Thoughts on Finding Readers

Authors need readers, but finding them can be a real slog through the mire.

If you are like me, your most enjoyable moments are when you are writing. Sooner or later, though, you have to start looking into getting your work published, at which time you enter a world full of hazards, roadblocks, struggle, disappointment, and heartache as your wonderful words get one rejection after another from literary agents and publishers. Have no fear, self-publishing is here. But it is not the easy road many think. Sure, you can get your short story, novel, etc., published, but what then? The phrase “laying a goose egg” – as in no one reads it, let alone buys it – comes to mind.

Soon, you find yourself not doing that enjoyable writing but spending every waking moment trying to get your wonderful work seen by more than a small group of people following you on social media or your website. It can be disheartening. And it is certainly a phase of this whole author process that I am dreading.

It can be done, and one who is doing it is romance author Ruth Ann Nordin.

From Author Ruth Ann Nordin

In the course of discussing some issues with WordPress, Ruth and I got into an exchange on attracting readers. She had some good advice, which she has agreed to let me share with you here:

Whether you self-publish or go the traditional route, finding readers will be a challenge. That’s why I will go out on a limb and try something different once in a while. I have no idea how posting audiobooks on Rumble, etc will do, but it’s something I enjoy doing, so why not? I’ve wasted my time on worse things like the YA fiction that languishes under my pen name. I didn’t even get a 1099 because I didn’t hit the $10 threshold. No one likes that stuff. I’m not sure if posting those on Rumble will do any good, but they’re short and easy enough to practice making audiobooks with, so why not?

Sometimes I stumble across something that works, but most of the marketing stuff doesn’t. MeWe is pretty much a bust for me. I had a good following on Facebook but left it because of the censorship. I’m not sure if I shot myself in the foot on that one or not. MeWe doesn’t seem to be a place where many readers interact with authors. Facebook has an advantage over MeWe in that regard. Most of my readers are there. A few followed me to MeWe, but only one ever interacts directly with me on a consistent basis, and that’s mostly in chat where we talk about things other than books. It’s hard to convince anyone to go to MeWe.

As for self-publishing versus going the more traditional route (or trying to), Ruth had this to say:

It was easier to gain momentum back in 2010-2013 when the e-reader was just taking off. That was when self-publishing was a dirty word, and only those who had “no talent” picked that route. I had quite a few authors try to talk me off the ledge, and the Romance Writers of America refused to acknowledge my books are [sic] being legitimate books. The reason I picked self-publishing was because the couple of books I submitted told me the hero and heroine needed way more angst between them rather than the external obstacles I kept writing into the plot. Romance in traditional publishing is very narrow in view. No wonder so many of the plots sounded the same to me. I just figured the authors of those books liked telling the same stories over and over. Self-publishing has changed things for the better in that genre, in my personal opinion. Anyway, no one was more surprised than I was when I started making money at it. I thought I had guaranteed that no one would ever read my books when I chose the self-publishing route. I get the desire to see your book published. That was my big motivator, too. I’ve never regretted writing a book I was passionate about.

As for audiobooks, which she mentioned above, she added this:

My goal is to use Rumble, Bitchute, and You Tube for the audiobooks. I have a couple of audiobooks up, and I just got one done with me as narrator, but I want to have more experience under my belt before I put more up on retailers. These video sites should help me achieve that goal while marketing my stuff to the world. I don’t expect a lot of money from the efforts. I’m looking more for visibility and a hope that people will recommend me to others they know who might be into ebooks. Ebooks is my main bread and butter. Mostly, though, I’m doing it because I’m having fun with it. No way would I go through all of this work and hassle if I didn’t enjoy this. Life is too short. LOL

I did go to Vimeo, but it looks like they want you to pay each month if you’re going to upload over a certain file size. 500MB, I think is their free limit. I decided to forgo that route.

Hear her books here.

Final Thoughts

If you can find someone to promote your book for you after you self-publish, that will leave you free to continue writing. I have found a number of such services, mostly on Twitter. Otherwise, be ready to spend effort on trying to attract readers. Ruth’s site is a great example. The overall look and feel fits her writing. It is also clean and easy to navigate.

Even if you use a traditional publisher, unless you are already fairly well-known, you will need to be ready to spend a lot of your time on social media or other venues promoting your book.

Of course, a good book cover helps as does professional editing. Traditional publishers have people on staff, but if you self-publish, you will need to find designers and editors on your own. If they help your book attract readers, they will be worth the cost.

Hope you found this helpful and have been inspired to start and/or continue writing!

Please check out my WIPs. And thanks for reading.

Disclaimer: I get no compensation for links in this post or on my site to other sites and/or products.


3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Finding Readers

  1. Stuart Danker

    Oh yeah, one of the problems of self-publishing is that suddenly everything’s placed on our shoulders, from the designing to the marketing, and while I’m thrilled at the prospect of having control, it really is pretty intimidating. Anyway, thanks for this post!


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