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Window Shopping for Authors!
Congratulations! You have finished your manuscript and it has gone to the publisher – now what? This is not the time to kick back and put your feet up; but it is the time to figure out who and where your readers are and how you can make them aware that something special is waiting for them in the publishing world. This can be a bigger challenge than finishing your manuscript, but it is something that every author faces. 

There is a solution. I call it window shopping other authors. I didn’t say window peeping – that is against the law – but I did say window shopping, just like you were searching for that special dress or pair of shoes or car. However, this time you are shopping to learn. 

In this digital age there is a plethora of tools that you can use to help find your readers. Consider Google with 3.5 billion searches per day; YouTube with almost five billion videos being watched every day; Facebook with 1.5 billion searches per day and, of course, Amazon with 2.88 million items sold per day! Add to those Goodreads with ninety million readers, author websites and the newer, younger venues of TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. Add those together and the total is larger than the national debt! Impressive! Impressive in the fact that they are sitting there for you to delve into to see if their readers will relate to your book.

Genre is key in your search. One caution! Be careful that you don’t fall down the rabbit hole, getting lost in the realm of internet searching never to be seen again. Set a timer and get busy shopping authors’ websites, followers, interviews, and titles. Enter your favorite author’s name in a Google search and see what happens.
As you peer into their various sites you are looking for specifics of how that author presents their books and how you might present yours. You are not there to copy but to learn and emulate. Undoubtedly, you will discover the many places the author is listed ranging anywhere from YouTube to Facebook to Amazon. Follow and study those links and you will not only acquire information about that author and their audience but discover how you may use this information to develop your own following. 

How do you know if their readers will be interested in your book? Again, genre is the key. For example, if you have written a dark, spooky novel then most likely your audience wouldn’t be the same as Christian writer Karen Kingsbury’s, but it might be the same as Stephen King. If you’ve written an adventure novel, then maybe you want to research James Patterson or Tom Clancy. Know your genre and the authors that have enjoyed success in that arena then set about shopping for your audience. 

Reader reviews are significant so be sure to read them. Those reviews will tell you why they like the author and/or the story and what it was that drew him/her in. Did the first page grab the reader? Did they cry? Did they laugh? How did they relate to the story? Will these readers relate to your story? 

As you window shop authors be sure to take notes of what impressed you. Make a list of dos and don’ts, of locations, links and of reviewers. Listen to interviews of the authors to learn how they got started, where they listed their books and analyze the information you glean to see how you can incorporate what you have learned from them into your thoughts for marketing your book.

Remember, we are here to help you and we do make publishing easy!

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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