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Author Blog Challenge – Day 17 Recap

Knowing your market is truly the key to selling books. Just as it’s difficult to market a business to “everybody who…” it also is difficult to sell books to a large, unidentified group of readers. Once you know who your market is, you have a clue how to find them, how to connect with them, and how to build the relationships with them that will eventually allow you to sell books to them. This was the topic of the Day 17 prompt.

Read on from excerpts from Author Blog Challenge participants who explain their markets, as well as those about a few other interesting subjects, too!

Please click on the author’s name to read the full post.

ROBERT CHAZZ CHUTE. I can’t create a good cover to save my life, but I can recognize a good one. There are certain things that are pretty easy up front: cookbooks need phat, fat, sexy food (and a thin celebrity chef on the cover); green books don’t sell unless they’re about golf or lawn care; ugly isn’t different in a good way, it’s merely ugly and won’t sell. I worked as a sales rep for several publishing companies and got so I can recognize a bad dog. That said, I have no idea how Kit does his magic to create covers (magic herbs and tattooed Scottish elves are involved), but my covers look like they could have been produced in a traditional publishing house because Kit is the go-to guy.

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MERLENE FAWDRY. This book was written to address the imbalance between the academic and professional sanitised versions of welfare and adoption practice of mid to late 20th century Australia, and the reality of that practice from the point of view of personal engagement.  I wanted to ensure an accurate record of events remained as a reference for future social planners, reformers and legislators should they decide to re-invent past welfare and adoption practices. The intended market for The Little Mongrel – free to a good home was politicians, university libraries, family welfare and adoption agencies, with a targeted readership to include those who had spent time in orphanages and institutions in Australia during this period, their children and grand children.

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SARAH BENSON. [I]nstead of describing the market for my book, I’m going to describe the market for this blog.  My aim is to reach women, aged 25-40 who still have children living at home and are beginning their own journey to selling their crafts online as a means to supplement their income.  Why?  Because that is where I am at (although I’m younger than 25, I truly doubt that there are any other women, younger than 25 who already have three children, if any).  Mostly I am sharing my own experiences and what I have learned through that, and those that have gone (or are currently going) through similar experiences are going to be able to relate the most.

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LEANNE HUNT. A book needs a defined market, even if the author hopes it will have wide appeal. You start with your typical reader and work outwards. This is what I have learnt over the months of researching book marketing, especially online marketing, which is what I intend to concentrate on, given my confined circumstances. A book needs to meet the demands of a specific kind of reader, and if it falls into the hands of other readers and they like it too, well and good.

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GEOFF SNYDER. If you are responsible for managing a group of employees, then you should understand how important the concept of teamwork is in the workplace. Not only will it make your job easier, but it will also improve your productivity, your effectiveness as a manager, and your reputation amongst those above you. There are some very simple things you can do to promote positive, cooperative contributions from your employees.

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HEATHER TOPHAM WOOD. This is an interesting question because, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I consider my book part of the emerging “new adult” genre. This term caught on back in 2009 when St. Martin’s Press announced a contest looking for submissions from authors who have protagonists slightly older than teens. These books are intended to appeal to adults who read young adult novels and older teens. The audience for the new adult genre is mostly females who are in that in-between stage of their lives. They may live in a college dorm or still live at home with their parents. New adults are typically at an uncertain phase of their lives. They may be looking for their first job, leaving home for the first time or beginning their first serious romantic relationship.

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ELISE FEE. [N]ow it’s time for the good news! Daniel Pink wrote in A Whole New Mind that the Information Age is now transitioning to the Conceptual Age — where “people are becoming uneasy in their careers, dissatisfied with their lives, eager to stay ahead of the next wave, wanting to equip their children for the future. It is a time of material abundance, globalization and powerful technologies that have eliminated certain kinds of work. It is an age animated by a different form of thinking and a new approach to life — one that prizes aptitudes that are ‘high concept’ and ‘high touch.’

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CRYSTAL LEE. I plan to market my Canopy series that is slated to publish next week to the adult women (and men, too) that are huge Twilight and Hunger Games fans but wanted a more adult story. I’m one of them so I know how they feel. People originally laughed and mocked the Twi-moms but they are a force to be reckoned with. The fanfiction community for Twilight stories is massive and continues to grow.

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SONJA HALLER. …I say yes to far too many things. Yes, I’ll help you with your blogs! Yes, I’ll join you in walking a half-marathon! Most of my yes’s don’t even have to do with other people. It’s yes, I want to take a theology class! Yes, I will join a 28-day blog challenge! I suffer from ideaforia. I have dozens of ideas for creative endeavors that a part of me thinks would be fun, interesting or worthwhile.

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T.L. BODINE. I think that there’s a natural inclination among writers to want our stories to appeal to everyone. We spend so much time with our books that we genuinely believe (or want to believe) that everyone on the planet will enjoy them. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t actually work that way. Even the most famous, highest-earning authors in the world aren’t universally well-liked. I know plenty of people – big readers, too, true bibliophiles who are quite well-read – who have never touched a book by Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. I also know several people who have a seething hatred of writers I really enjoy.

Thanks to all who posted!

Laura & Marcie

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The Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great info about low- to no-cost methods of marketing for self-publishing authors.

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