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Target Practice

For people like myself one of the most beneficial skills in existence is being able to target a market. Sure, the first step is identifying the market, but beyond that I need to be able to find it and make them aware that my material exists. Short of spending large amounts of money on advertising, it’s often a difficult task to master.

It occurred to me the other day that my blog, while an avenue for communication, might not be serving me as optimally as it could be for talking to my target market. Common topics on this blog involve my experiments and research into writing and trying to share news of my books with the world. I’ve snagged a few readers along the way too, which is great, but the majority of the people who read my blog are other writers (writers read books too). I’m always trying to learn from my peers as well as share my insights with them, but I’d guess only 1% (or less) of the readers out there are writers as well.

So how do I find a way to bring in more readers to the blog to see what I’m doing, what I’ve done, and what’s coming next? That’s the real answer, and now I’m going to try some various things to see if I can make it happen.

I could offer to do more reviews on my blog, but I’m finding that the people most interested in reviews are either the writer of the book(s) being reviewed or other writers. Some readers will wander by, but by and large they’re looking at the reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Sony, or wherever they’re buying their books at. Let’s be realistic, when we’re talking about the $.99 to $3.99 price of an ebook it’s not a major purchase that requires a lot of research. So I may continue to do an occasional review here and there, but don’t look for it to make a big dent in my blog’s content.

I’ve never been shy about admitting that I’m more than willing to give away some of my books. The first book in each of my series is either free on Amazon (and other sites) or it will be as soon as I can make it that way. That’s called a loss leader, in marketing parlance, and it gives readers exposure to my writing and if they like the no-risk first book, they can get additional books in the series. Well my latest gambit is to leave scenes or samples from my books on my blog from time to time, as well as the introduction of a blog-only series of posts that will eventually turn into a full fledged story.

So what will this story be about? Will it be a new setting, or take place in one of the ones I’ve already established in one of my books? The answer to those questions is as much a mystery to me as it is to you. I see pros and cons to both. Knowing me I’ll probably end up doing a couple of different things – I can’t seem to restrict myself to a single genre. And when I finish one of this linked posts and it becomes a full fledged story who knows, maybe I’ll wrap it up and publish it (and leave it on here).

So here’s to hoping I can show my appreciation to the book readers of the world with some free content. And in the process, lure in a few of them to hopefully try out my books! To my writer friends rest assured I’ll be happy to share the results of this experiment as the data becomes available.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

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  1. March 4, 2012 at 08:22

    Interesting that you mention this Jason. I’ve been thinking the same thing myself, as you know my main release date is in July, and I should have three books ready by then. So sometime around the first of the second quarter I will be going live with my new blog/website. I am going to try to do along the lines of what Mr. Locke has done, but on a separate page or two have small side stories that relate to, but not dig into the story lines of my main series.

    The goal is to have enough by years end that I can publish an anthology to market as a fifth book for the Christmas season.

    At least that is the plan.

    Aside from that, I agree completely with you on the writers being the readers of the blog. Some of us read, and I find myself covered up with books by my friends. I just finished April Plummer’s book, and now am finally cueing up Voidhawk which was supposed to have happened right after I read Wanted, but you know how life takes over sometimes… LOL

    Anyway, haven’t talked to you in a while, so I thought I’d weigh in. Keep ’em comin’ man!

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