3 S.R. Johannes: Analyze Your Audience/ 09 is mine!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Analyze Your Audience/ 09 is mine!

Update: My thought sgo out to the 2 Greenwich librarians killed on the way to airport from ALA. It reminds us that Life is so precious.

Day 2: Analyze your Audience

1) So you have identified your audiences (3-5).

2) Now you need to analyze your market. Where do they go? What do they do? What orgs? What Magazines? You can easily find all this on Google. For example for my knitting mystery for teens : I'd google knitting book organizations, knitting books, knitting teens, knitting stores, knitting magazines, teen knitting etc.

3) Create a spreadsheet for EACH Book and begin logging the information you find.

4) Create a worksheet in the Spreadsheet for each audience. Focus on 3-5 largest audience.

  • In each worksheet, you label the following columns: Name of Channel, Channel type, Contact Name, Contact Address, Contact Phone, Email, and Comments.
  • Example: Knitting Mystery
  • Name of Channel : Knitting R Us
  • Type of Channel: Magazine or Organization or Club or ezine
  • Contact Columns: Jane Smith; 1344 book Lane, 444-444-5555; jsmith@book.com
  • Comment: Joined 1/29

5) Join organizations ad contact people. Introduce yourself. Even if you don't have a book out or coming out. These connections can still be made.

Next Week:

  • Don't forget Monday - Jas Asher is our Magnificent Marketer.
  • I will continue the 30 days series next Tuesday.
  • And I have a Secret Guest On Wednesday.

09 is Mine!

So I am in the throws of subbing my Grace book right now.

2 years ago, my first book made 2 acquisitions meetings with publishers (*sigh), last year my nonfiction book made Acquisitions at American Girl (*sigh). I have never queried agents before.

This time, I decided to focus on getting an agent. And I have taken my time. I have made my short list of Dreamy agents based on their clients and likes and wants. I am only subbing to a handful of selected agents at a time. I am not doing the mass query thing.

Currently, I have a few fulls requested and out. Now? I am just waiting. So far, pretty much every agent I have queried has immediately requested a full. And that is a good sign. But the waiting game is tough. No matter how far you or where you are in the process, I am sure the waiting exists and is just as hard.

But for some reason, I feel like this is my year. I don't know why, I just feel an energy pulling me. Doesn't mean I dont have my down days (I am actually having one today :( b/c I do. I am a go-getter and I push myself hard. So to sit back and let go of control is hard for me. But this has been a good lesson. I am also used to things happening for me pretty quickly for me so putting in my dues and time with little in return is hard as well.

I've given up alot to be here and it has all been worth it. But doubt creeps in and rears its ugly head no matter what requests or feedback I get.

You see I had the chance to be a high - high- high level executive at an International Bank. But a few years ago, I left alot of money and alot of experience and walked away from my fast track in Corporate America to write. Of course, I have had 2 kids in the process so it has not gone as quickly as I had planned or hoped.

In the meantime, with my degrees and experience, I started my marketing biz on the side to help pay the bills. It allowed me to work from home, be with my kids, and control my own days of when to write and when to work.

My hubby has been so supportive and equally agreed to give up 50% of our income for me to follow my dream. And now I am so close. And what is interesting is that no matter how bad I want it for myself. I also want to do it for him so he knows we haven't struggled for nothing. He has given up so much for me to pursue my passion and his support and faith never waivers.

So now? I just wait... and hope....and believe....and write.

And more importantly, I start another book, a new series that I am very excited about.

I just hope that when my time does come, I find an agent and editor that I connect with, that believes in my story enough to take a leap of faith with me, that gets me and my character. That sees the uniqueness and timeliness of my subject matter. I dont just want anyone, I want "the one". And I know "the one" is different for everyone. And I will wait until it feels right.

Lindsey Leavitt gave me some good advice over coffee last fall and for some reason it stuck with me. She said, "I never knew who my dream agent was until I met her." That is so true. You pick people based on reputations and clients. But in the end it is the connection that matters. Their love for your story.

Now I finally am at a place where I can devote myself to my writing. My daughter starts K this summer, my son turns 2 in May, and my hubby has said "there will be no more".

I've cleared the path - 09 is mine.


Lauren said...

You are very lucky to have such a supportive hubby.

I'm sure with all your experiences and your talent any agent would be lucky to have you. :)

Corey Schwartz said...

It is AMAZING that nearly everyone asks you for a full manuscript! (and that you made it to several acquisition meetings) It is only a matter of time before you are PUBLISHED!

Anonymous said...

Chin up girly and keep at it.
Oh, and I'm TOTALLY starting a knitting mystery now. Dibs.

Carrie Harris said...

You are SOOOO close. Lots of requested fulls? Made it to acquisitions? That just means that you need to find the right audience, because you're good enough to get in the door.

That's what I think, anyway. :) Can't wait to celebrate your success!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I so related to so much of what you have here. I too have gotten to the acquisitions meeting stage and then gotten the "thanks but no cigar" speech. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to the career track thingy (professional word) too. When the Olympics came to Atlanta, I was offered the job of Communications Manager. I remember thinking, "damn this is one of those fork in the road moments, isn't it?" To everyone's amazement, I declined. Never regretted it.

Anonymous said...

It's hard for hubbies when you change course. I was making decent money as a freelance writer when I decided that I could no longer write about insurance or software without losing part of my soul. But no real money comes in from this new children's writing venture. I know that has to panic him sometimes, but he keeps that to himself. He's a great guy. It's tough when your spouse changes the rules on ya...

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed you can do so much with little ones at home. I was able to write when my first born was little, but my (enormous handful) second child made it impossible for me to continue. When she went to kindergarten, that's when I tried to get back into writing for businesses and that's when I realized the whole idea of it was like some slick funnel sucking me directly into the meanest circle of Dante's hell...

Anonymous said...

I totally connect with your "persistence is key" vibe. We just can't quit! Not when we are so damn close!

Unknown said...

You should reread this post from time to time. You were in a really good place when you typed it. 09' is yours!!! It's coming together.

My husband is really supportive too - when he has clean socks in his drawer :). Got to keep the laundry going while i surf the net and write!