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These are my writing posts from my former blog, spanning 2009-2012. To see new writing posts, click on the blog tab above. To see these archived post organized by topic, click "For Writers" above.

Entries in author branding (13)

Wednesday
Dec072011

Why Only Focusing On Your "Target" Audience May Hurt You

 

Target

In the world of book marketing--or any kind of marketing for that matter--you often are told to figure out who your target audience is. This group of people is the way to the promised land of success. You need to figure out WHO will buy your books and then target your platform to that niche.

 

So, using that logic, I should target 25-50 something year old women who are already romance readers. Most of them are probably in relationships. Many will have children. I write sexy so I can cut out the super ultra conservative sector. And on and on it goes.

There is, of course, a lot of logic in this approach. Knowing who your "ideal reader" is can be helpful.

But, what about everyone else?

The reason that Twilight became so successful is because it didn't just get the teenage readers who like vampires and romance. It busted through the genre and got people who not only weren't typical young adult readers to read it. It got NON-readers to pick it up. It jumped the nice lines of its target market and that's why it became so big.

Now, the number of books that do that is small. Phenomenons are called such for a reason. But that doesn't mean we can't use that logic on a smaller scale.

I haven't stuck to reaching out to just that "ideal reader" profile above. By complete happenstance, I ended up reaching out to writers first then expanded a bit with my author blog. I've become friends with people who write and read every kind of genre you can think of. 

I mean, think about it. I host authors like Jody Hedlund on my blog. She writes inspirational/Christian historical romance where a kiss can be considered risque. I write seriously steamy erotic romance with BDSM elements. I am not her ideal reader and she's not mine. But you know what? I buy her books and give them as gifts because I like her and know I'm giving a quality gift to people who ARE her ideal readers.


And I can't tell you how many times I've had someone say to me:

I don't read romance, but... I'm going to buy your book because it sounds really interesting or I read your excerpt and liked it or I enjoy your voice on your blog so am going to try your book.


Those comments give me the squees because there is no higher compliment to me than for someone to say--I'm willing to take a chance on you even though this isn't normally my thing. I love that.

 

And I find myself doing that with other authors as well. I'd never read historical romance until I picked up Ashley March's debut. I bought it because I wanted to support her as a friend, but then loved the book and have since bought more historicals.

So what would have happened if Jody had only reached out to her "target audience"? I would've never found her or bought her books.

There is benefit in not tightening your network too much. A niche can be good but don't make it too exclusive. I have guys who have told me they are going to buy my book. Everyone in marketing would tell you that's definitely not my target audience, but hey--why the heck not? I read "boy" books. Guys can enjoy "girl" books on occasion too.

So blog and make friends across the spectrum. Don't limit yourself. If you do, you're not just going to miss out on some potential new readers, you're going to miss out on some really cool people and friends.

So what do you think? Do you try to cater to a "target audience"? Have you bought a book way outside your normal preferences because you got to know the author?


“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

 

Friday
Sep302011

Fill-Me-In Friday

 

Hope everyone has had a fantastic week. Welcome to Fill-Me-In Friday where I share some of the best links I've come across this week (and also shamelessly update you on what you may have missed here.) :)
But first a quick announcement: If any of you live in the DFW area, I am doing my first public reading along with a few other authors at the Authors' Roundtable at Bedford Public Library at 7pm on Saturday. (Here are the details if you're interested.) Come see me blush profusely as I try to skip past the parts that I refuse to read aloud in public. :)
Alright, now on to the links...
On Writing and Marketing:
Blogging Tips: Make Your Text POP by Angela Ackerman at The Bookshelf Muse
Your Only Real Competition Is Yourself by Cynthia Leitich Smith on Adventures in Children's Publishing
Meet the Maven: We're Here Whether You Want Us or Not (types of social networkers you should know)  by Kristen Lamb
10 Tips For Planning a Blog Tour by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Flick Chicks by The New Yorker (found via @Jamie_Wesley 's tweet)
Expect To Work Hard by Jody Hedlund
7 Ways Successful Creatives Think Differently than Unsuccessful Ones by Michael Hyatt (link found via Jody's post above)
Writers Must Kill Self-Doubt Before Self-Doubt Kills Them by Chuck Wendig (and Jenny Hansen's post bouncing off that Do Writers Need Validation?)
Have You Read a Self-Published Book? by Nathan Bransford (make sure and read the comments, interesting thoughts from people.)
For Fun:
Swagger Wagon (found via KB Owens' Blog)
What You Missed on the Author Blog:
What You May Have Missed Here:


 


Favorite Tumblr Posts of the Week:
(click here for bigger pic)
(click here for bigger pic)
(for bigger pic click here)
(for bigger pic, click here)
Alright, that's what I have for you this week, what were some of your favorite links of the week? Hope everyone has a great weekend!


 

 


"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME

 

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

 

Wednesday
Sep282011

Five Ways To Guard Your Brand

 

Photo by jeaneeem (click pic for link)
So last week I got a lovely invitation from a friend of a friend to join Triberr (called the reach multiplier). Basically what happens with this service is you get invited to join a tribe of other bloggers (it's by invite only right now). If you accept, then what you agree to is that anytime one of your tribesmates blogs, a link to their blog is automatically tweeted by all member of the tribe. In return, you get the same treatment, you blog and your link autotweets from every one in your tribe's twitter accounts. The idea behind it is that you get exposed to lots more people and your reach is thereby amplified.
Sounds cool, right? And it is. But as I dug into exactly what it all meant, my control freak side took over. Did I really want to auto-tweet twenty-something different peoples blog links without really knowing them? What if they didn't blog content that I liked or that was relevant to those who follow me on Twitter?
I put out the question on Twitter to see if anyone had experience with Triberr and guess who tweets me back? One of the founders of Triberr (oh, the power of following keywords on Twitter). But guess what he told me? That I shouldn't use Triberr. He also sent a link to this post: Why You Shouldn't Be on Triberr.
It seemed a little odd that the owner would try to talk me out of joining, but I realized why. One of his reasons the service may not be for you is: Your Twitter Stream Is Your Brand
Well, bingo. That's exactly why I was hesitant. Everything I put out on the internet (whether I intend it or not) is part of my "brand." The things I retweet on Twitter aren't haphazard. I'm tweeting it because I: a) read it b) enjoyed it or found it informative and c) think my followers would appreciate it.
I do that because I want the people who follow me to trust that I am going to give them good content. (Well, in between my ramblings.) They (hopefully) know if I tweet or retweet a link that it has a high chance of being something worth clicking on.

 

UPDATE (10/30): I received another invite to Triberr but this time it was by a group that set up the expectation that you wouldn't autotweet something unless you approved of the content/post. So apparently, you can turn off the autotweet feature in Triberr and then only "approve" posts that you think your followers will enjoy. THIS is a much better idea IMO, so after all this, I've joined a tribe. I'll let you all know how it goes. But know that anything I retweet, I approved of first. :)

Your brand is the promise you make to those that follow you--whether that be on your blog, facebook, twitter, and your books for that matter. For instance, I know if Elizabeth Craig retweets something, it's often going to be something I find useful because she's proven to me that her content is consistently great. If she started tweeting random posts that weren't worth my time, she'd lose some of my "trust." I know if erotica author Tiffany Reisz tweets a link, there's a sixty percent chance it will involve nudity, lol. So of course I always click on hers. ;)
So don't be afraid to be protective of your brand. Sometimes it can feel like you're being snobby or something, but it's vital to keep your arms around it. For instance, I get many requests from people to read their book and feature it or them on the blog. For the record, I don't do reviews anymore anyway. But I've had to learn to say no a lot, which goes against my nature. I want to help people out. But if I don't know you or your writing (and don't have time to read it), I'm not going to feature you on my blog and let it look like an endorsement.
See it sounds stuck-up, doesn't it? But it's the promise I've made to you. If a book or author is featured here, it means that I either have read the book and loved it. Or I know the author and am familiar with the quality of their writing and their guest posts, etc. That's why I handpicked the Monday genre guests. I knew those ladies rocked at blogging, so I felt comfortable (and honored) to have them be a part of my blog.
So here are some suggestions...
Five Ways to Protect Your Brand
1. Don't accept every offer people give you to guest blog on your site.
Make sure you like their blog and know that they can provide something your readers will enjoy.
2. Don't accept every "free book" offered to you in exchange for featuring that author on your blog.
With the onslaught of self-publishing, there are a lot of people looking for places to be guests. They will offer you a free book in exchange for the promotion. That's cool. But what happens if you don't like the book or don't have time to read it? Vet it before you promote it to your readers.
3. Don't give 5-star reviews to all your friends on Goodreads and Amazon simply because they are your friend. 
If you really love the book, then great. But just agreeing to give a perfect review just because you're BFFs will teach people not to trust your reviews. (If you do reviews.)
4. Don't auto-tweet things you haven't looked at first and don't only tweet your friends posts just to be nice.
I don't expect my friends to retweet me just because we're buddies. I only want to be retweeted if the post is worth it.
5. Be very careful with group blogs.
There are many awesome group blogs out there. But be careful when deciding to join or start one. You need to know absolutely that the people you are blogging with are going to be a fit with what you want associated with you. This is why my group Tumblr blog lasted about, oh, five seconds before I went on my own. (Kristen Lamb would also argue that group blogs aren't effective because no one remembers the individual bloggers' names.)


So what do you think? Do you feel there is an inherent "brand" trust between people and their followers? How do you feel about services like Triberr? Has any blogger/tweeter ever lost your "follower trust"? Have you found yourself saying yes to feature people or books that may not fit on your blog?


 

 

 

 


“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION

 

 

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

 

Friday
Sep232011

Fill-Me-In Friday

 

Yay, it's Friday! And that means it's time for my favorite links of the week....
On Writing and Promotion:
5 Reasons I'll Read Your Blog by Wendy Thomas Russell
Goodreads Launches a Book Recommendation Service (a la Netflix Recs) by Techland
So What's an Author to Do? by Wendy Lawton (The follow-up post to the post that sparked my Is Blogging Dead? post this week.)
Writing Your Fears at Writer Unboxed

What You Missed on the Author Blog:
What You May Have Missed Here:
by Suzanne Johnson
(lots of great comments on this one)


My Faves from the Tumblr this week:

 

 

This made me LOL--bigger pic here
Bigger pic here


So those are some of my favorite links of the week, what were some of yours? Fill me in via the comments. Hope everyone has a fab weekend!


*All links open in the same window. If you don't want to leave this list, right click and choose "open in a new window". I'm trying to figure out how to get the links to open up in a new window in Blogger without having to individually alter the html of each link. If anyone knows of a way to do it globally for all posts, please let me know. Thanks!

 

 


"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

 

Friday
Sep092011

Fill-Me-In Friday

 


This week was a short online week for me because of the holiday and the fact that I had company in town over the weekend. So my favorite links list is a bit short this week and I'm sure I missed some good ones out there. So hopefully you can fill me in with your favorites too.

 

But first I do want to let you know that I have been interviewed and am answering such saucy questions as What is you favorite non-digital writing tool?--a dangerous question to ask an erotic romance author! To see the answer and lots more Q & A about writing and social networking, stop by Amy Beth Inverness's site.

Alright, now for the links...

On Writing:

Who Wrote It? Author Franchises by Julie Glover

Social Media and Your Author Brand over at Writers in the Storm <--great list of hashtags for writers included

Why Are So Many Literary Writers Shifting Into Genre? at The Millions

How To Build a Loyal Twitter Following by James Killick

Agent Jenny Bent on Why Social Media Savvy Is So Important

25 Things You Should Know About Synopses, Queries, and Treatments by Chuck Wendig (R-rated language included)

Have You Given Yourself Permission? by Jami Gold

For Fun:

Spark Facts (in which Nicholas Sparks is roasted) over at Evil Wylie which includes such tidbits as: "Nicholas Sparks once delivered a woman's baby during a reading, then signed the baby."

What You Missed on my Author Blog:

 


What You May Have Missed Here:

 
(my guest post at Janice Hardy's blog)

 

 



And for those of you who are interested in following my Tumblr, here is my fave pic of the week from over there. *Remember this is an 18+ site and is sometimes NSFW unless you work from home like me ;) 

So there's my update, what are some of your favorite links this week? 


 

 

 


“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION

 

 

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.


 

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|