Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
As you can see from my picture, I’m somewhat young. Often in my job, I have to “convince” people I’m an adult through my hard work, integrity, and success. But enough about me! 🙂 When it comes to writing, the author’s age, gender, etc. can limit the intended audience for a book if he or she is not careful. This doesn’t apply much to books written for an audience that the author would fit into, but instead for an audience the author isn’t a part of.
For example, a 50-year-old woman writing for teens, or a guy writing advice books for women. You may have something great to share with that audience due to your experiences, but how do you become credible in the eyes of the intended audience if they believe you don’t belong?
Your first option is one I don’t recommend. You could pretend you are a part of the group you are writing for. Airbrush your pictures so you fit in, or use a picture from high school on your website–or don’t post any pictures of yourself at all. Unfortunately, while this might work for a time, the truth always comes out.
This week, I’ll touch on some techniques that published authors have used successfully to connect with an audience they don’t belong to.
Here are some examples:
The Christy Miller Series and The Katie Weldon Series by Robin Jones Gunn.
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey.
No More Christian Nice Girl (releasing 2010) by Paul Coughlin with Jennifer Degler.
Romance novels by Hannah Alexander (a husband-wife writing team using a pen name).
Using Networking and Marketing to Connect with Your Audience
Today, let’s talk about how author Robin Jones Gunn successfully markets her books to teens and young adults. Robin, first of all, has written her teen series out of her life experiences, so while she’s not a teen girl any longer, she was one, and she wrote the first novel, Summer Promise, in The Christy Miller Series while she co-lead a youth group with her husband. Robin would write a chapter aloud to the girls and then incorporate their suggestions. (Well, many of the suggestions.) The books Robin has written are based on experience.
Robin makes up for any lack of “connection” with her audience by staying on top of teen and young adult interests. The proof for this is on Robin’s webpage, Facebook page, and online shop. Check them out if you have time. She knows that teens want to feel connected these days, and she makes herself available to them on Facebook by actively responding and posting there and by hosting giveaways and contests. I don’t think she’s on Facebook for more than an hour each day, but through that limited time investment, she has used networking and marketing to connect with her readers. Because of her availability to her readers, Robin has become more than an author to these young women–she’s become a friend.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about Steve Harvey’s book. Can you think of any other authors who write books for an audience that they might not fit into?