Hello to all the Story Empire readers and thanks for visiting us once again today. I’m tasked with our Friday writing question this month so I’ve come up with one you may not consider. How big is your audience?
Most of the time we ask the question, who is your audience? While this is a very good question to consider regarding the demographics of readers that you are targeting and one you should keep foremost in your mind, how big your audience is will always be very important. This seems like a simple question and answer, however it’s one that has a deeper meaning, covering how many genres in which you write and much more.
How big your audience is does not depend on the size of your email list. Instead, it depends on how many total copies you have sold of your highest selling book. Audience size also applies to what you have written in every genre because your audience is likely going to be very different between them. Let me emphasize this is how many books you have sold, your bestselling book. We’re not talking about free books, because no matter how well they have been downloaded as a free book, most these copies are not that well read. Don’t get me wrong, I do have free books and I do believe they help sell some of my other books, but I don’t consider anyone in my audience they actually buy a book. Sales matter, even if they are Kindle Unlimited “sales” where the number of page reads divided by your book’s Kindle normalized page-count is the estimated number of books sold (and let’s face it you are getting paid for “free” books in KU).
You may not track your sales consistently but it is something you should consider doing. When you release a new book in a specific genre you already have an audience if you have published within it previously: your best selling book. Now, you may have a large number of your audience on your email list or you may still be mining your email list for sales, so you need to use your email list but it is not the entirety of your audience. Your audience size is never going to be the same since it should be expanding as you sell more books.
If you know the size of your reading audience, you are more likely to have a better understanding of what your release numbers may eventually be. Of course, you shouldn’t expect all of your audience to buy your latest book but you should understand that you now have some amount of name recognition with that group of readers, people who have purchased one or more your books already. Many of them could be following you on your blog, social media, Goodreads or Amazon and they may receive notifications about your new book. The same goes for your email subscribers.
Understanding your audience size can help you grasp what your actual reach is. When you first start publishing, your audience size is zero (a very disconcerting feeling, I know), but once you have a sales history you have an audience. You should always be working to cultivate your audience and find ways to be in contact with your audience. Personally, I try to track my audience size regularly so I have some grasp of what impact it may have on future releases. If you are looking for an agent or publisher, a sales history can reveal a lot about you as an author – that you can, and will, market what you write.
Do you track your sales, especially your best-selling book? Do you know your audience size? Why or why not? Do you avoid tracking your sales? Thanks for visiting today and please leave your responses in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.