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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Know Your Audience

I love checking the stats section on my blog. It tells me who has viewed my blog, where they live, what they had for breakfast, where they work, and tons of useful information about the person who viewed the blog. No it doesn’t! I was just seeing if you were paying attention.

It does tell me how many people from what country checked in, it could be the same person if they hop to my blog five times that day, and it will show five people from that country. I am sure that many of the countries that are frequent viewers of my blog it is a lot of the same people who are just faithful loyal readers of the stuff I write. It does have a similar counter for what kind of system the person was using who happened to check in, so you know if it is a PC, Mac, Cell Phone, etc. It has a counter on where they came from, what search engine directed them to the blog post. Of course there is a generic counter that lets you see how many people visited today, last week, last month, and all time. It is a tool to view your blog traffic and see if it is declining, staying steady or increasing. I imagine unless you just like to type things for no general reason and post stuff for the hell of it, a blogger’s goal is to gain followers and increase their blog traffic over time.

My goal when I started blogging was to help identify myself as a writer, then a published author, and share with my readers about my journey of discovery with self-publishing. I feel blessed that my blog traffic has increased over time, and I have a following made up primarily of other authors, want to be authors, those groping through the process of self-publishing and based off the popularity of the blog posts there are a lot people interested in aspects of Web Site Design and SEO optimization. Those blog posts, Life as a Publisher, and the ones dealing with cover art have been the most popular posts I have done.

I know in time I will try and shift the focus of my blog to attract readers to help promote my books. I haven’t got a clue yet as to how to accomplish that feat. I would like to break into foreign markets also even if it is just a toe print of a presence. I firmly believe that in spite of all the advertising of big publishers and e-mails sent from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Sony promoting the bestselling books on their respective sites, the primary way books are sold is still word of mouth. “What are you reading?”

Whether it is on-line, in the street, on the bus, or on a train, readers talk to other readers. We can tell somebody quickly and easily what we are reading, whether it is any good and why. I have even considered giving away some copies of my next book to some avid readers and then taping their description of what they are reading when they tell somebody else to use as the books description on-line – because readers do it best. They spread the word of what is good or not. But what if there is nobody in an area who has read your book? Answer: Nobody is talking about it. I gave away a couple of copies of my first book to some people from the UK and now I have sales coming in every month from the UK through Amazon.

Amazon last year opened up Amazon DE (Germany), FR (France), ES (Spain), IT (Italy), but nobody is reading my book in any of those countries. So nobody is talking about it, so nobody is purchasing it. Now part of the problem is the book is in English and in the UK they speak and read English. Not everybody from these other countries speaks and reads English. On the other hand a lot do, and unless whatever search engine is bringing those individuals my blog is translating it for them as Google does do with some sites they have to be just stopping by or reading it in English.

In the United States all time I have had 3,857 visits, UK 304, Germany 409, France 218, Canada 144, India 56, Russia 473, Brazil 5, China 4, Australia 3, Ireland 105, South Korea 12, Malaysia 9, Ukraine 116, and Singapore 48.

I am very pleased with the fact that after just over one year people from so many different countries have stopped by and visited my blog. As of yet I only have sales of my book in the United States and the United Kingdom that I am aware of. I would be very pleased to gift FREE E-book copies of either of my two novels to anyone who resides in some country outside of the United States or the UK. Just E-mail me at StorytellerTDW@yahoo.com and tell me what country you reside in. Please be aware that it is written in English. Someday when I am making some money at writing I will invest to have my books translated into other languages and make those available in their respective markets for purchase. As it is right now I am like so many other Independent Authors just trying to get my books discovered.

Both books will be getting a Re-Edit shortly, so if you request a free e-book copy you can get what is out there or I can add you to the list of those who want the new and more grammatically correct version. For those requesting a FREE E-book Copy put in the subject of the E-mail what country you reside in and what format of book you would prefer for the type of E-reader you use.
MOBI for Kindle. EPUB for NOOK, Sony, Apple, KOBO etc. HTML for your computer.

I truly believe the best fashion to do that is to get it into different areas and have people read it, and if they like and enjoy the book they will tell their reading friends. Word of mouth is still the most popular way of spreading the news about what is out there, what you’re reading, and whether you liked it.

It dawned on me that since the Web Site Blog posts were such a big draw for so many of the people who have visited my blog, and those were done off my cruddy notes while sitting through a class that I might try and entice the people who put on the class to write a guest blog post or two which might be a bit more in depth and elaborate than what I was able to provide. We’ll see what we can come up with.

Writers get back to work. If you have finished your novel, getting close, and are feeling lost as to what to do next, send me an E-mail at the address above. In the subject line put ‘What Next’, and I can either respond by replying in an E-mail or do a blog post giving general directions of what to do and what to expect.

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