminder: all of these settings are changeable, so if you’re having a bad day, do what you need to do and then change it back the next day. If you want to make it a permanent thing, that’s also your choice. These are options for people you DON’T follow.

Note: You do not have to give Twitter your phone number. You don’t have to give any social media channel your phone number unless you want to sign up for two-step log-in verification (something I highly recommend — and even then you can use email instead of text if you prefer). This is to prevent hacking of your account. Again, totally your choice.

Why is this an option then? Bots, spammers, and trolls who create numerous accounts to troll from don’t have numerous phone numbers — Twitter knows this. It’s simple to create a new email and Twitter account in a few minutes — it’s altogether different to get a new phone number to go with each of these accounts. So this option isn’t about you giving your phone number — it’s about protecting you from interacting with bots, spammers, and trolls you don’t follow. 

Some people argue that removing words or notifications is akin to putting ourselves in a bubble or echo box, where we only interact with people who agree with us; others say we are censoring others. I say: bullshit. You create and curate your own Twitter experience, and if you feel bothered or upset by what people are sending you, then it’s within your power to cut them off.

You are not obliged to interact with haters or trolls. You are not censoring them, as they will argue (which always tickles me). They are still free to spread their hate and vitriol — you simply do not need to be their final destination.

And on that note, Twitter has made a change to their algorithm: it will use behavioral signals – how users react to a tweet – to assess if an account is adding to or detracting from conversations. If it feels it’s exhibiting troll-like or bot behavior, the tweet will be removed or shoved down to the ‘show more replies’ graveyard. I think this is a great and needed change — what do you think?

Facebook Trolls

Oh, Facebook. What a disaster you have become. If you’re still there (I am. I love my Street Team — click to join! — and survivor group), you have your reasons. Pages are different and important if you’re an author or small business for the sole reason that you cannot advertise your books or services on your personal wall (if you are, stop it. You’re violating the TOS – terms of service) and they have every right to shut you down.

I find it’s almost impossible to post practically anything without someone making a political comment on it — in fact, I posted an article the other day about the legal difference between the terms sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual abuse, and some guy posted on my wall about why he changed political parties and “deep state” political conspiracies. I was like, dude, seriously? Sigh. (For what it’s worth, I kindly asked him to delete his comment. When he refused, I kindly deleted it for him and blocked him as well.)

I do think it’s possible for us all to disagree about politics and still like and respect each other, and have conversations about it if that’s what the designated topic is. Here, it was not. Anyway, I digress.

Managing Your Newsfeed

Did you know you can do that now? Before, you had to put people on lists and it took hours and hours. Days, even. And then you had to keep it all updated as you friended or unfriended folks. So most people didn’t bother. Now you don’t need to. Here’s how:

Click on your toolbar (top right by your face), where the little upside-down arrow is:

news-feed-pref-

Once you click on that, a drop-down list appears. Click on News Preferences:

Screen-Shot-2018-06-11-at-1.52.07-PM-1024x772

 

Now, you just click on this handy box with the weird crab (I don’t get it but whatever). My kids don’t get it either. Can someone explain the crab to me? It’s just weird.

Click on each tab and do your thing. What’s important here is the light blue tab: you can UNFOLLOW people and they don’t know. You don’t see their vitriolic, ranting, or weird, crab-filled posts anymore and they have no idea.

Personally, I have zero issue with blocking folks and find a kind of sinister glee in it, yet I know some of you feel bad about that because you have hearts and stuff. Again, do what makes you feel good.

A Bit of Advice

If I choose to engage with someone who comes at me — because what’s the point of having this platform if I don’t use it, right? — I have The One-Reply Rule: I reply once (if at all). If that person comes back at me with ad-hominem attacks, circular logic, straw-man arguments, or are just plain ridiculous, etc., they’re gone. If, however, we can engage in some kind of discussion that is educational, beneficial, and all that, cool.

Listen, I get that people have feelings and need to feel their feels. Most people in this world just want to be heard.

None of us needs to be the target of someone else’s hate, though. Do not feel obliged to engage with anyone on social media, ever.

Final Thoughts

When all else fails and it becomes too much, turn off social media. Walk away. Turn off all your notifications. Your mental health is far more important than social media.

If it helps, here’s what I do with regard to social media (and remember, this is my business, too):

  • No phone notifications, ever.
  • No desktop notifications, ever.
  • I keep Twitter and FB open when I’m working on social media scheduling or interacting with people, otherwise, they’re closed
  • I always have Hootsuite open because I’m always scheduling or looking for great content to schedule
  • I definitely recommend using a SMM (social media management) tool as well as the coordinating browser extension (in this case, the Hootlet)
  • I never have social media open when I’m writing (blog posts or my books)
  • If I’m working on client deliverables, social media is off.

Some people enjoy the arguments, some people take things personally, and the overall experience can go sideways quickly. Practice compassion with others and importantly, with yourself. If silence is the best answer for your self-care, do that for you.

I hope this post helps you figure out ways to find your peace.

By
Source: rachelintheoc.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

Ready for More Social Media Clean-Up? Here’s How To Go About It (Part 2)

Did you do Part 1 of the social media clean-up yet? If not (and come ON already, why not? It’s not like you have writing or work to do. I mean), get on with it already. If so, yay you! I covered key updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Here’s your next assignment, should you choose to accept it (sorry, had to):

  • updating Instagram,
  • LinkedIn,
  • your blog/website and
  • Amazon author bio (if you have a book out).

Let’s do this thingy.

Social Media: Instagram

Many writers and bloggers either aren’t Instagram at all, are on it and post photos of their cats (*raises hand*), aren’t sure what to post so don’t post anything, or are caught up in nothing but selfie culture (ugh).

We can do better, writer friends! Instagram is no different than any other social media channel — be strategic. Use your keywords as a basis for your personal branding. Share what makes you, you.

Key ways to update your Instagram now:

  • Is your bio complete and updated? You have 150 characters only, so make the most of them. More than anywhere else, this is especially key here as it’s the only place on Instagram where you can have an active hyperlink (links do not work in individual posts unless you are paying to advertise). What do you want to link to? I suggest your most recent release, however, some writers prefer to link to their website. Your call.
  • TIP: You can update this hyperlink frequently (if you want to), based on your sales objective. Here’s mine as an example (follows appreciated):

Ready for More Social Media Clean-Up? Here’s How To Go About It (Part 2) by @BadRedheadMedia

  • Have a giveaway or an event? Change the link on your bio.
  • Have you transitioned to a Business Profile yet? It’s free and allows you far more options! This post walks you through every step. Why bother? Paid advertising. It also links to your Facebook Author Page — if you pay for advertising on your Facebook Page, the ad also shows up on your Instagram (and vice versa).
  • Find readers using hashtags in Search. This is NEW.
  • Use pertinent hashtags in your posts to attract readers.

Social Media: LinkedIn

  • Is your bio complete and updated? This is trickier on LinkedIn — there’s a lot to fill out. Here are some key tips from Grammarly on exactly how to do that.
  • Do you need to be there at all? I get this question a lot. Well, think about this: who’s your demographic? Do they work? Probably. Are they digital readers? Probably. Boom. That’s why you should be there. It’s also a great way to connect with others in the writing and publishing community.
  • Here’s a great read on how to make the most of your bio and connections (so you don’t have to just take my word for it). Plus, if you have a side business, you can create a ‘company profile’ attached for your personal profile (e.g., my LI profile is under Rachel Thompson, and I have a BadRedhead Media Company Profile).
  • Utilize LinkedIn Pulse (their blogging section). Why? Visibility! Either take posts you’ve already written or write original content. Either way, you are helping your SEO.

Not Social Media, But Still Super Important: Your Website About Section (aka, Bio)

Little bit different format here, so stay with me. What is the point of your Author Bio? It’s not really to list all of your accomplishments like on a resume (or Tinder for you young’uns); it’s to help the reader decide whether you’re interesting enough (sad, but true) for them to pay attention to and possibly buy books from. Here are a few expert tips on writing the best bio possible from Hubspot:

  1. Always write in third person (I know it sounds weird, but think about this: people will share your bio when you do things like blog tours, guest articles, and events — so having your bio in first person will be even weirder in those situations.) TIP: Create a media kit people can download for these occasions OR give permission for people to copy/paste your information.
  2. Remember: It’s not really about you. It’s about your reader. What will they gain from reading your blog posts, articles, and books?
  3. Establish credibility — truthfully. Everything is searchable, so be absolutely truthful with everything you share in regard to your credentials (not that you shouldn’t have been before, but you know). If you share that you’ve written for Forbes, link to the article. If you cannot provide that link, do not list it in your bio.
  4. Explain what you do. Most writers will say: I’m an author. Most bloggers will say: I’m a blogger. Yea, we got that. Do this instead: What will reading your books DO for people? What will they feel? What will they learn? What problem will it solve? Food for thought.
  5. Add a CTA (Call to Action). Your bio can be an appropriate place to add a simple Q&A pitch, e.g., “Want to learn more about rocking your book marketing? Buy BadRedhead Media’s 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge here (add link).”

Finally, and most importantly, be sure your book covers, banners, visuals, and links are all updated, and do this on a regular basis. TIP: go back through your old blog posts and update your book links, book covers, etc. I’m doing that now myself since I’ve republished all my books and the old links are dead.

Amazon Author Bio

Many authors upload their books to Amazon and think, okay, cool, done. Not so fast. You need to go to Amazon Author Central and create your Author Bio. Here’s a link to Author Central and info how to do the basic set-up.

Whenever you publish (or re-publish) a book, you must claim it through author central for it to show up under your author name on Amazon (this also counts toward books you’ve contributed to, e.g., anthologies). This helps expand your backlist, makes your bio page more robust, and it’s totally legit. You did the work, so take the credit.

Other items you can (and should) add:

  • Your blog RSS feed
  • Events (e.g., speaking engagements or signings)
  • Up to eight photos — feature new books, upcoming promos or giveaways, even awards you’ve won. Remember, though: whichever photo you place in the first spot will be the one featured on your page (so if it’s an award and not your face, that’s what readers will see). **Update these photos frequently if you are using them for promos/giveaways which will be short-lived.
  • Videos – book trailers, typically, though you can share a YouTube video or FB Live video as well (or a speaking event if it fits your theme).

An important final note: all this work is for your Amazon country of origin only, meaning you need to repeat this process for international pages. You can’t do every country, but you can create additional pages in the UK, France, Germany, and Japan. Here are the links to all those Author Central sites:

I don’t personally speak French, German, and Japanese (I don’t know about you), so I hire someone who can help me. You can also use Google Translate and hope for the best.

And that’s it for now. Do the work, keep writing, and you’ll be set for 2018!

Source: badredheadmedia.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing