Monday, April 21, 2014

Writing 101: Focus on Your Local Market

I think every author dreams of being an international success, crossing oceans like J.K Rowling, becoming a household name like Stephen King. But before you can make it big, you have to start small. You have to focus on your local market.

Hometown Hero

For most, fame and fortune does not come overnight. As an author, you have to win readers over one at a time. When you throw your book into an ocean made up of books, yours can become lost. So try putting it in a pond instead.

Try winning over your local market. Get  started with a few ideas:

  • Target tweeters: Look for people in your hometown or city on social media, particularly local personalities. Teachers, local news celebs, librarians -- start following them, and maybe they'll follow back.
  • Make new friends: Join local book clubs and writer workshops, and get to know the people there. If you become known as an author within the local author community, you could develop new contacts and gain more local opportunities.
  • Pound the pavement: Put together a small package, preferably something digital that you can display on a tablet, and pitch yourself to local bookstores. Maybe they'll be willing to include print copies of your books or host an event for you. At the very least, try to get them to display some of your bookmarks somewhere in the store.

Focus on your local market. If you build a reputation for yourself there, you'll have a strong foundation to build upon so you can start expanding your reach.

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