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Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

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Target Your Audience: Promote Your Book in Virtual Reader Communities
by Jo-Anne Vandermeulen   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, January 16, 2010
Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2010

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“Where am I going to sell this book and who’s going to buy it?”

Congratulations you’ve *conquered all obstacles*!

You’ve built your author platform…and adding to it as you gained experience. Finally, you’ve ripped open the cardboard box and grabbed hold of your baby (okay, your book) and sucked in the wonderful aroma of extremely hard working print on crisp pages. Heart rapidly beating, it feels as if you could float up to the ceiling.

After the exhale and your eyelids flutter open your next thought is…
“Where am I going to sell this book and who’s going to buy it?”
I need an audience.
Ask yourself these questions…by playing a role-reversal situation:
1.) Who would be interested in my book?

Age, interest, sex, graphic location, intellectual ability, etc.  Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start with a character sketch and simply fill-in the blanks. Visualize a viewer reading your book, and go from there.

2.) Where would these people hang-out?
On the Internet, you’ve got to know where to go virtually.
To assist in some of your questions and concerns about virtual reader communities, today I’m thrilled to have a guest blogger, Dana Lynn Smith.

Dana Lynn Smith, author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides, has a degree in marketing and 15 years of publishing experience. She specializes in creating marketing plans for nonfiction books and teaching authors how to promote their books online.

More about Dana, click HERE.
Promote Your Book in Virtual Reader Communities
by Dana Lynn Smith

Reader communities are a specialized type of social networking site where readers and authors network, and readers recommend books to others. For authors of fiction and children’s books, reader communities may be even more useful than the more general social networking sites like Facebook.

Many reader community sites allow authors to set up a profile page to promote themselves and their books. Some sites allow users to create a “friends” network and join groups composed of readers and authors of a particular genre, and some offer promotional opportunities to authors.

Look over the various reader communities to find those that are the best fit for your book and your audience. You may want to set up a profile on several sites and visit them occasionally, but it’s probably best to focus your time on just two or three sites.

Goodreads at claims to be the world’s largest social network for readers. The site has 1.8 million members who have added more than 41 million books to their bookshelves. Authors can promote their books on Goodreads by networking with readers, blogging, publicizing events, sharing book excerpts, doing a book giveaway or leading discussion groups. See for details.

LibraryThing at has 600,000 book lovers who have cataloged 35 million books. Registered LibraryThing authors can promote book readings and events, participate in author chat, offer review copies, and add photos and information to their author page. See for information.

Authors can build profile pages on AuthorsDen at and interact with readers. Nothing Binding at is geared toward independent publishers.
Shelfari at is owned by Amazon and it’s popular with Facebook users. Red Room at is another popular site.
JacketFlap at focuses on children’s and young adult books and Big Universe at is devoted to children’s picture books. offers groups (called communities) and forums (called customer discussions). Customer discussions appear just below the customer review section on book detail pages.

Here are some other reader communities to consider:

1 Chapter Free
All Fiction Books
Author Nation
Authors Bookshop
Best Books Reviewed
Book Hitch
Book Reporter
Book Teaser’s Galore
Books for Women by Women
Internet Book Database
Once Written
Overbooked (fiction)
Reader 2
Reader’s Room (fiction)
Writer’s Café

To learn more:

Now there’s no reason to waste your time barking up an empty tree.  No use entering a room full of cat-lovers to promote your dog. To conquer all obstacles is to really know your audience and spend the time in the social media sites where they’re located.

Discovering YOUR reader community, target this audience and present your awesome author platform…these viewers will VERY soon turn into your fans.

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