Finding an Audience
Now that the writing of ELLIE IS COOL NOW is wrapped (but new chapters are still being posted weekly on Wattpad — we like to keep y’all in suspense), I wanted to share a little bit about the ride.
First, some back story:
ELLIE IS COOL NOW is the rom-com I’m co-authoring under the pen name, Faith McClaren, and we publish chapters every week on the free reading platform, Wattpad.
My co-author, Alexandra Grizinski (pen name, Victoria Fulton), and I began posting our story at the end of May.
On August 27th, we were selected for a featured list on Wattpad, curated by the brilliant minds at Wattpad HQ.
One week later we were longlisted for the yearly celebration of storytelling known as the Watty Awards.
We were shortlisted.
Then we won.
It’s been a dream come true + a blast and there’s more to come.
But it didn’t happen by magic. (Okay, maybe a little magic. We are unicorns after all.) When Alex and I jumped aboard this train, it took a minute to find our seats in the first class cabin where all the popular books seemed to be hanging out.
Then we had an idea. A coffee-fueled epiphany.
And fortunately we knew exactly who we needed to help us make it happen.
Our friend (and Alex’s business partner), Jenny Beres specializes in Influencer Outreach Strategy. It’s a talent she’s employed with top clients and companies to get them the best advertising bang for their buck. So we thought, if she could do it with skincare, why couldn’t she do it with our book?
We know that what sets stories apart — in any sense, and not just on Wattpad — is reader engagement. On Wattpad, that meant numbers. Eyes on the story. Votes. Comments and interaction. In a sea of free content, what brings new readers is visibility.
Jenny used her skills as “the LeBron James of Influencer Outreach” (direct quote from her Linkedin), to create an influencer campaign at a price point we were excited about.
That campaign began the first week of August.
Now, if you’ve read this whole post (hi, you’re awesome) then you’ll know all the baller sh*t hit the gilded fan the third week of August.
It is not a coincidence. It’s a direct result of marketing.
This week we climbed over the 60k reads wall. We get to share our story with readers who LOVE it. We have found our spot by the window in the first class cabin and we just ordered a bottle of champagne.
I know a lot of us are writers with books coming out – or already out. Many will be writers with books coming out. To most of us — myself included — marketing is an opaque and terrifying orb of mystery. But here is an example of when it worked.
I would love to hear: have any of you used influencer outreach for any of your books?
Let me know in comments!