The craft and business of writing and self publishing

Multi-Layered Readers and How to Reach Them

Photo by Bruce Dixon on Unsplash

By Lacy Williams

In 2014, Kristine Rusch wrote a fantastic blog post about readers and their different layers. And you know what? She was right.

When I thought about my readers, I lumped them all into one huge bucket. When I sent an email newsletter to my 500 readers, I couldn’t understand why some didn’t open and others didn’t click.

I’m a visual person, so as I worked through the ideas in Kristine’s post, I started creating a Venn diagram of the different layers to my readers. It looks like this:

Interest

The pink layer represents how interested the reader is in my work. Is she a fanatic? A fan? Or just a genre fan, where she likes the genre I write in but has never sampled my work?

The purple layer represents how sensitive the reader is to price. Does she only look for discounted books? Does she like a mix of discounted and full price books? Does she only want free books?

The green layer represents the volume of books consumed by this reader. Is she voracious? Does she read ten or more books per month? Five? One?

And the intersection in the middle, that’s really important to me. That’s the place I can meet my reader and make a sale.

Let’s look at some examples. Meet Sarah:

Interest (1)

Sarah is a fan of my books, doesn’t mind paying full price for books, and is an occasional reader (she reads one book every other month). Sarah is the reader who is likely already part of my email newsletter list and will see and even open my emails, but won’t buy until she’s ready for her next book. She doesn’t mind if the book is full price. She just wants to wait until she’s ready. My goal for connecting with Sarah is to ensure that she sees me/connects enough that when she’s ready to buy, my books will be at the forefront of her mind. Because of this, I send out one or more newsletters per month.

Now let’s look at Grace:

Interest (2)

Grace is a genre reader who has never tried my books. She is a voracious reader, consuming more than ten books per month, so she is always looking for something new to read. She likes some discount books and isn’t afraid to buy at full price if she likes my work. Taking advantage of a Bookbub featured ad or Kobo price promotion (through the Dashboard Promo tab) is a great opportunity for me to connect with Grace, who is always looking for new authors to fall in love with.

As an indie author, identifying your readers offers opportunity to brainstorm new ways to connect with her.

But identifying your reader is just the first step. Want to know more about turning readers into fanatics? Grab or visit www.thesmartindie.site for more resources.


lacy-williams-media-1USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams works in a hostile environment (read: four young children). In spite of this, she has managed to be a hybrid author since 2011, publishing forty books and novellas. Lacy’s books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards (2012, 2013, & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, ALLi and Novelists Inc. Find out more at www.lacywilliams.net. For more tips on knowing your readers, grab a copy of Lacy’s book,  the smart indie: find your readers or visit her website.

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