Thursday, October 21, 2010

Developing Contacts to Promote Your Book - Part I

Last week I was one of the presenters for The Muse Online Writers Conference, which included a week-long forum workshop, Developing Contacts to Promote Your Book. Each day had a specific topic and the participants really got into building their contact lists. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share the daily topics with you as well!

The whole point of these exercises is to get your brain working. You want to develop these lists while you are writing if at all possible! And as participants in the forum discovered, I’m a stickler for specifics. Generic answers (like ‘everyone’) don’t fly with me! If you are to effectively promote your book, you need specifics and details!

You can share some of your ideas below or copy & paste and work on your lists on your own time. But sharing a few ideas is fun, because it might help out someone else!

Your Target Audience and Online Presence

Start creating a target audience profile:
Who is your target audience?
What age and gender?
Location and income bracket?
What are their interests and hobbies?
If applicable, consider your audience’s parents and create a profile on them as well.

Consider your target audience in depth:
Where does your target audience frequent-
Where do they go online? Blogs & websites?
Where do they go in the real world?
What magazines or news do they read?

Your profile:
What ‘s your involvement online and in your community?
Do you have a website or blog?
Are you involved in online community sites?
Are you involved in clubs or organizations? Online and offline.
What are your current 'activities' online and offline?

Remember - specifics!!


  1. Excellent advice, Diane (as usual).

    Clearly defining your primary target audience and how you can reach them is key to any marketing effort. Unfortunately, it is all too often overlooked.

  2. I would've still messed up, as my audience was larger than I realized.

  3. These are really good questions to find the answer to and because the internet has such wonderful statistics, it's easy to gather the info.


  4. Excellent questions. Targeting is so important, and too many writers fallback on genre, I think. I write mystery/suspense and the audience for M/S is broad. I write dark edgy stuff that appeals to younger audiences, not the cozy, Murder She Wrote material that many older readers expect. It would be counterproductive to categorize my target audience as "mystery readers."

  5. Excellent points. Once again proving that writing the book is just one small step in a really long process!

  6. Great post! I have thought about this -- never going as in depth as income levels though -- and think it's important to know your audience.

  7. Really good points, Diane. Every author should think about these things.


  8. These are GREAT questions and something I really need to do. I think it's so important to identify your market in order to get any kind of tangible results!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this information. You're right, specifics are important!

  10. Wonderful and specific advice! :) Thanks so much.

  11. Thanks, Walt! And it's amazing how many authors don't do this at all.

    VR, genre is just part of the equasion!

    Karen, I do private consulting, but not yet on the promotional aspects of books - sorry! But you know I'll give you any free advice you need.

    Glad it helped everyone else, too!

  12. This is very timely for me. I talked with my publisher today about our promotion strategies and we talked, 'specifics.'

  13. Great advice Diane - I like your specifics - that's what I need as well :)

  14. Hi Diane. These are some great questions to really get you thinking. Thanks for sharing these. I'm taking notes.

  15. Great advice, thanks.

    The other night, I was on B & N ordering Alex's book, and I thought of you. I looked you and and wow, was I impressed!

    When I visit blogs, I try to not look too hard at the sidebars-I'm easily distracted (ADHD). I hadn't noticed the Circle of Friends series. Good for you!!!!

  16. Susan, it's all about the specifics.

    Crafter, thanks! Yes, all six of my books, the series and my non-fiction, are listed under the tab above.

  17. I'm copying your workshop so I can follow it now that the conference is over. Had not a spare minute last week. Finally slowing down. Hope you are too. :)

  18. Thanks for all the great info, Diane! I'm tweeting this. :)

  19. Beverly, considering I had Book 'Em last week as well, it was just crazy!

  20. Eek! this sounds like... dare I say it? MARKETING! I thought I'd left this world! It is reassuring though, to find it will have a use aside from making rich people richer (the reason I grew dissatisfied and went back to grad school)

  21. These are definitely good considerations to ponder. I find them more difficult than I would have thought. Need to put more thought into it I guess.

    Tossing It Out

  22. Hi Diane .. really interesting and so essential to be prepared, or have that relationship with your audience .. then you can develop things according to their needs, based around their interest and connection with you .. Online and Offline - sometimes we forget one or the other ..

    Really useful - as will the other tips be .. thanks in advance - Hilary

  23. You guys are awesome, I'm still tagging along since the "Beware" post (virtual blog tour). I didn't know how much information I would be getting from these sites.

    Excellent resources for aspiring writers!

    Thank you.

  24. Hart, yes, it's the "M" word!

    Hope this gets everyone to thinking now!

  25. These are some questions I'm really going to have to think about. Thanks for the list!