Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Have a Dream

Borrowing from one of the best phrases ever uttered, from a speech by Martin Luther King, yes I have a dream, and don't we all, which is why this proclamation has universal appeal. Anyway, back to my dream. It is very simple actually, and something I have practiced for awhile. That is To Find my Audience and Write for them.

It sounds so easy, doesn't it? Then why is it so hard???? Fortunately, blogging has helped me find that audience more than anything else I've done. Therefore, I will not stop blogging. People stumble across my blog, like my voice or whatever, and investigate my books, small as the offering has been. I hope to double my published books by this time next year. SQUEEE!

I've tried looking for an audience elsewhere, like libraries, bookstores, book clubs. Although it's been an interesting endeavor, and I've sold a few books this way, it doesn't feel real. I don't know their names. They don't come and follow my blog. I don't get to know them like I do my blog followers, who I can follow back and be part of their audience as well.

So up to now, my dream has been fulfilled by blogging. I'd like to expand on that, and find a greater audience somewhere beyond the online vistas, but have not been successful doing so.

How about the rest of you published authors out there. Where have you been most successful finding your audience? 

Now, enough about my dream, what is yours? And does blogging help you get any closer to it?



26 comments:

  1. Looking at my blog stats, and especially the keyword activity, I find that a lot of my readers search out my blog. Most never post, but they do look at it. Or at least I'm assuming they are readers.

    I honestly wish I knew the best way to connect with readers. My Twitter followers are almost all authors too. FB is a mixed bag of readers/authors, but only a few ever post.

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  2. Good luck finding your audience beyond the online ones, KarenG!!! Take care
    x

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  3. I'm not an author, but as someone who loves to blog on a variety of subjects, I agree that blogging must be a great way to find readers.. I would have never heard of you if not for blogging, for example and now that I know you a little, I am curious about your books. There is so much more depth to a blog than Twitter or Facebook, I think.

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  4. Karen, I think you worded it perfectly. I found a large audience for my book through blogging as well. (And here I thought only science fiction geeks would like it!)

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  5. Alex, Which is why blogging is so ideal for writers. It's our natural form of expression *writing not talking* and it broadens the world so much beyond what we can find among our circles otherwise.

    Canyon Girl, I really prefer the depth to blogging. Twitter I mostly use to get fast info and to drive people to my blog.

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  6. not published yet, but I envision word of mouth being a big part of the push with blogging a close second.

    Good stuff here, Karen! :o)

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  7. If an author has ever thought about quitting the blogosphere, Karen, this post presents a very convincing case for not doing so. Your goals are inspirational too.

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  8. Same place as you, Karen, blogging.
    Karen

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  9. This is an interesting thought. I find I use my blog to connect with people and also it's an outlet to share what I'm going through too. But maybe you could do a poll from your readers and see what they are interested in. I've seen that done.

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  10. I agree that blogging would be a marvelous way to find your audience. I don't write either, but if I did, I know who my audience would be through my followers from my posts.
    Best of luck in finding your audience and writing more wonderful books.
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  11. When I first began, I found a large audience through booksignings. (And ironically, most of my fans weren't online junkies.) Eventually I did less signings and more speaking engagements. Blogging has helped me find a larger audience. So has speaking!

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  12. I'm not published yet, but I would say blogging and twitter are a good tool to find readers.

    Outside of that, I would say via promotions and marketing should assist in finding your audience. And I'm not sure all your readers will be on line, but its important to understand exactly who 'you' see as your reader audience. I see blogging buddies as wonderful supportive piece of the picture but I'm not sure its realistic that all readers will be blogging. Good luck, my dear!

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  13. Blogging and other internet connections have helped me 'meet' my readers. It works perfectly for my shy personality.

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  14. Not all those who have a dream have taken the time to articulate it, to flesh it into something that will live in the every-day world. Blogging is one way of doing that.
    Keep at it, Karen!

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  15. Hi Karen .. Farm Girl has arrived .. and I will get to read it and post about it .. sometime!!

    Blogging confirms so many things - for me .. being a non-author .. and for authors - as we can get feed back, help, guidance and so much advice ... and then there's the support!

    Marketing is challenging anyway .. the advantage self-published authors have is of getting themselves out .. because they might have been rejected by mainstream publishers and the book would never have seen the light of day. Your books are there for ever .. and the word will spread around ..

    Cheers - Hilary

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  16. I'd love to reach out beyond blogdom too. Fingers crossed I do. Not at that part of the journey just yet! :o)

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  17. I think, thanks to the genre I write, I've had a strong idea of my audience for quite some time. It's definitely helped me work out what kinds of stories to tell, and how to tell them.

    Definitely, online communities are one of the most efficient ways to identify your audience these days.

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  18. If you are published, isn't giving up blogging like shooting yourself in the foot?

    This from the strange girl in the back of the room. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  19. I hear what you're saying, I also thik that the reason readers don't stop by blogs so much is that it's non-fiction. If you wrote nf, they'd likely to stop by, but if they're buying your novels, the blog isn't quite the same thing.

    Blogging is great to raise awareness of forthcoming books, etc, but I think it's mostly writers who gain the most from it.

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  20. i'm glad you've found your dream. and i love to encourage people to follow them. but it's harder to encourage myself to follow my dream--write a story i love and if other people like it, so be it. this goes against my "keep everyone happy" bent. much harder to do something just for me.

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  21. Karen, love your dream.

    My blog recently gifted me with my first paying free lance job for a national farm magazine, Graze. The editor's wife had been following my blog for some time and led her husband to it. He liked what he saw, contacted me and the rest is cow history.

    I am hopeful that others will like the book exerpts I blog about, as soon as I get back to my novel that is. I have cows and pigs to write about you know

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  22. I wish I had good advice for you. Unfortunately, I've only had my short stories published. Good luck. =)

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  23. This is a problem for me. Most of the people in the blogging world are not my audience. They haven't read my book. And most people who have read my book aren't reading my blog, yet they are my audience. So I struggle with this. Blogging sometimes feels fake to me.

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  24. I hope you achieve your dream and find your audience.

    As for me, I have a lovely blog platform, one short story out, and two on the way, but no book deal. I'm still looking for the agent the publisher.

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  25. Theresa, Online activities can assist in getting the book deal, because it shows that you are out there. And a publisher can click on your blog and see what you are all about. Scary thought, but it helps them to know if you're the kind of person they want to work with or not.

    Tamara, I really believe that finding an audience is the toughest part of this business.

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  26. I dream about seeing my book in print. Simple and yet so hard.

    Nice post!

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