Publishing your own books, especially non-fiction, has become an amazing option for lots of authors, not only for your new books, but also for books that have been published in the past and for which you now own the publishing rights.
But publishing your books is one thing and getting those books to the readers who buy and read them. Let’s find out:
- who these readers are
- what they like
- what they’re willing to pay for your books
- where they hang out
- how they like to communicate
There are easy and free ways to find this information. You’re probably not going to be surprised, but the first place you should head is your nearest Google search bar. Google knows more than anyone about what’s going on online. It’s up to us to learn how to use this incredible resource to find our readers.
Let’s say you write about glider flying. Use Google to search form “glider flying forums” and “aviation discussion boards.” If you write about tennis, use “tennis forums” and “tennis discussion boards.” You’re going to get a lot of hits to research, and you will find some very active communities with engaged people talking about your specific topic. Some of these forums are quite large, and you might need to drill down a bit to find the sections that apply to your specific niche, but this will put you in immediate contact with people interested in your topic.
Another great way to find your readers is through blogs in your niche.
Blogs that have been online for a while will have a readership of some size. You will need to do a little research to find the blogs that have the most readers interested in your topic. For instance, if you found a discussion forum, check the links that belong to frequent contributors there, and you’ll start to connect to the blogs in your niche. Look at the comments on popular posts and start exploring the links (usually the link is embedded in the name of the person who left the comment) for even more places readers hang out.
Finally, use the search capabilities on some of the big social networking sites.
These sites are useful not because they have hundreds of millions of users, but because they each have the ability to locate specific groups of people. For sample, on Twitter you can use http://search.twitter.com to find trending topics or hashtags (words with # in front of them) related to your subject. You can search on #gardening to find thousands of people interested in gardening and then narrow your search further from there. You can use this same strategy on Google+ to find articles and people commenting on them with the same #gardening search.
Following all these networks will lead to communities of potential readers you can start interacting with and become a household name in these circles. Once your book is e-published you can subtly promote it there.