Tag Archives: audience

Out With the Old

I am not a proponent of new years resolutions, generally speaking. While I’m not an extremist zealot about it, I do, sometimes, think seriously about the ridiculousness of time and dates.

Last year was a constant barrage of how horrible 2020 was and talk of yelling Jumanji instead of Happy New Year at midnight and the more those talks continued, the more I thought about this arbitrary thing we call a year.

At 11:59 pm, November 1, 2001, I was not mature enough to drink alcohol. At midnight, sixty seconds later, I magically matured. I feel like New Years Eve is the same concept. 12:01 am January 1, everything resets and all the problems of the previous year are erased.

So I don’t get on board with resolutions.

Goals are a little different to resolutions, though, and I saw someone else talk about the things they are leaving behind in the coming year–everything from judgment to junk–that no longer serves them. So I thought I’d try a little of that.

First off, goals.

I obviously have two books coming out this year. I heard a lot of excuses regarding the status of the first one and why C0VID was to blame for it’s low performance but truly I hope it’s because it’s the first of a series and people are waiting until they can get all three. Because I don’t find comfort in the idea that in a year of homebound free time, the reason people, who are boasting about reading 2-300 books in 2020, did not buy mine.

No, I’m far more comforted by the idea that sales will jump in September with the release of the third book.

But in addition to that, I want to put out some short fiction.

I don’t know that I want to get involved in more anthologies. They are a lot of work for what amounts to “exposure” in the long run.

Sure I have awards from Dragons Within and an LGBTQ bestseller for Fractured Realities but …

A lot of work for very little pay off.

That’s not saying I won’t take the opportunity if the right one comes along; I just don’t plan to seek them out.

In terms of what I want to leave behind–I have taken on a great deal of anger in 2020 and I don’t like it. I am not an angry person but circumstances–

I have absolutely heard people outright refuse to be vaccinated then in the next breath suggest none of this is ever going to end; masks and isolation are life now, concerts and festivals and conventions will never come back. Well yeah, Karen, if you refuse to get a FREE AND SAFE vaccine, then, yes, you’re correct. It will never end.

But I don’t want to be angry. I am a positive, kind, pleasant person. My customer service voice IS my normal voice. I want to be that person again.

So I guess that’s my how we’re starting 2021 post. If you want to follow along on these quests, follow me here and join me on Patreon.

Building a Loyal Audience

I want to talk a little about audience.

I write books. Books are a special animal in that they are not readily conducive to multitasking, they are time consuming, and they draw a very specific kind of audience. People who like certain genres of book are quite in tune to what they like about that genre and if you stray from those parameters, you run the risk of being roasted, as it were.

Which is largely why I have worked vehemently to keep my book out of the paranormal romance category.

I honestly wasn’t even going to have a romantic element but I got talked into it. By the romantic element.

He’s just so damned charismatic he could probably sell water to a drowning man.

But building an audience, as a writer, is a special beast as well. One tip—or pointer or bit of advice—I found on the subject of audiences and social media is to make sure 80% of my content is on topic. It’s fine to, once in a while, show off a picture of my cat because writers have cats, right? But if I want to showcase my cat, it is better to have an Instagram for the cat and one for the words. Because if I flood my account with cat pictures and draw in thousands of cat lovers, they’re not going to care when I drop news about writing.

If they even see it at all.

What I need to do instead is aim all of my content toward the kind of reader who will want to read my books. In this case, urban fantasy readers are who I am trying to draw in. But also readers in general. So I use those hashtags and I write captions about that kind of stuff.

What all of this means, essentially, is that while I would appreciate the sales, I don’t want just everyone buying my books. I don’t want people who enjoy cozy mysteries or Christian fiction to buy my books out of an obligation to me as their friend. I don’t want family to buy my books because they think they should.

I want people who are going to dive in with both feet and devour half the book before realizing they need to go to bed. I want people who are going to be excited about my book(s). And that’s a harder audience to reach.

Casting a wide net and scooping up all the little fish in a 100-foot radius is fine but isn’t it better to use a rod and reel to catch a smaller collection of bigger fish? Who wants to clean all those little fish? Bigger fish are easier to prepare. Now that I’ve reached the 500 followers mark on Instagram, I feel like I can back off a little. Not in terms of content—although, unfortunately, that has happened—rather in terms of casting the net. I don’t need to join follow loops and just gain everyone else as a new follower. I need to draw in followers who found me under their followed hashtags. I follow “#amwritingurbanfantasy” because I want to see what I’m up against. So my goal is to end up under a hashtag someone else is following. Multiple times because it’s not something that happens on the first try.

But the real issue is I don’t want pity follows, pity buys. If you are interested in my books, buy them. If you’re not, share them so someone else might find them. Don’t buy out of obligation or loyalty then leave it to collect dust for the rest of forever. I appreciate your purchase and will never say don’t buy it, outright without quantification. But I don’t want it collecting dust on your shelves.

That said, if you would like to support my content, please join me on Patreon.