INDIE AUTHOR MISTAKES: Know Your Target Audience (Or Which Groups To Advertise To)

Out of everything that I have published, written, and distributed, there are only two titles that I promote to authors:   Eighth Day Genesis (a book about worldbuilding for authors and other creative folks) and So You Want to Make an eBook? (about making eBooks).  Both of these are explicitly for authors.

All the rest?  Nope.

I might – might – ask fellow authors that I know or have worked with to mention a release to others.  Or if I’m running a promotion, I might ask that they pass along word of the promotion.

But mostly I mention it to them to say “Hey, this is a cool thing I’m working on!” and they say “Cool!” right back.

And that’s it.

AdvertisingI belong to a number of author-centric groups on various social networks.  And the same problem keeps cropping up:  Authors who try to sell their book to other authors.

Yes, authors are readers.  But – unless you’ve written a reference book for authors – authors are not your core audience.

“But Steve,” says the straw man, “you read books by other authors you know all the time.  You even review them!”

This is true.

Not a single one of those books was because the author advertised to me

They may have given me a free copy, which is a totally different thing IMHO, or they asked me to review something knowing full well that I’ve panned books my friends have written.  But it was never because they advertised to me.

I’ve bought my friend’s books.  Sometimes multiple copies so I can give them as gifts  (Hi Jim!).  But that was because the writing was good when I went to their reading, or I was impressed enough by their personality and knowledge that I gave an author I didn’t know a chance (Hi Lee!).

But it wasn’t because they spammed a list or a group with a driveby “buy my book” post.

PS:  Why is this an “indie author mistake”?   Because I’ve yet to personally see a Big Six author do this.  I’ve seen it dozens and dozens of times with indie authors.

I’m not slamming indie authors – hopefully, this will help (other!) indie authors up their game.

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