It’s not about the number of friends or fans you have.
It’s not about yelling the loudest.
It’s not about biting your lip and engaging in self-promotion.
Audience development is about finding meaningful ways to find and connect with your readers, over the span of your career.
In my lunch talk at the 2013 Midwest Writers Workshop (20 minutes), I discuss my personal story of growing my readership, then share principles I follow to make it an enjoyable and sustainable process.
A fun place to start is about 4:20, where I show how much traffic my website received after I first launched it. To get straight to some practical tips, start at 13:00.
Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.
In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.
Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.