How big is your audience?

How big is your audience?

A few years ago I had a weekend evening to myself, and decided to go to a play. I found a performance of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘night Mother by Marsha Norman showing at the Tucson Temple of Music and Art.

I arrived very early, so I wasn’t surprised that there was only one other person in the audience, but was surprised when no one else showed up. The play started, and I thought to myself: “Now I am stuck here, even if the performance is terrible. I’m 50% of the audience. I can’t just stand up and walk out.” That turned out not to be a problem. The performance was completely engrossing.

‘night Mother is a two-hour play with only two actors. I can’t even begin to imagine what it took for the actors to sustain the emotional intensity that they exhibited for those two hours, let alone what it took to memorize, rehearse, and perfect all those lines.

After the play the other audience member approached me and told me that she was the mother of one of the actors. The cast and crew soon joined us. They surrounded me, anxious to find out what I thought. I told them how impressed and amazed I was, and thanked them for the experience.

All that effort just for two of us! But, maybe all they needed was an audience of two, and were simply happy to give a near-perfect performance. Nothing wrong with that. Donald Trump often reminds us that he only needs an audience of one for his fundraising efforts, himself.

If you, on the other hand, want a larger audience for your book, you’ll need to do more than just publish it and hope that someone shows up. You’ll need an audience-building system, preferably in place well before your book is published.

Wheatmark client Jess Kapp has just such an audience-building system in place for her yet-to-be-published memoir of her field adventures in Tibet, Girl Going Om. She’s got an entertaining, inspirational, and sometimes raw blog at jesskapp.com, to which she posts regularly. Jess blogs about her adventures as a geologist, college instructor, and mother, encouraging women to move beyond their comfort zones as she has. Her blog automatically syndicates all her posts to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook. She now has over 400 Twitter followers, over 1,900 Google+ views, and over 200 Facebook likes. This author platform has garnered her a gig as a blog contributor to The Huffington Post, and a chapter in the recently published Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! When Girl Going Om is released, Jess will have plenty of buyers. For that matter, she could probably dramatize the book and pack the house at the Tucson Temple of Music and Art. If that happens, please save me a seat!

By | 2018-03-29T11:09:21+00:00 October 12, 2015|Marketing, Publishing|Comments Off on How big is your audience?

About the Author:

Sam Henrie is President and Founder of Wheatmark, Inc., and Past President of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. He is Co-Chair of the Book and Movie Business Genre of the Literary Committee for the Tucson Festival of Books, the third largest book festival in the United States. Sam is also a Senior Faculty at the Authors Academy.