One piece of advise new authors receive is to know your target readers. It is sound advice, but what if your readers are invisible to you?
For those of us who write outside of an established niche or genre, finding our target audience is nearly impossible. So, we shoot in the dark and hope we hit a target. But then what?
I am sad to say that at this moment, in my newly polished author career, I do not have the golden nugget answer. Instead, here are my thoughts and experiences with finding my readers.
I straddle the Fantasy and Romance genres. I say straddle because my stories do not fit neatly into either category. They really do 50/50 those two genres and as my story evolves Sci-Fi will be added to the mix. And I am okay with this. I have tried to make my story fit into one or the other genre without success. I write the story which lives inside me. Writing it any other way takes away from the story I tell too much to be an enjoyable read, at least, to me and the readers I have found so far.
To find my readers, I targeted Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal and every combination thereof I could find as a genre. It worked and continues to work, but most of my readers are still invisible to me. An author puts themselves out into the world with their stories and social presence to engage with readers. The readers get to see much of their favorite authors and really get to know them. But, if a reader does not reach back to an author, we do not have the same opportunity. I am not talking about providing personal type of information. Engagement can still take place while maintaining a sensible amount of privacy for protection. Afterall, I understand we really are strangers to each other.
I encourage readers to engage with an author on their social channels: Facebook (author page), Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and other avenues to help us engage with each other. Writing is such a personal experience and I welcome the engagement. It is one of the greatest joys an author can receive when a reader engages with them. To know our stories, touch others is part of why we write. Don’t get me wrong, no matter how many books I sell, or page reads I obtain on Kindle Unlimited, I am still going to write. Frankly, my characters won’t let me sleep if I don’t. But to know my story speaks to someone else the way it does me is a special kind of experience I lack words to properly describe. Reader, please, make yourself visible. We really do want to hear from you.